A Lady Priscilla Flanders Mystery

Fool's ParadiseTitle:  Fool’s Paradise
Series:  A Lady Priscilla Flanders Mystery
Author:  Jo Ann Ferguson
Genre:  Historical
Published:  January 2, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Something is rotten in the Lake District . . . and the Prince Regent has asked Lord Neville Hathaway to investigate. But in order to ensure success, he asks his wife—and intrepid partner in crime-solving—Lady Priscilla, to join him.
When they learn that a young woman of the Beau Monde has vanished in the area, they can’t help wondering if that disappearance is connected to tales of a strange new settlement being created by a half-mad lord. Drawn into the madness against their wills, Priscilla and Neville go undercover as willing citizens in Novum Arce, the utopian recreation of Roman Britain, but it quickly becomes obvious that the person behind the kidnapping and insanity may have a very real ulterior motive—one that could change the future of the war against Napoleon.
Now they have to do more than save a missing lady—they have to stop an invasion! And there’s even more at stake! Priscilla has just discovered she’s going to have a child. And Neville has to decide: just how much is he willing to sacrifice for King and country?

*I received an e-ARC of Fool’s Paradise by Jo Ann Ferguson from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

This was the first of the ongoing series “A Lady Priscilla Flanders Mystery” that I have read.  While it might have helped to have a bit more background – the opening chapters filled me in on the basics enough to dive right into the story with comfort.

Read on for my thoughts on Fool’s Paradise.  No true spoilers, promise.

Lady Priscilla Hathaway’s life is quite full at this moment.  Between planning her daughter’s wedding, the early and unexpected arrival of her Aunt who she adores but who also brings chaos with her, the arrival of a rambunctious new puppy saved by her son from “dire straits”, as well as being four months pregnant – Lady Priscilla has a full plate.  It’s about to get fuller.

Persons in high places in London (most likely the Prince Regent) have requested her husband, Lord Neville Hathaway, to investigate the tale of a new settlement in the North created by a man thought insane, but still powerful and dangerous.  Is this new settlement surrounded by defensive walls simply a madman’s folly or are there more sinister happenings going on – like treason, raising an army to aid Napoleon, as well as kidnapping couples to help populate this new settlement.

When an overbearing, arrogant baron, Lord Beamish virtually crashes into their home to ask (or demand, depending on how you read it) for their help in finding his kidnapped daughter – it seems there is more than one reason to travel North.  While it is completely possible that Miss Beamish eloped with the love of her life – and the escape of her father’s rule – it cannot be ruled out that a kidnapping has taken place.

Given the perfect reason to be in the area to investigate the settlement, looking into the kidnapping is an excellent reason (excuse to do undercover work) to travel to their estate in the North.  Tarn’s Edge lies close to St. John’s, toss-back to ancient times, settlement.  The closeness of the location will make it much easier to go snooping for answers on both situations.

And that is where this tease stops.  As with any novel that has mystery involved, it’s best to never give away too much.  You need to pick up the novel for yourself to know the ending.

Since this was my first time to read anything in this ongoing series, I was very glad to know that I didn’t have to know the complete backstory.  I was given enough at the very beginning to move forward to the current mystery to be solved.

I really enjoyed Fool’s Paradise.  There is truly a madman at work, a mystery to uncover and the constant love story of Priscilla and Neville to tie it all together.  Now I need to find the time to go back and read the previous novels in this series.  Any book that makes me want to do that is worth checking out.

Fool’s Paradise is available at Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.