A #MustRead for Austen fans... The Late Mrs. Willoughby by Claudia Gray (Review) #5stars #booktwitter #newbooks #historicalfiction #austenesque #mystery #austenprosepr @VintageAnchor @claudiagray

Welcome to my tour stop for this new Austenesque mystery! I LOVED
this book! Definitely read my review below and pick this one up!

The Late Mrs. Willoughby
(A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mystery #2)
By Claudia Gray
Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Austenesque
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 400 Pages
May 16, 2023 by Vintage Books


The suspenseful sequel to The Murder of Mr. Wickham, which sees Jonathan Darcy and Juliet Tilney reunited, and with another mystery to solve: the dreadful poisoning of the scoundrel Willoughby's new wife.

Catherine and Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey are not entirely pleased to be sending their eligible young daughter Juliet out into the world again: the last house party she attended, at the home of the Knightleys, involved a murder—which Juliet helped solve. Particularly concerning is that she intends to visit her new friend Marianne Brandon, who's returned home to Devonshire shrouded in fresh scandal—made more potent by the news that her former suitor, the rakish Mr. Willoughby, intends to take up residence at his local estate with his new bride.

Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley are thrilled that their eldest son, Jonathan—who, like his father, has not always been the most socially adept—has been invited to stay with his former schoolmate, John Willoughby. Jonathan himself is decidedly less taken with the notion of having to spend extended time under the roof of his old bully, but that all changes when he finds himself reunited with his fellow amateur sleuth, the radiant Miss Tilney. And when shortly thereafter, Willoughby's new wife—whom he married for her fortune—dies horribly at the party meant to welcome her to town.

With rumors flying and Marianne—known to be both unstable and previously jilted by the dead woman's newly made widower—under increased suspicion, Jonathan and Juliet must team up once more to uncover the murderer. But as they collect clues and close in on suspects, eerie incidents suggest that the killer may strike again, and that the pair are in far graver danger than they or their families could imagine.

Praise for the Book

“An absolute page-turner full of well-plotted mystery and hints of simmering romance.... More of the Jane Austen characters we love (as well as those we love to hate).” —Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo

”Gray makes her endearing leads’ sleuthing both plausible and entertaining while evoking the wit and feel of Austen’s classic novels. Admirers of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley will be delighted.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

”Absolutely delightful! Fans of Jane Austen and historical mysteries will fall in love with this series. Gray remains true to Austen’s style and intent for her beloved characters while still adding her own spin on them and their progeny—one that is both refreshing and absorbing. I’m already looking forward to the next installment.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA Today bestselling author of the Lady Darby series

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My Review

THE LATE MRS. WILLOUGHBY is a delightful mystery set in Austen's fictional worlds mostly centering around the characters from Sense and Sensibility and a follow-up to The Murder of Mr. Wickham. Fans of Austen and the first book will find even more to love in this sequel full of marvelous characters, a mystery and a touch of romance!

I completely loved this book! I loved it even more than the first in the series. I think that somewhat had to do with the fact that you see some character development in this second installment that I felt was slightly lacking in the first book, and there aren't so many Austen characters to meet expectations of. The mystery was cozy with some red herrings that held my interest. The writing is honestly superb with so many nuances. I found myself loving turns of phrases and the intricacies of the relationships. I especially enjoyed the character of Mr. Darcy who is on the Autistic spectrum and seeing how he interacts with others and how his brain works. It was the perfect dynamic between him and Miss Tilney who understands him so well, but also compliments him perfectly.  I loved seeing their friendship and budding romance develop. I also appreciated that the story's focus is the mystery and not the romance but how they weave together to create a perfect story. I honestly loved this from beginning to end!

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is highly recommended to Austen, historical cozy mystery and romantic suspense fans who like the romance on the light side. The characters, setting, story, and writing are all superbly done! I'm hoping for more from this series, even though they obviously can't keep meeting like this, but hopefully for my happiness, they will. 😉

Content: Some innuendo and references to affairs and violence, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to my review.)

About the Author

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline, and Jane Austen-inspired series, A Mr. Darcy & Miss Tilney Mysteries. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs.

Are you an Austen fan? Did you read the first book in the series? Will you be reading this one?

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