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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt for "Death in Sensible Circumstances"

Book Title: Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Series: Miss Mary Investigates (#4 in the series)

Author: Riana Everly

Publication Date: March 1, 2023

Publisher: Bay Crest Press

Page Length: 310

Genre: Historical Mystery

Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery

Riana Everly


A Jane Austen-inspired mystery, set in the world of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, being the fourth novel in the Miss Mary Investigates series.

When Mary Bennet befriends Elinor Dashwood, she expects to become part of the young lady’s circle and be introduced to her friends and relations. She does not expect that one of this circle should die, far too young, and in most unfortunate circumstances. Worse, Elinor is secretly in love with one of the suspects, Edward Ferrars, and he is inconveniently engaged to somebody else. When an investigator is called in to assist, Mary is more surprised still.

Alexander Lyons expects to find death and deceit in his line of work, but he does not expect to come face to face with Mary, who hasn’t replied to his letters of late. What is she doing in London? And how is she involved with this sorry business of murder? Still, despite the tension between the two, they make a good team as they seek to unravel the mystery surrounding them.

From the elegant drawing rooms of Mayfair to the reeking slums of St. Giles, the two must use every bit of wit and logic they possess to uncover a killer, all the while, trying to puzzle out the workings of their own hearts.

Join Mary Bennet, Lizzy’s often overlooked sister from Pride and Prejudice, and her intriguing and handsome friend Alexander Lyons, as they are pulled into the world of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in this, their latest adventure.

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Author Bio:

Riana Everly is an award-winning author of romance, both contemporary and historical, and historical mysteries.

Born in South Africa, she moved to Canada as a child, bringing with her two parents, two younger sisters, and too many books. Yes, they were mysteries. From those early days of The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she graduated to Nancy Drew, and then to the Grande Dames of classical English whodunnits, including Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. Others followed, and many sleepless nights ensued.

When not matching wits with Miss Marple and Adam Dalgliesh, Riana keeps busy researching those little, but so-important, details for her next fabulous novel.

Trained as a classical musician, Riana has degrees in Music History and Medieval Studies, and enjoys photography, hiking, travelling, learning obscure languages, and experimenting with new recipes. If they include chocolate, all the better.

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Book Excerpt:

Death in Sensible Circumstances: A Sense and Sensibility Mystery (Miss Mary Investigates, book 4) Riana Everly


Alexander rose very early the next morning after a night of very little sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, there was Mary, laughing, teasing him, challenging him. Being in all the places she was not supposed to be: St. Giles, his office, his head! What in the name of Heaven had she been thinking? What had become of the demure and moralistic virago who had been so offended by his comments just three years past? She had turned almost brazen!

Nor had she shrunk from that kiss. He had issued the invitation, and she had accepted with enthusiasm. She had closed those last few inches between them and placed her hand on his cheek, and made him forget about all of London. This was becoming a habit, one which he could come to rely upon far too much. Mary Bennet had become a part of him, and he never wanted her to leave.

He lay in bed for longer than he ought, dreading the morning ahead and wanting to retreat into his all-too-pleasant dreams, but then twisted himself out from under the thin blankets. His room, on the second storey of this narrow building, was still warm from the sultry summer evening, but he threw on his coat, nonetheless. Had he only been walking down the flight of stairs to his office, he might have carried it with him, but he had an appointment at this unseemly hour.

The sun’s fingers were gilding the city in their pale gold embrace when he found one of the few hacks around and climbed aboard. The driver looked at him askance when he gave the direction. That field, only a short way out of town, and at such a time as this—not even a quarter past five in the morning—could mean only one thing.

“Not you, sir?” the driver asked.

“No indeed. I am trying to stop it.”

“Very well then.” And the hack started on its way.

Colonel Brandon and Willoughby were already at the field when he arrived. Their seconds were conferring by one of the nearby carriages, their backs to Alexander, although he heard the murmur of their voices. He thanked the driver and paid his fare; he would get a ride back to London with Brandon, or the doctor if need be.

“Lyons!” Colonel Brandon called from the field. “What the devil are you doing here? You have no need to witness this. Go back to Town.” The man looked fierce, almost feral, in his sporting wear. He swung a sword about in his hand as if it were a twig and his practice feints and lunges appeared, to Alexander’s eyes, deadly.

To Willoughby’s too, if the man’s face was any indication. He strutted about at the far end of the field in an attempt at nonchalance, but his ashen skin and rapid breathing, noticeable even at this distance, suggested the truth was otherwise. His one hand dandled a sword; the other moved up to mop sweat from his forehead every few seconds. Perhaps Willoughby was an unacknowledged master of swordplay, but if Alexander were a betting man, he would place his wagers on Brandon.

