Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Murder at the Marlowe Club by Kate Parker | Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

Murder at the Marlowe Club (The Milliner Mysteries)
by Kate Parker

About Murder at the Marlowe Club

Murder at the Marlowe Club (The Milliner Mysteries)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: JDP Press (February 24, 2020)
Print Length: 209 pages
Digital ASIN: B083M97VWP
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A corpse in a corset. A dangerous gambling den. A perilous path between safety and peril. 
London, 1905. Leading milliner Emily Gates' illegal shortcut through a private park in the rain brought her straight to a scantily clothed corpse. Then her route took her straight into the hands of the indefatigable Lady Kaldaire, who recognized the body as a relative of her longtime friend, the Duchess of Wallingford. Lady Kaldaire blackmailed Emily before to find Lord Kaldaire's killer. Why not this murderer, too? 
Emily has plenty of reasons why not, but finding links between her father's nefarious family of crooks and conmen and the debauchery of the secretive Marlowe Club involves her in the investigation led by the handsome Inspector Russell of Scotland Yard. Emily discovers more than she expects about the licentious world of the corpse through her aristocratic customers, including Georgia, heroine of the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, now the Duchess of Blackford. 
Are the scandal rags correct, or has the victim been maligned by a mastermind who'll stop at nothing to gain everything? 
This is a historical cozy mystery with no graphic violence, sex, or foul language. Just exciting action, mysterious events, and surprising endings.

The Guest Post

Edwardian Life

Life in Edwardian times, generally thought of as the years between the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 and the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, ran more slowly than modern times. While breaking away from the Victorian era in some regards, in others life would have been more familiar to the Victorians than to us.

Electricity, and the laborsaving devices it made possible, was still not readily available outside the cities and not considered reliable or trustworthy. Servants would be cheap and readily available until the disruptions of World War I gave people new, better paying, opportunities. The middle class, expanding since Victorian times, continued to copy the aristocracy by hiring servants and giving middle-class wives leisure time.

Emily Gates, who is middle middle-class because of her successful millinery business, has a “daily,” live out help for cleaning, and a neighbor, Mrs. McCauley, who cooks their dinner when she cooks for her own family. This leaves Emily free to work longer hours in her shop as well as investigate when Lady Kaldaire calls on her to solve a murder.

The idea of a woman in the workforce was slowly gaining traction in a few professions before the First World War. Beginning in late Victorian times, women were going to college and coming out qualified to be teachers. Typewriters were coming into widespread usage, and women were being employed as typists, although secretaries were still male. Add to these women who were shopkeepers, like Emily or Georgia Fenchurch before she became the Duchess of Blackford, or working as servants, and it becomes apparent that women were making up a larger percentage of the workforce. World War I only sped up a change that had already begun.

While fashions changed nearly as much and as quickly as they do today, the corset, and being laced into it, was as integral a part of women’s clothing in Edwardian times as in Victorian. There were entire movements to reform the shape and style of a corset to make them less constricting, but in general, it took two people to put on a corset. One to wear it and one to fasten it from the back. As long as the corset remained fashionable, women couldn’t live alone.
This is something I don’t address in either of Emily’s stories. She doesn’t live alone so, presumably, Noah could lace up her corset. Alternatively, the “daily” could when she comes to clean in the morning.

For Lady Kaldaire and Georgia, now the Duchess of Blackford, there are servants to take care of every household need. For Emily Gates' grandmother, there are her son’s wives living nearby to help. There are also the poor in the East End where they live who could be hired to clean and mend. I try to make clear, though, that Gran is justly proud of her cooking. The kitchen is her domain, and the one servant she would not hire is a cook.

Imagine living in a world without vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and instant hot water. Imagine living where everything had to be done by human hand. The Edwardian world would have been more familiar to the Victorians than to us in the twenty-first century. Still, change was on the horizon in the form of automobiles, the slowly growing use of electricity, and telephones.

Kate Parker brings you an Edwardian world full of tea and danger, fancy hats and murder, in The Milliner Mysteries. Murder at the Marlowe Club is the second in the series.

About Kate Parker

Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery books and her father’s library of history and biography books. Now she can’t write a story that isn’t set in the past with a few decent corpses littered about.

Author Links

Website - www.KateParkerbooks.com,

Facebook - www.facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker

BookBub - www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-parker

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - AppleKobo

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March 1 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

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March 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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