We are happy to welcome debut author Dianne Freeman to the Wicked Cozy Authors! Our Thankful For Our Readers giveaway is an ARC of I Know What You Bid Last Summer, a vintage postcard, and a Snowden Family Clambake tote bag from Barbara Ross! Dianne thank you for being with us to share your cover!
As a debut novelist, every step in the publishing process is new and exciting. Today I’m excited to share my cover for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, and I can’t thank the Wicked Cozy authors enough for hosting my big reveal.
Here it is:
It makes me smile every time I see it. Here’s a synopsis of the story:
Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning her philandering husband, Reggie, she puts aside her drab black gowns, leaving the countryside and her money-grubbing in-laws behind. With her young daughter in tow, Frances rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, arriving from New York—for her first London season.
No sooner has Frances begun her new life than the ghosts of her old life make an unwelcome appearance. The Metropolitan police receive and anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. Frances assures Inspector Delaney of her innocence, but she’s also keen to keep him from learning the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. As fate would have it, her dashing new neighbor, George Hazelton, is one of only two other people aware of the full story.
While busy with social engagements on Lily’s behalf, and worrying if Reggie really was murdered, Frances learns of mysterious burglaries plaguing London’s elite. The investigation brings death to her doorstep, and Frances rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and the ever-chivalrous Mr. Hazelton to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst, perhaps even among her sister’s suitors. And Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season—and their lives—come to a most unseemly end.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. My mom introduced me to the works of Edith Wharton and Agatha Christie when I was quite young and I read them over and over. Thus, my love of mysteries and the late Victorian era. Wharton’s world was full of elegance, and manners, and rules—lots of rules. Anytime a character stepped a toe out of line and broke a social code, they met with a tragic end. That seemed—harsh. Surely it was possible to bend a rule here and there. Maybe have some fun or solve a mystery?
I back-burnered that idea for 30 or so years until I retired from corporate America and took up writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, I realized my true love was fiction. A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder is the first in the Countess of Harleigh mystery series and is the result of my lifelong desire to write a fun whodunit in Wharton’s world of the late 19th century. And, of course it had to include an independent main character, with a knack for solving crimes. Thanks for sharing my big day!
Readers: Frances enlists the aid of her best friend and her handsome neighbor to help solve a crime. If you were an amateur sleuth, who would you want as your partner (real or fictional)? Here is the prize package:
Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing, and the endless summer. She and her husband split their time between Michigan and Arizona where you can find her indulging in a good read, or hard at work on the next Countess of Harleigh mystery.
Website: https://difreeman.com/ FB: Dianne Freeman Author Twitter: @difreeman001
That’s a great cover, Dianne – and welcome to the blog!
Thanks for having me, Edith! And yes, I love the cover.
Love the cover and congrats on the debut! Wonder what he is putting in her drink? The holidays will bring up the story of our great aunt and how every year she would demonstrate her poison ring to us hen we were kids, shaking it over whoever was unlucky enough to be next to her!
I already know that my amateur slething partner would be my best friend Mary. After all, we’ve been doing all this reading for research, right?!
Thank you! I would love to have seen that poison ring. That would have fascinated me as a kid! Best friends are great partners.
My amateur sleuthing partner would be my husband and best friend, Dan. He already helps me a lot in guiding my fictional amateur sleuth through the maze of each cozy mystery!
Me too! We’d probably argue over clues the whole time, but we’d solve the crime.
If I were an amateur sleuth I’d enlist the help of my friend, Iris. She’s so clever and smart. She figures out the secrets in books before they’re revealed. We’d make a good team.
Congratulations on your debut!! It sounds like so much fun. And the cover is incredibly cute.
That’s a great friend to have! And thank you, I’m glad you like the cover!
Congrats on the new series! It sounds like a fun read. If I were an amateur sleuth, my partner and collaborator would be Emma Joy Ferris, from the now defunct Mall Cop series by Laura DiSilverio. “EJ” was a military police officer before an IED ruined her knee/leg and her chances of being a police officer in civilian life. She is smart, funny and fearless!
Kimberley, that’s a great choice! (However, I bet Laura wouldn’t like to hear her series described as “defunct” – because you can still buy the books online, no? How about discontinued?)
Thank you! Good choice! I didn’t think of another series character as a partner.
What a fun cover! I would enlist the help of my daughter, Keira. She’s 15 and we both love reading cozy mysteries.
Plus, she runs cross country and track…so she can run and catch the ‘bad guy’.
Hi Brooke! Sounds like your daughter would be a great partner. You two would have fun!
