Last Duke Standing*

Trying to Figure Out the Mysterious Death of Previous Duke

Alex never expected to be the duke. After all, he is the third son. However, soon after he returns from the Peninsular War, he learns that his elder brother Freddy, the current duke, has died in his sleep. Alex believed his death to be from natural causes, even though his brother appeared to be in good health. But when Lady Georgiana, the former duke’s betrothed, notices a little detail, suddenly Freddy’s death appears to have been murder by asphyxiation. Lady Georgiana and the new duke team up to try to figure out who might have wanted to kill Freddy. Neither really trust each other at first. He sees her as an aloof busybody. Lady Georgiana sees him as a potential suspect, since he had the most to gain from Freddy’s death, along with others who were in the house around the time of Freddy’s death.

Will they figure out who murdered Freddy? Will they get over their dislike and distrust of each other? Is the current duke in any danger?

The author did a good job showing Alex’s discombobulation at becoming the new duke. He never really did expect to assume the title. He doesn’t like having to deal with his brother’s former betrothed but can understand her need for answers as he has a similar desire for them. Lady Georgiana is a complex character. She’s not quite like most other heroines in this type of historical romance. She’s not sweet or naive, she’s not drop-dead gorgeous, and her character is more than a little prickly. Yet she takes excellent care of her mother (who’s recovering from a stroke), and her grief about Freddy seems real, even though she didn’t really love him (was more fond of him). I found myself loving the scenes she was in because of her determination to figure out what’s going on.

If you like historical romance with murder and suspense, you might find this book enjoyable.