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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Murder at Westminster: A 1920s Historical Cozy Mystery by Magda Alexander is the second book in the Kitty Worthington Mystery series. Kitty has no interest in accepting proposals from either a lord, a scoundrel, or anything in between, even if it's London's social season and she's causing a stir by being a single woman. Then a murder hits close to home. Her sister Margaret's new friend Sebastian is the prime suspect in a lord's murder and his apparent motive is enough to raise suspicion. Kitty and her family believe in his innocence and she is determined to prove it. As she digs up secrets that certain nobles may not want to be exposed, she turns to her closest friends for help in traipsing around London and stirring up trouble in social circles. Kitty is an independent young woman and she refuses to allow anyone – even the inspector – to stand in the way of her investigation. She knows the killer is at large and refuses to give up until she has the proof she needs to save her friend.
The story is set against the backdrop of London in the 1920s as Magda Alexander captures the essence, gender issues, and beauty of the period. The introduction is a good example of the charm of Alexander's writing, which makes you immediately fall in love with this world. Kitty's perspective on polite society and the social scene is evident. The women in Alexander's story are strong-willed, outspoken, feisty, and perfect in their creation. Margaret shines a light on the fight for suffrage and has a strong voice and never fails to speak her mind. Her dynamic with Sebastian reflects her independence and her goals which makes their relationship successful. The focal point of the plot is Sebastian's family, with him standing up to his hateful grandfather to protect his sister from a forced marriage, which provides the ideal motive for murder. He's a well-rounded character that also stands out against the period in his encouragement and support of Margaret's independence. Kitty shines the most by going about the investigating on her own. This sleuthing pits her against the views of the time in humorous yet defiant moments. Alexander masters the art of historical fiction with Murder at Westminster, a mystery that is beautifully written with exceptional female characters, empowering prose, and a murder that shakes up London's high society.