Congrats on the cover and the series!! I would want Jessica Fletcher to be my partner and my husband can drive us around as Jessica doesn’t drive and I don’t like to especially at night.
Thank you! I love your choice and I’d love to visit Cabot Cove!
Welcome, Dianne! I love the cover and can’t wait to read your new series!
Thank you so much for hosting me, Sherry!
I can’t wait to read this series. I love finding new friends in the reading world.
I can’t wait to read this series. I love finding new friends in the reading world. Also a fellow redhead is tops on the author list.
Hi fellow Red! Thank you so much. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
I love cozies and historical fiction, so this series is really something to look forward to. I would definitely want my daughter as a crime solving partner. She is the best researcher around, pretty fearless, and is a lot of fun to do things with. We’ve had our share of adventures through the years ( tho’ none of them involved murders, as far as we know).
Cozies and history are favorites of mine too! I don’t have a daughter, but yours sounds a lot like my husband. We do a lot of adventuring too!
Love the cover…so classy. I’m never at a loss of reading material as long as you all keep writing!!! My dog, Oscar, would be my sidekick!!!
Thank you, Kimberly! And a dog is a great sidekick, they’re such good listeners and a well-timed warning bark comes in handy!
Love these cosies! I would like my son to help me, he is a great sleuth. Agatha Christie herself would be a great pal too!
It would be amazing to watch Agatha Christie’s mind in action, but I bet it would be more fun working with your son.
Well, for my sleuth, I would definitely want Sherlock Holmes.
Yes! I’d love to be Watson!
Congrats on your first book!..I’d pick Idris Elba…just because he’s Idris Elba.
Thanks, Elaine! Great choice–Idris could focus on the crime, and I could focus on him!
If I were an amateur sleuth, I would want my best friend, Janice, as my partner. She is one amazing lady and a very dear friend that I think of as my sister by choice. We have been friends for about 15 years, but she really showed her true colors and how deep our friendship really was during a very bleak time in my life. My Mom came to live with us after a very nasty cancer surgery and Alzheimer. It soon became where she needed care 24/7 which was provide wholeheartedly and with love from my husband and I in our home. We had promised Mom that we would do everything in our power not to place her in a nursing home. During a period of 4 years, it meant that one of us stayed with Mom at all times to keep her calm and tend to her needs. We didn’t get to go out to eat or even run to pay a bill together during that time. Although we had hospice, in our area that only meant having a nurse come by twice a week for about an hour and an aide to come by twice a week to help with bathing. After the first 14 months, it was Janice that finally convinced me to properly take care of Mom that I had to do some for myself. It was then that she at her expense flew to meet me for a girl’s weekend while hubby took over care full time for a couple days. She very much became my lifeline to sanity. Between calls, texts, computer chats and occasional girl’s weekends, she helped me through a time that was at times dark and depressing. Thanks to her help and loving caring, I can say that we did all we could and kept Mom at home where she was loved and well taken care of. I am now able to rest easy knowing that after Mom’s passing that I did all I could and have no regrets.
So with all that said, yes she would be my partner in mystery sleuthing as she is my sidekick in most things. At least I’d know that she would have my back as I would hers. <3
Thanks for sharing your story, Kay. Your mom was blessed to have you by her side, and you’re blessed to have Janice (and your hubby) in your life. It sounds like all three of you really know what it means to be a partner. <3
What a fun cover, and the synopsis looks like it would be tight up my alley. Thank you for the chance to win. My sleuthing partner would be my friend Julia. She’s smart, clever, and has a great mind for figuring out puzzles.
Thanks, Daniele! I hope it is right up your alley. I love working out puzzles!
Welcome to the Wickeds, Dianne. I love the cover and the book sounds fantastic. I would sleuth with my husband Bill who always has my back. (Boring, I know. But there you are.)
Thanks, Barbara! My husband is definitely my best choice. Nothing boring about it!
Great cover! The book sounds great, and I’m adding it to my TBR list! If I had to enlist someone to help solve a murder, it would be my sister. People always tell her things unsolicited, so she would be a great resource.
Thank you so much, Christi! It would be fun to sleuth with my sister too!
Thanks for the introduction-sounds like a great read!
Thanks, Vida! I hope you enjoy it!
Awesome cover, Dianne! I can’t wait to read it–your protagonist sounds unique and fascinating!
Thank you, Minerva!
What an awesome cover. Can’t wait to read the book.
If I were trying to solve a murder, I think I’d want help from Sean and Gus from Psych. They would make it fun.
