Murder Most Welcome

Murder Most Welcome is now available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon UK

Story Outline

Cover Picture of Murder Most Welcome

Outwardly a grieving young Victorian widow, Charlotte Richmond is concealing some scandalous secrets when she arrives at Finchbourne Manor to start a respectable new life with her husband’s family.

The wealthy Richmonds must never discover that her husband Frampton’s recent death in the Indian Mutiny came as a great relief to Charlotte. Nor must they hear about the rumours circulating in the army regarding both his scandalous behaviour and money missing from the officers’mess. His death has also been the subject of speculation and Charlotte must take care not to spill any secrets. Above all she must make certain that nobody in her new life hears of her own adventurous upbringing in Australia, knowing that any whisper about her past would cause her to be sent packing.

When the past catches up with Charlotte, and a murder is committed, she begins to fear for her own life.

What do other people think of it ?

Here are some reviews of Murder Most Welcome.

Charlotte Richmond is an outwardly grieving Victorian widow who comes to live with her husband’s family. Her husband’s apparent death in India came as a welcome relief to Charlotte, and she hopes to settle down to a quiet life in an English village after her own rather shady upbringing. When her husband returns unexpectedly he puts the house in an uproar. It is when he is murdered for a second time that the fun starts and Charlotte’s own past threatens to catch up with her. Villains and fainting Victorian ladies — this book has it all. Nicola Slade’s attention to period detail and fast action with a mix of romance makes this a worthy successor to those 19th-century sensation novelists. It is a well paced and witty read from start to finish, and one of the most entertaining books I have ever read.

Karen Wintle, "Historical Novel Review"

In Murder Most Welcome Nicola has distilled all the elements of Victorian novels into her characters — the overbearing matriarch, the sniping wife to the heir, the weepy sister in need of someone to look after her — all these fill the pages of the novel and bring it life a parody of all the dramatic novels that the Victorians loved so much. Charlotte is a strong character with a very deep past and is characterised very well. It is a murder mystery with a reviving supposed corpse and a surprising denouement and, of course, ends happily.

Frances Strange, "There’s More to Life — Hampshire", quarterly newspaper

In an engrossing crime novel Nicola Slade introduces an unusual heroine. The Victorian setting of 1858 is well portrayed both physically and emotionally. The central character, Charlotte Richmond, is a young widow who has travelled to England from India to live with her husband’s relatives. Charlotte is not a fainting heroine unable to manage for herself - her upbringing in Australia has made her self-reliant and resourceful. She is, however, alone in the world and very pleased to settle into the English country life of her middle-class in-laws.

The book is well paced as the development of Charlotte’s happy involvement in village life is interrupted by a surprising event. Some of the characters are grotesque examples of the period — the hunting vicar, the mysterious Indian, the lower class grandmother and the mother-in-law in a wheelchair.

The characters are listed at the beginning in typical Victorian fashion but their descriptions are brutally direct. I enjoyed the establishment of the setting, the gradual revelation of Charlotte’s dark past and the shockingly climactic murder. Charlotte undertakes her own efforts to discover the cause of death which she knows is murder while everyone else assumes it to be natural.

Mystery Women Magazine

You won’t want to put it down.

What a great idea to have a 'who’s who' at the beginning of the book. Ms Slade has managed to put humour, murder and suspense all into one book and I bet you will have trouble putting it down. As a previous reviewer commented her attention to historical detail is spot on.

Having read Scuba Dancing, it was lovely to see her quirky sense of humour appear again in a totally different type of book.
Well done.

Val C (Surrey)

Great fun, wittily written with tongue in cheek and I sat down over the weekend and read this straight through and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nicola pays tribute to Jane Austen as one of the characters, who Charlotte finds herself attracted to, rejoices in the name of Mr Knightley and some fun is had with this. The doctor who is called out to look after Frampton in his illness is called Mr Perry and I had a quiet grin at this as well.

As I always liked Mr Knightley I was pleased to note that in Murder Most Welcome, his wife’s name is Elaine …

Elaine at Random Jottings

Murder Most Marvellous.

Charlotte Richmond is the most delightful widow you could ever wish to meet. She has a shady past but all she really craves is comfort and security. But, when she fetches up in lovely Hampshire countryside at the family seat of her departed husband, thet very comfort and security she thinks she has found are soon threatened, especially after her husband is killed for the second time. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Nicola Slade has a considerable talent for comedy. But that is not her only talent. Murder Most Welcome ingeniously turns the Victorian literary tradition on its head without compromising reality. Here you will find the usual suspects including a blushing curate but there is more to this novel than meets the eye. Every little snippet of period detail is correct, including ox eyes for breakfast and Waterloo teeth for chewing tough meat. And if this wasn’t enough there is also a charming and tender love story featuring the most delectable Austenesque hero - oh, and I almost forgot, a cracking murder mystery that will keep you guessing right up to the shocking denouement and subsequent highly satisfactory conclusion. Brilliant!

Queen Victoria would have been very much amused.

S. Zigmond of Yorkshire

Wonderfully subversive — and very funny!,

I was chuckling from the very first page of this cosy Victorian murder mystery. ‘Murder Most Welcome’ concerns Charlotte Richmond, a wonderfully subversive heroine who wants nothing more than to attain respectability with her late (thankfully) husband’s family in a nice English village after an unconventional — not to say hazardous and slightly shady — upbringing in Australia. Charlotte’s private thoughts are a joy to read as she edges towards surface acceptance, only to have her new life threatened by the unwelcome resurrection of her husband. Fortunately for Charlotte, the unsavoury Frampton is only around long enough to set everyone by the ears before he is murdered (again). The thing is — if Charlotte didn’t do it, who did? Read the book. You won’t be disappointed.

Jan Jones

A thoroughly entertaining book, with great characters and an excellent plot that kept me guessing until the end. Murder Most Welcome is an education in the lives of the Victorian gentry, and a fascinating insight into how a family depends upon appearances.

Jane Austen Fan (England)

An entertaining mystery set in 1858, Murder Most Welcome features a lively, sympathetic heroine, as well as a host of beautifully drawn characters. It is written with pace and humour, and features an intriguing murder.

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