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A Body on the Doorstep, by Marty Wingate

A Body on the Doorstep book cover
Mabel Canning has moved to London in1921 and joined the Useful Women Agency. Her first job is supporting a widow at a wake but the deceased has been declared dead after going missing 7 years ago. Then a man dies at the front door during the wake…
A Body on the Doorstep is the first book in a murder mystery series set in the 1920s. The second book, A Body at the Seance is also available now. In the author’s note at the end, I discovered that the Useful Women Agency was real!
Guy Despard disappeared 7 years ago and his wife Rosalind is finally able to have him declared dead. During the wake Mabel is helping with the guests when she opens the door to a dead man. Rosalind is under suspicion as it is her house and she was originally suspected of disposing of her husband. Her brother Park was a police officer but thrown out of the force for defending his sister.
I loved Mabel’s character. She has moved to London from a small village and is keen to be independent. She is keen, able and flexible, able to turn herself to any task to pay her way. However, she never expects to be at the centre of a murder investigation!
Park and Mabel make an unlikely alliance (could there be a spark of romance for later in the series…?), along with Gladys the dog, to find out the truth and exonerate Rosalind. I liked the 1920s setting and the exploration of London in that era. Class and gender norms are challenged as men and women adapt to life after WW1.
A Body on the Doorstep is an enjoyable start to a series and I look forward to reading the next book about Mabel soon.
A Body on the Doorstep blog tour banner
Fiercely independent Mabel Canning can’t wait to begin working for the Useful Women’s Agency. But when she discovers a body on her client’s doorstep, it’s time to add solving murders to her job description…
London, 1921: Mabel Canning is proud to be a modern woman working for the Useful Women’s Agency, carrying out tasks for gentlewomen from flower arranging to washing muddy dogs. But when she answers the door for wealthy widow Rosalind Despard, she almost chokes on her cucumber sandwich when she finds a soldier’s body on the doorstep.
As she offers tea to the policemen of Scotland Yard, Mabel can’t resist getting drawn into the investigation. Who was the mysterious dead man? And why was he holding a letter for Rosalind, written by her husband on the day he disappeared?
As Mabel hunts for clues, she joins forces with Rosalind’s handsome brother, former detective Park Winstone, and his adorable terrier, Gladys. But when Mabel suspects she is being followed, the detective duo know that time is running out before the killer strikes again.
As she investigates, Mabel discovers dusty old photographs that help her reveal the soldier’s true identity. But as she gets closer to uncovering the young man’s murderer, she knows she’s also one step closer to danger… Can she outsmart the killer and save Park and Rosalind before they also turn up dead as doornails?
A totally unputdownable and utterly charming Golden Age cozy mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Richard Osman, Verity Bright and T.E. Kinsey.
Purchase link:
Second book in the series, A Body At the Seance (out on the same day): https://geni.us/B0CKC3MPYJsocial
Author Bio:
Marty Wingate is a USA Today best-selling author of both mysteries and historical fiction. Marty enjoys weaving humor into her books and creating characters—from quirky and loveable to sinister and duplicitous—that leap off the page. Before embarking on her series about the London Ladies Murder Club with Bookouture, Marty published three contemporary cozy mystery series (the Potting Shed, Birds of a Feather, and First Edition Library books). She has also published two standalone books of historical fiction and found stories of the past to be compelling. She’s delighted to combine her penchant for both mysteries and histories to bring her readers more satisfying stories. Marty currently resides near Seattle, Washington.

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