Thanks, Carrie. And yes, if you have to solve a murder, it should be fun!
Love the cover! Can hardly wait to read. Frances sounds like someone I’d want to amateur sleuth with!!
Thanks, Mary! She’d be a fun partner!
This sounds and looks fabulous. I can’t wait!
Thank you, Mark!
Wonderful! I just love it!
I would want my best friend Tammi to help me. I believe we would make a great team.
Best friends often know what the other is thinking, so that could work well, Kristi!
Congratulations on your new book, Dianne. I was hoping not to add any more authors to my reading list but I love that cover and I’ll add to my want list. If I was looking for a killer I’d like Bill Crider’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes and Terry Shames ‘Samuel Craddock by my side.
Thank you so much, Ruth. Sounds like you’re putting together a perfect team!
My cousin, Dana & I would make a great sleuthing team.
Hi Jana. I didn’t think about cousins. I think mine would make a great team with each other. (They’re sisters)
If I was a sleuth and needed a partner I would invite my online blogging friend Barb to help me as we both love mysteries. 🙂
Isn’t it amazing how well you can get to know people online? Maybe you guys could solve a cyber crime.
I would want my husband for my partner in solving crimes…we work well together in cooking and other hobbies. And, your cover made me think of the intro for the Masterpiece Theatre Mysteries where the characters dance and the one woman is on the roof and drops her scarf and says…Ohhhh! Best of luck with the new book, I would love to read it!
It made me think of Edward Gorey, too.
Thank you! We played off the editorial cartoons of the era!
Thanks for visiting the Wickeds today! What a great cover! I would want my husband to be my sleuthing partner because we make a great team in real life and I imagine we would do the same on the page!
Thank you for hosting me! I’m right there with you. My husband is a great partner!
The cover is beautiful! I can’t wait until release day!
Thanks, Debra and back at you!
Sounds good! If I were an amateur detective I have to say I would need a team. My friend Paulette as we work as great sounding boards for each other and always seem to come up with the best answers. My mom because she is great at figuring out detective shows. My sweet rescue Tyler, he has a nose that never gives up. And maybe I would add Murdoch from Murdoch mysteries to the team too. Thanks for the chance to win this prize pack
Sounds like a great team! I think you guys could crack any case.
My friend Kristin. She reads as may mysteries as I do. Between the both of us and our reading material we are bound to get something right..I think..lol
Haha! I agree. I’ve probably read the equivalent of a manual to crime solving!
Great cover! I look forward to reading it.
For a partner in crime solving, I would want my spouse since he is logical where I am running on instinct and feelings. 🙂
Thank you, Darlene! It sounds like you two make the perfect team.
I love that cover! Congratulations!!
Great title and cover! I’m adding it to my TBR list. Sounds like a great read. If I was an amateur sleuth my Sister would definitely be my partner.
Thanks, Dianne! I hope you enjoy it. Sisters make good partners!
I love the cover & the story line sounds great. I love that particular place & time & can’t wait to read this new series. I would love to have Miss Marple as a crime solving partner.
Thank you so much! Miss Marple is a favorite of mine too!
Love the premise and the setting. I’d like my daughter’s cat Duncan to help me solve the crime. He’s fearless and could leap up on those steep London rooftops for clues!
Thanks, Barbara! Cats are so stealthy too!
If I were an amateur sleuth my partner would be my husband.
Hi Leslie! Me too!
If I was an amateur sleuth, I would want my son to be my partner. I think he would be a huge help!!
Hi Linda! I would take all the help I could get, so I think that’s a great idea.
Heavens! I have enough trouble staffing the local shelter and prefer my mysteries between the covers of a book. The prize package is tempting, but I think I will hope the local police are up to the task.
Understood! Characters in mysteries face situations I’d rather read about than face in real life.
My wife LeAnn. She’s got the brains, and I know she’d have my back.
Yes, the couple who sleuths together, stays together!
This sounds like an absolutely delightful series and I will put it on my TBR list for sure! I would want my friend Cyndra from college to be my sidekick. Besides finishing each other’s sentences, we complement each other’s common sense. Thanks for the giveaway!
Thanks, Autumn! It sounds like you two would make a great team.
I love the cover–just beautiful! email@example.com
Hi ladies. Believe it or not, this posting just came into my FB feed today, Nov. 27. It has been a busy time but I always read your blog posts so even though it is not on time and awhile since posted I wanted to wish Ms. Freeman all the best in her new career. I will be looking forward to reading her first book.
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