The Mitford Sisters have always fascinated me. How six women made such an impact on social and political history throughout the twentieth century. The people they knew and associated with jump from the pages of a history book.
When I first saw this title, I was intrigued. even more so when I learnt the author is related to Julian Fellowes* of Downton Abbey fame. There must be a storytelling gene somewhere in them there Fellowes!
But whilst this is a story, this is also a book based in reality, based in truth but I am not going to give anymore away about what reality and what truth – because like me you can read the book and find out in the end.
Louisa Cannon lives with her mother and an unpleasant Uncle, teetering on the border of poverty in London.
She finds herself escaping her uncle and going to work at the Mitford’s Oxfordshire home where she becomes a maid and companion to the Nanny and the small Mitford girls but also a friend and confidante with Nancy Mitford the eldest. Her life is going to change and Nancy sees Louisa as a way to escape the confines of being in society.
Florence Nightingale Shore related to her namesake and a nurse as well finds herself on a train at the same time as Louisa, the two do not know each other but their lives are about to become entwined especially as one ends up dead and the other making her own investigations.
This is a book which is a mix of fact made into wonderful fiction. The settings are perfect, the insight into the Mitford Sisters early upbringing intriguing although of course we do not know how much poetic license has been taken, but the infamy perhaps gives you an idea of the characters they were when they were small.
This really is a different murder mystery book, but also seems to sit right in the Golden Age Mystery category. I am intrigued as to how the next book will pan out and what fact or reality is going to be featured and just how will the Mitford’s fit in. There is so much scope with setting yourself such a task.
* His adaptation of Mary Poppins for the stage is phenomenal!
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Mitford Murders is out now.
I loved this book but I do know that the review does not do it justice. That is what comes from being so busy that finding time to review was so difficult and I have lost the momentum you have when you want to sing from the roof tops about a book! Note to self – must try harder!