Listen free for 30 days

Dying for a Duke

The Regency Romance Mysteries, Book 1
Narrated by: Gerard Marzilli
Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Straightlaced, imperious, and morally rigid, Benedict Rutland - the darkly handsome earl of Rothay - gained his title too young. Responsible for a large family of younger siblings that his frivolous parents has brought to bankruptcy, his youth was spent clawing back the family fortunes. Now a man in his prime and financially secure, he is betrothed to a strict, sensible, and coolheaded woman who will never upset the balance of his life or disturb his emotions....   

But then Miss Skeffington-Fox arrives. Brought up solely by her rake of a stepfather, Benedict is scandalized by everything about the dashing miss. But as family members in line for the dukedom begin to die at an alarming rate, all fingers point at Benedict, and Miss Skeffington-Fox may be the only one who can save him.  

Review - "An Intriguing murder mystery and romance set in Regency-era England! Emma V. Leech is proving herself a superb author not only in the realm of fantasy and paranormal romance but also in regency romance and historical fiction and has sealed the deal with Dying for a Duke, adding a twisting plot with a good old fashioned whodunnit to the delight of this murder mystery fan. A definite must read for both historical fiction romance and murder mystery readers!" (Lady Bookapple Blog)

©2017 Emma V Leech (P)2018 Emma V Leech

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carôle
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 20-05-19

Not quite The Grand Sophie!

For the first 2 chapters this book has the tone and style of Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophie! Practically all of the main characters are there, but it quickly goes its own way and is not quite as endearing!

The story tends to drag a little in the middle, and the murder/mystery turns out to be unnecessarily lame & unthinking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Well Told, Well Read Tale

Disclaimer: this audiobook was received for free in exchange for an honest review

Benedict Rutland, the Earl of Rothay, is disciplined, determined, and has successfully rebuilt his family fortune - with no help from his rather more generous mother (Lucilla) . Life is shipshape, and his betrothed a perfectly sensible match, Miss Theodora Pinchbeck

Then Miss Phoebe Skeffington-Fox arrives, beautiful, mouthy, and showing excellent taste in her expensive acquisitions. As the beloved stepdaughter of a recently deceased uncle, she has been taken in by Benedict's mother and brings discomfort and chaos in her wake by daring to have a personality.

But worse even than that, suddenly, nothing can be quite what it was as death's claws begin to grip the family, and Benedict and Phoebe find themselves at the pointy end of accusing fingers.

I'll be honest here, I'm rarely a fan of cishet romance tales, especially set in this period, as they tend towards both the tropey and the sexist, but I do enjoy a good murder mystery, and Leech imbues Phoebe with more personality and strength than the cardboard cutout I expected, which was refreshing.

Benedict is kind of an arse, as you would expect. The frivolity of his mother, Phoebe and the young twins plays nicely off of his attitude to the world around him, as does the tightlaced attitude of his of his fiance, as the plot develops.

While there's nothing new here, Leech's voice is polished and weaves the interconnected parts of the story well. More than that, I was entertained throughout, with more than a few chuckles. It was clear that Leech enjoyed painting the characters and their interactions, carefully picking out both the frustrations and the pleasantries to show the reader.

Moreover the story knows just what it is. Both the romance and the mystery build slowly alongside each other as the tale makes it way towards a climax (pun definitely intended), without feeling rushed or forced. Leech's skill at this is evident at all stages.

As to the narration, Marzilli is excellent. As a student of accent, and a long-time voiceover artist, he is able to give each character a distinct voice and rhythm of speech, without falling into the usual traps of exaggerated intonation. Instead he subtly distinguishes between character classes, locales and types, whilst never leaving the reader behind as he switches. There a few hesitations in the flow of his speech that could have benefitted from another pass, but nothing to ruin the enjoyment of listening.

In all, an enjoyable experience, would definitely recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Started well but didn't hold my attention much

Unfortunately, after a promising start it became a case of 'instalove'. The author tried to make the story interesting but instead of being kooky Phoebe became irritating and she was supposed to be the one to like.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

I love the story and the narrator was nice to listen to. However be warned that there aren’t the distinguishable voices for the characters that other narrators do.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jane Doe
  • 13-03-19

Romance and mystery

Well narrated and written fun story. Good character development. I will look for the next in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lita Reynolds
  • 28-11-18

Such a fun and well written read!

Emma V Leech is brilliant!
Her paranormal romance novels always leave me breathless, so it comes as no surprise that her regency romance is just as alluring!!

I really enjoyed this story, and devoured every twist and turn all the way to the very last chapter. Intriguing and fast-paced, I was constantly on the edge of my seat. The characters are truly well developed. Our heroine, Phoebe is delightfully refreshing. Ben, of course, is everything a woman dreams of. I even liked Lizzie, to be honest. The plot is well thought out; the writing, in typical Leech fashion, is elegant as always.

The only negative to my entire review was the narrator. He sounded great, but I really wanted a different tone for each character, as you have with most audiobooks. It was hard at times to distinguish between characters. Other than that, I absolutely loved this book. Cannot wait for the next in this series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful