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Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite
What a great read! Karen Hanson Stuyck clearly knows her audience. A Deadly Courtship (An Alexandra Sinclair Mystery) is a fast-paced, adventurous kind of historical romance that has more going for it than just seeing two of the ton fall for each other. We open the book with Alexandra Sinclair having recently become heiress to a large fortune. Word of her newfound wealth has spread around the various circles of society, and she is having no trouble finding herself a plethora of suitors. If only they cared more about her assessment of Mary Wollstonecraft's latest work than the fortune she's set to inherit.
Alex finds the constant parade of seedy, needy, and odd men tiresome, to say the least. But when she begins to turn some of them down, fortune seems to take a more dangerous turn for Alex. Her aunt sends her off in the company of Benedict Nash, Viscount of Litton, a man who has explicitly made it clear he considers Alex an abominable marriage partner so he should - in theory - be a safe travel companion. Although the plot jumped around a bit and seemed a tad rushed in places (I would have loved to have the various failed courtships slowed down a bit in the beginning!), the overall story was fun, mysterious, and enjoyable.
What I particularly liked about our main character, Alex, was that she isn't focused on finding a man. She and her mother and grandmother before her are staunch advocates for women's rights, are well-read, and care deeply about their charitable works. I loved seeing Alex's dedication to continuing her grandmother's legacy at The Refuge, and found the whole secondary plot line about her grandmother's murder and rebuilding the women's shelter to be nearly as exciting - if not more so - as the romance that gradually built between Alexandra and Benedict. Overall, an excellent read and one I would definitely recommend!