Book Review: Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings

Posted February 10, 2023 by WendyW in Uncategorized / 33 Comments

Of Manners and Murder
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Dear Miss Hermione #1
by Anastasia Hastings
Publication Date February 7, 2023
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical, Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Of Manners and Murder is the first in the delightful new Dear Miss Hermione mystery series from Anastasia Hastings.

"Evokes the shocking revelations of Wilkie Collins, the social acuity of Jane Austen and the comic melodrama of Oscar Wilde."—Wall Street Journal

1885: London, England. When Violet's Aunt Adelia decides to abscond with her newest paramour, she leaves behind her role as the most popular Agony Aunt in London, "Miss Hermione," in Violet's hands.

And of course, the first letter Violet receives is full, not of prissy pondering, but of portent. Ivy Armstrong is in need of help and fears for her life. But when Violet visits the village where the letters were posted, she finds that Ivy is already dead.

She'll quickly discover that when you represent the best-loved Agony Aunt in Britain, both marauding husbands and murder are par for the course.

Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings is the first book in her exciting new series Dear Miss Hermione.  A historical mystery series set in Victorian England.  

Story Recap:

When Violet’s Aunt Adelia leaves town with a new friend, she leaves Violet all her files from her advice column, Miss Hermione.   Violet now has to answer readers’ questions on life, love, and friendships, with just a few minutes of explanation before Aunt Adelia leaves on her own adventures.  

Her first letter is from a young woman named Ivy Armstrong and she’s in fear for her life.  But, by the time Violet gets to Ivy’s village, Ivy is already dead.  Now she must find the killer.  

My Thoughts: 

This is the first book by Anastasia Hastings I’ve read and it won’t be my last.  I enjoyed this mystery set in Victorian England.  Violet is a terrific character, she’s not a simpering woman of the times, but an educated and assertive woman who was raised to trust her own instincts.  Her half-sister, Sephora is the opposite.  Sephora is a sweet, spoiled, and naive young woman.  Sephora also gets mixed up in the mystery and I loved that the two sisters, who are about as opposite as you can get, get some time together and start to appreciate each other’s finer traits. 

The mystery was interesting and although it wasn’t too difficult to figure out, there were enough suspects to keep me guessing for a bit.   I can’t wait for the next story to see what Violet and Sephora get up to next.  


I highly recommend Of Manners and Murder to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries.   I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Anastasia Hastings

Why so many pen names?

Good question! And while every author who uses a pseudonym has a particular reason, mine is simple enough–the name on the front of my books is based on the kind of book it is.

Kylie Logan’s Jazz Ramsey mysteries are set in Cleveland and follow the story of Jazz who has a volunteer passion she loves–she trains and handles cadaver dogs. They are traditional mysteries which means that like the neighborhood where Jazz lives, the books are a little dark, a bit edgy

Casey Daniels writes the Pepper Martin mysteries with tongue firmly in cheek. Pepper is chic, sassy, and savvy. She also has a gift she’d like to return. She talks to the dead, and solves mysteries for them at the historic cemetery where she works.

Lucy Ness, on the other hand, gives readers stories that are warmer and cozier. They’re centered on Avery Morgan who gets a job managing a grand women’s club and discovers the ghost of a flapper in the old basement speakeasy.

And soon, Mimi Granger will join the list of my pseudonyms. Mimi’s digging into her romance roots and mixing in some mystery mojo for the Love is Murder mysteries. Watch for the first book, “Death of a Red Hot Rancher.”

What these books have in common is that they’re all mysteries.

But you’ll see that I have other names listed on this site, too. Constance Laux and Connie Lane are just a couple of the names I used back when I first started writing. I broke into publishing writing historical romances and since then, I’ve also written contemporary romance, books for young adults, and one children’s book.

But all the time I was writing in those other genres, what I was reading–what I really loved–were mysteries. I love the twists and turns of a mystery. I love the secrets and the lies, the red herrings and the surprise endings that seem to come out of nowhere–until you realize the author has been preparing the reader for it all along.

I learned to love a good who-dunnit early thanks to my dad, a Cleveland Police detective who enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories and spent many of his days off searching for stolen cars. Often on those trips, I was along for the ride and to this day, I have Dad to thank for my knowledge of some of the less-savory parts of the city. Later, I read my way through every mystery at the library. Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle, and Elizabeth Peters are among my favorites.

I have a degree in English, experience in journalism, and a love for old cemeteries, dusty archives, the paranormal, and digging into family roots.

When I’m not in front of my computer, I enjoy life with my husband, David, and our dogs. Lucy is a shaggy beast of questionable heritage and Eliot the Airedale is the model for Wally in my Jazz Ramsey books. I enjoy cross stitch, knitting, weaving, stomping through cemeteries, gardening, and sitting on the porch and watching the hummingbirds while I plan my next murder.

Book Challenges:

Reading Of Manners and Murder counts towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

33 responses to “Book Review: Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia Hastings

  1. I am glad to see this review on your blog. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.
    I do enjoy historical mysteries and I was eyeing this in audio on NetGalley. I may request it this week.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. […] Review: Secretly Yours by Tessa BaileyFriday: Book Review: Just My Type by Falon BallardFriday: Book Review: Of Manners and Murder by Anastasia HastingsSaturday: Book Review: Maureen by Rachel Joyce. Saturday: Stacking the ShelvesSunday: Sunday Post. […]

  3. In the past year or so, I’ve begun to dip my toe into more mysteries and I’m loving it. I might have to add this new series to my TBR because it sounds like a lot of fun!

  4. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    Sounds like the perfect setting for a mystery! Glad you enjoyed this one.