“What can I do to stop this?” Alexander called out as he crossed the field towards Brandon.

“Nothing our seconds have not already tried. I want those letters, and I want this cur out of London for good. But first, I want my drop of his blood.”

Willoughby looked up at these words and turned, if possible, an even paler shade of grey.

“He is terrified, Colonel. He can hardly walk in a straight line. Are you so cruel?”

Brandon bored into him with his eyes. “The cur ought to have been less cruel when he seduced and abandoned my ward, Eliza. He ought to have been less cruel when he dallied with Marianne. He ought to have been less cruel when, after marrying for money alone, he sought to coerce sweet Marianne into an illicit tryst, against her will and against her nature. No, Lyons, I am not the one who is cruel. Willoughby made his bed. Now let him lie in it.”

There must be some way to reason with him. “You cannot wish to do this. You will be a murderer; you risk hanging, unless you flee England. What good will you be to Eliza then? How will you be of use to Marianne?”

“I shall not be swayed, Lyons. Now leave me.”

Brandon turned his back and resumed his stretching with some deep lunges in the other direction.

At this moment, the seconds and doctor emerged from where they had been conferring at the carriages. One of those men was familiar. Alexander walked over and greeted his friend with a grim handshake.

“Colonel Fitzwilliam! What are you doing, embroiled in this nonsense?”

Fitzwilliam was Darcy’s cousin, and the two had met some years before in the course of a case. Fitzwilliam had not Darcy’s handsome visage and great fortune, but he had the advantage over his cousin in being the son of an earl. To his own merit, however, he was a friendly and gentlemanly fellow and was always excellent company.

“I wondered if I would see you here, Lyons. In any other place, I would be delighted. No, Brandon here asked me to be his second. I was as surprised as any man. We are friendly, indeed, but not intimate friends. I think, perhaps, he wished for as impartial a pair of eyes as he might procure for this ill-advised event. I have spoken long with Haversham there,” he gestured to a thin young man who must be Willoughby’s second, “but the men will not be swayed. Brandon wants justice and Willoughby is too cocksure to allow him his satisfaction. They have met before, so I believe…”

“And both men walked away unharmed. I fear we shall not be so fortunate today. Willoughby has brought much suffering to Brandon and those he loves.”

The colonel grimaced. “I am not of such a bent as this, but I too should be tempted to call a man out for such insults.”

Willoughby’s second walked over, his watch in his hand. “Time,” was all he said. Fitzwilliam nodded curtly and went over to the field to summon the two combatants to come forward. The doctor strode over to stand with Alexander but did not introduce himself, and the two stood as silent and unwilling witnesses to what Alexander hoped would not be carnage.

At the call of en garde, the opponents took their positions, weapons held before them. Swords touched at the call of prêt, and at allez, the fight began. At first, nothing happened. The two men stood facing each other, swords intersected in a mockery of St. Andrew’s cross. Willoughby leapt backwards, his sword held out before him, beyond Brandon’s reach, and for a moment Alexander thought he might turn and run. But he held his position. Both men shifted on their feet, tiny motions that betrayed the tensions in their muscles, their stances adjusting and adapting to each shuffle. Then, without warning, Willoughby lunged. The swords met with a great clang, and Brandon deflected the attack as if he were swatting a fly. Willoughby leapt back and the brittle silence began again.

Alexander’s breath stopped in his throat. In the stillness of the early morning field, every blade of grass, every chirp of distant birds, came into the sharpest of relief, until the entire universe was focused upon that spot, not so many yards distant, where the two duellers faced each other. Silent, still…

Then, with a shout, Brandon leapt forward and darted to the side as Willoughby tried to block the attack. Metal struck metal, and the din flooded the area, punctuated by shouts and grunts as the two waged their personal war. It seemed to last for a year and a moment.

Now Brandon hung back, catching his breath. Was he wounded? Was he less fit than he thought? Willoughby advanced with careful steps, the tip of his blade circling in the direction of Brandon’s heart.

Closer, closer…

And Brandon lunged again.

Follow the Blog Tour:


Riana Everly
Riana Everly
May 18, 2023

Thanks for the opportunity to say hello here on this tour.


Cathie Dunn
Cathie Dunn
May 17, 2023

Thank you very much for hosting Riana Everly today, with an excerpt from her intriguing release, Death in Sensible Circumstances. Cathie xo

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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