The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception Blog Tour: Review

Oh look! A Pride and Prejudice retelling/spin-off. Who would have thought such a book would be on this blog??? Lol. How many times have I talked about how I want to read all the Pride and Prejudice retellings?! Well, I never thought I would find a book (let alone a series!) where Mary Bennet is a British spy but here we are. I loved reading this book!

The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception (Book 3) by Katherine Cowley

Series: The Secret Life of Mary Bennet
Author: Katherine Cowley
Genre: Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Austenesque
Publisher: ‎Tule Publishing Group, LLC (September 6, 2022)
Length: (368) pages
Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

What is a spy willing to do when both her heart and her country are at risk?

Life changes once again for British spy Miss Mary Bennet when Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from the Isle of Elba. Mary quickly departs England for Brussels, the city where the Allied forces prepare for war against the French. But shortly after her arrival, one of the Duke of Wellington’s best officers is murdered, an event which threatens to break the delicate alliance between the Allies.

Investigating the murder forces Mary into precarious levels of espionage, role-playing, and deception with her new partner, Mr. Withrow-the nephew and heir of her prominent sponsor, and the spy with whom she’s often at odds. Together, they court danger and discovery as they play dual roles gathering intelligence for the British. But soon Mary realizes that her growing feelings towards Mr. Withrow put her heart in as much danger as her life. And then there’s another murder.

Mary will need to unmask the murderer before more people are killed, but can she do so and remain hidden in the background?


“Cowley manages to turn a little-liked, ignored, and stilted girl into one of my favorites of Austen’s characters…This third novel of the series is her best. I laughed and I cried and cheered for Mary to succeed in her endeavors and hopefully find love at last.”— Carol Pratt Bradley, author of The Light of the Candle

“5 STARS. Just a delight!”— Wren, The Zebra Reader

“I really enjoyed this book. It is a great addition to the series. I loved that Mary is finding love in a logical way that fits her character…Highly recommend.”— Mariana, Goodreads

“I absolutely love Katherine Cowley’s Mary Bennet series, and I think [The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception] may be the best book in the series.”— Madison, Goodreads




This book was a freaking blast.

Mary Bennet as an English spy?!?! I love it!

Full disclosure: this is the first book I’ve read in the series but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

From page one, we’re inserted right into the story. Mary is training to be a spy but she is soon sent on a mission with her sponsor and the delightfully grumpy, Mr. Winthrow.

Someone important in the army fighting against Napoleon is killed and it is up to Mary and Mr. Winthrow to solve the case. To do this, they both must go undercover. Mary as a man and as a woman who is fine with making out with a guy she just met. And Mr. Winthrow as a detective and as her cousin.

These scenes were some of my favorites because Mr. Winthrow DOES NOT like that Mary is kissing people that aren’t him (they “practiced” kissing together) and Mary is learning more about herself and how to push her own boundaries. She is not the Mary we see in Pride and Prejudice. That girl is still there but with her world expanding so much, so has her point of view.

I also appreciate that Mary isn’t pushed to the sidelines just because it’s a murder and she’s a woman. She is vital to the investigation.

And let’s be honest. Y’all know I love a romance and every scene with Mary and Mr. Winthrow was slow-burn amazingness.

I also LOVED how Mary and Lydia’s relationship was developed throughout this book. Lydia’s marriage is not what anyone thought it was and Mary will not let her sister suffer no matter what their past was like. It really sucked to see Lydia in such bad circumstances, but to see Mary fight for her….it was HEAVEN.

If you love Pride and Prejudice and/or wanted to see Mary get her own story, you need to read this series. I am giving the book 4 out of 5 stars.

TW: domestic abuse, violence

Author Bio

Katherine Cowley read Pride and Prejudice for the first time when she was ten years old, which started a lifelong obsession with Jane Austen. Her debut novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Mary Bennet spy series continues with the novels The True Confessions of a London Spy and The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception. Katherine loves history, chocolate, traveling, and playing the piano, and she has taught writing classes at Western Michigan University. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and three daughters.


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