Death in Sensible Circumstances

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Book Title: Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Series: Miss Mary Investigates (#4 in the series)

Author: Riana Everly

Publication Date: March 1, 2023

Publisher: Bay Crest Press

Page Length:  310

Genre: Historical Mystery

Twitter Handle: @RianaEverly @cathiedunn

Instagram Handle: @rianaeverly @thecoffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #MissMaryInvestigates #Austenesque #HistoricalMystery #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

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Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Riana Everly


A Jane Austen-inspired mystery, set in the world of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, being the fourth novel in the Miss Mary Investigates series.

When Mary Bennet befriends Elinor Dashwood, she expects to become part of the young lady’s circle and be introduced to her friends and relations. She does not expect that one of this circle should die, far too young, and in most unfortunate circumstances. Worse, Elinor is secretly in love with one of the suspects, Edward Ferrars, and he is inconveniently engaged to somebody else. When an investigator is called in to assist, Mary is more surprised still.

Alexander Lyons expects to find death and deceit in his line of work, but he does not expect to come face to face with Mary, who hasn’t replied to his letters of late. What is she doing in London? And how is she involved with this sorry business of murder? Still, despite the tension between the two, they make a good team as they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding them.

From the elegant drawing rooms of Mayfair to the reeking slums of St. Giles, the two must use every bit of wit and logic they possess to uncover a killer, all the while, trying to puzzle out the workings of their own hearts.

Join Mary Bennet, Lizzy’s often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, and her intriguing and handsome friend Alexander Lyons, as they are pulled into the world of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in this, their latest adventure.

Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery
(Miss Mary Investigates, book 4)
Riana Everly


Mary fought to maintain her composure. She smiled at Elinor and tried to give all due attention to her words, but her mind was full of only one thing: Alexander.

Whatever was he doing here? When Colonel Brandon suggested bringing in an expert to assess Lucy’s claims on Robert’s estate, she never imagined that man would be Alexander. She had pictured an elderly solicitor, or some crusty pedant in clothes from the last century and whose vowels could cut glass. Not this young, disturbingly handsome, redheaded Scot who had torn out a piece of her heart.

But of course, it made sense. Alexander was a brilliant investigator and a trained lawyer; he was the perfect person to determine whether Lucy’s claims were valid. She wondered if Colonel Brandon had his direction from her brother Darcy’s cousin, also a colonel, or if Alexander were merely that well known amongst the first circles of society. It mattered not. He was here and she must confront him. Again.

She had a brief reprieve. He had chosen first to address himself to Edward, as she herself would have done. Edward had been the presumed beneficiary of Robert’s will, after all, before Lucy appeared. From Mary’s scant understanding of the law, even had Robert not made a will, Edward would likely inherit his wealth anyway, being the most immediate living male family member. 

But if Lucy had actually married Robert, what was she owed as his wife? Alexander would know! She must ask him… It was such a pity they did not like each other again.

Then Mary caught a word from the men’s conversation. “…the news about the babe.”

Her eyebrows rose on her forehead. This was something she had not heard before. Was there a child? Whose? Not Lucy’s, surely! That would be most scandalous! It hardly seemed like that lady, who put on such a show of innocence. But then, she had been engaged to one man before, supposedly, marrying his brother! However had they contrived that?

How she wished anew that she were a man who could talk of such matters and not be expected to swoon or collapse from the impropriety of it. No, as distasteful as it might be, she must find time to ask Alexander about all he had learned!

“You know this man.” Elinor’s hand on her arm and subsequent question roused Mary from her reveries. “He called you by name.”

Mary pulled her friend to the window seat, where they might talk in some semblance of privacy. “I told you of the man who raised my hopes and then abandoned me,” she began. Elinor’s brow furrowed in concern. “This is he.”

“But, Mary, he hardly seemed to disdain you when he entered. He seemed, well, shocked at first, but then pleased to see you here. Surely, he did not leave with his own heart cold.”

How could one explain? “We have known each other for some time. We met when he was asked to investigate a murder in which my own sister was a suspect. We have battled and made peace time and again, and I have grown to like him very much. When last we saw each other in October of last year, he…” she turned to ensure they were not being overheard. Then she leaned close to her friend so she might whisper. “He kissed me! Or, if I am quite honest, I kissed him. But I assure you, he did not object! That is when I thought he would declare himself and join with the Church and marry me. But he did not; he merely allowed me to return to my family whilst he came back to London, as if it had never happened.”

“Join with the church?” Elinor sounded confused. “Oh, yes. He is a Scot. He must be a Papist. Or a Presbyterian.”

“Worse!” Mary shuddered. “He is a Hebrew!” She really ought not to be so alarmed by this, for she had known it for many months, but it was still something so strange to her accustomed view of the world.

To her surprise, Elinor’s face lit up. “Oh, that is not all bad! Our village doctor at Norland was of that faith. He trained in Scotland, where such is permitted, and he was the best doctor we had. He was ever so clever; he was always making up rhymes and charades to amuse the children. Is Mr. Lyons good at making up rhymes?”

“I… that is… I do not know! He has never spoken of it. But his father was a doctor, near Glasgow. Alexander knows as much of medicine as most of the medical men I know, although he read law at university. He has saved more than one life with his knowledge.”

“He has? How remarkable! What a fine friend you have.” 

Such support from Elinor was unexpected. Her new friend was a lady of such sense and prudence, it was almost incredible that she would not insist upon the proper faith in all of her associates. But perhaps that sense allowed her to see past the first rush of emotion and instinct.

“Did Mr. Lyons give any indication of why he left?” The half smile was still on Elinor’s face and her eyes flickered to where Alexander sat with Edward and the colonel as she continued.

Mary considered this. “He did not leave so much as not continue forward. I do believe he hoped for a continuation of our friendship, or whatever it is we have.”

“Did he write to you?”

This was shocking. “No! Of course not! We are not engaged. It would not be proper. But he did send his warmest regards through my sister, who is married to a great friend of his. But… well, I did not respond.”

“You have not sent him a word since you last saw him? Nothing since October last?”

Mary swallowed in shame. “No. I expected him to come to speak with my Papa. And then it was Christmas, and then I was invited to spend some months with my aunt and uncle here in Town, and then…” She trailed off. 

“Had he any notion that you have been in London since March?”

Mary hung her head. “No. None. Or, none from me.” She looked up at her friend in embarrassment. “Oh, I have done him wrong, have I not?”

Elinor patted her hand. “It is not, perchance, the finest way one should treat those one cares about. But I believe the man still likes you a great deal. Perhaps you might rebuild your friendship.”

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Author Bio:

Riana Everly is an award-winning author of romance, both contemporary and historical, and historical mysteries.

Born in South Africa, she moved to Canada as a child, bringing with her two parents, two younger sisters, and too many books. Yes, they were mysteries. From those early days of The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she graduated to Nancy Drew, and then to the Grande Dames of classical English whodunnits, including Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Others followed, and many sleepless nights ensued.

When not matching wits with Miss Marple and Adam Dalgliesh, Riana keeps busy researching those little, but so-important, details for her next fabulous novel.

Trained as a classical musician, Riana has degrees in Music History and Medieval Studies, and enjoys photography, hiking, travelling, learning obscure languages, and experimenting with new recipes. If they include chocolate, all the better.

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