I've always been fascinated by the Mitford sisters, so I was really looking forward to reading this. And I did like it a lot, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I had thought it would be an Agatha Christie style cosy mystery, with the Mitfords as the detectives (or friends of the detectives). Instead, The Mitford Murders is more historical drama with the murder mystery as a sub-plot. And, as it is set from 1919-1921, the Mitford sisters are quite young children, with only the eldest, Nancy, featuring in the story.
In addition to the Mitfords, the plot features the real-life unsolved murder of Florence Nightingale Shore - goddaughter to the famous nurse. The story starts with her walking to her death, then skips back in time to introduce Louisa Cannon, a young woman desperate to escape her life of poverty in the East End of London and an abusive uncle, by applying for the job of nursery maid to the Mitfords. By coincidence, Louisa ends up travelling on the same train as Florence, although she doesn't realise it at the time. When Nancy discovers this, plus the other connections Florence has to the Mitford family, she is determined to investigate the murder and solve the crime.
I really enjoyed this book. I particularly liked the insider information on the Mitfords and the glimpse into their lives, and I loved Nancy! So this would definitely appeal to anyone who loves historical novels or Sunday evening period dramas such as Downton Abbey. However, I do feel that readers expecting a 'golden age' cosy crime in the style of Agatha Christie, would find there is too much day-to-day detail about the Mitfords and not enough murder mystery.
Thank you to Jessica Fellowes, Sphere, and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.