Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series
Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.
This reimagining of George Bernard Shaw’s beloved characters is sheer pleasure. Wouldn’t It Be Deadly transports readers to Edwardian London, from the aristocratic environs of Mayfair to the dangerous back alleys of the East End. Eliza and Henry steal the show in this charming traditional mystery.
The shadowy hallway seemed as black as the heart of Jack the Ripper.
Eliza Doolittle paused at the top of the stairs. Why were the lights turned off on the second floor? Since there were no windows along the corridor, the housekeeping staff normally kept four electric lights burning. But all she could see before her was darkness.
Although she had no idea where it was located, Eliza fumbled for the light switch. She cursed these newfangled devices. How was a soul to know what to do when the electricity went out? When she’d needed illumination
“This debut novel is adorable and should appeal to fans of the characters as well as those who appreciate a fun-filled romp through early 20th century London. The characters lend themselves well to the muddle of a technology-free criminal investigation, and there are several laugh-out-loud moments. All the dead people truly had it coming, and while some might balk a bit at an invented backstory, this is an enjoyable read with great series potential”—Romantic Times Book Review (four stars)
“I could have read all night! A delightful homage to these beloved characters--putting this classic duo in the midst of a murder is terrifically clever and authentically charming. Loverly.”—Agatha and Anthony Award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan
“Set in London in 1913, this tongue-in-cheek series kickoff from the pseudonymous Ireland picks up where the musical My Fair Lady left off.”—Publishers Weekly
“A charming teaming of Eliza, Professor Higgins, and Major Pickering make for an engaging light historical mystery.”—Library Journal
“Oh so lovverly to meet up again with Henry and Eliza in this ingenious mystery. All the beloved characters are here, neck deep in murder and mayhem, and the London setting is a delight. Suspects and red herrings abound on the way to a denouement that's laugh-out-loud hilarious. I hope Wouldn’t It Be Deadly is the first of many.”—Catriona McPherson, Agatha, Lefty and Macavity Award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series
“In this exciting new novel, Eliza and Higgins are still nursing their grievances against each other when a murder forces them to work together. Join them in this delightful romp through early 20th century London as they try to find a killer and clear Higgins’ name.”—Victoria Thompson, national bestselling author of Murder in Chelsea
“The charming and feisty Eliza Doolittle, the masterful Henry Higgins, a Hungarian upstart, a Sanskrit scholar—all are brought together in an intriguing plot. D.E. Ireland gives us a fascinating look into a bygone world.”—Susan Wittig Albert, national bestselling author of The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
“When I first heard that D.E. Ireland was writing Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, a mystery featuring Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, I could have danced all night. We've only been waiting a century for another glimpse of this wonderful duo, and there is no better format than a juicy Edwardian murder. Higgins is his irascible, aristocratic self, while Eliza grows and evolves quickly in a world of society intrigue and danger. They make a wonderful pair of sleuths. Having now read Ireland's work I can safely say, ‘By George, I think she's got it!’"—Will Thomas, author of Fatal Enquiry