2021 Reviews · crime · mystery · new release

New Release Book Review: The Mitford Trial by Jessica Fellowes

Title: The Mitford Trial

Author: Jessica Fellowes

Published: November 10th 2020

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 368

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Crime, Mystery

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3.5 stars

The fourth book in the hit The Mitford Murders series by international bestseller Jessica Fellowes sees trouble follow Unity Mitford into the family’s life

A timeless whodunnit with the fascinating Mitford sisters at its heart, The Mitford Trial is inspired by a real-life murder in a story full of intrigue, affairs and betrayal.

It’s former lady’s maid Louisa Cannon’s wedding day, but the fantasy is shattered shortly after when she is approached by a secretive man asking her to spy on Diana Mitford – who is having an affair with the infamous Oswald Mosley – and her similarly fascist sister Unity.

Thus as summer 1933 dawns, Louisa finds herself accompanying the Mitfords on a glitzy cruise, full of the starriest members of Society. But the waters run red when a man is found attacked, with suspects everywhere.

Back in London, the case is taken by lawyer Tom Mitford, and Louisa finds herself caught between worlds: of a love lost to blood, a family divided, and a country caught in conflict.


International bestselling author Jessica Fellowes has produced another suspense filled volume in her Mitford Sisters series titled The Mitford Trial. With plenty of plot twists and a good serve of intrigue, The Mitford Trial charts the rise and popularity of fascism in a world of mounting conflict. Jessica Fellowes has produced another thrilling chapter in her popular historical series.

The Mitford Trial welcomes back Louisa Cannon, a maid who unwittily becomes a spy. On her wedding day, Louisa interacts with a man who asks her to spy on the famous Mitford family. While one Mitford sister has attracted unwanted attention to due an illicit affair, the other Mitford sister is being scrutinised for her fascist activities. Louisa embarks on a glamourous cruise with the Mitford family in an effort to obtain more information about their movements. This luxurious cruise soon ends in disaster when someone is struck down violently and the eye of suspicion is cast on many on board the glitzy cruise.  The Mitford Trial also travels to Britain’s capital as the heroine of the tale is embroiled in family conflicts, rising fascism and a difficult court case. What scandals await the cast of The Mitford Trial?

If you a looking for a great mystery series that takes you inside the world of the rich and glamorous from times past, The Mitford Trial is a good story to turn to. I have only touched on this series a little, having read and enjoyed the series opener when it was released. There have been two more books since Jessica Fellowes first introduced this intriguing series, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet. The opportunity to reconnect with this series thanks to the fourth issue of the infamous Mitford family fold came my way via a review copy of The Mitford Trial.

This time around former maid Louisa Cannon really takes to the floor and directs much of the action in The Mitford Trial. We also gain a significant insight into the world of Diana and Unity Mitford, thanks to Louisa’s spying activities. Fellowes devotes plenty of page time to the wider Mitford clan. With the addition of Louisa’s husband Guy, a detective, the reader is presented with a solid set of interesting characters. Louisa is a joy to follow and I found her warmth, honesty, bravery and movements very interesting. While the Mitford sisters had me swooning over their glamour, elegance and sophistication. I would love to have inhabited their world and I enjoyed watching how these women pushed the boundaries placed on them during these restrictive times.

The main mystery line of The Mitford Trial was full of suspicion, conspiracy, intricate plots and underhanded activities. The scenes based on the ritzy cruise liner allow for a closed type whodunnit case to evolve. Think a good dash of Agatha Christie or even contemporary novelist Ruth Ware. However, I will honestly admit to being a duped by this one. The mystery seemed to be quite complicated and confusing at times. I definitely struggled to get a good handle on this aspect of the story. The Mitford Trial definitely keeps you on your toes.

For me, the period detail is what enticed me to continue reading along, even when some areas of the book proved to be a challenge. The areas focused on the rising popularity of fascism and the growth of Nazism in Germany made The Mitford Trial historically interesting. It was also fascinating to observe the vices of the upper class and their failings as this novel progressed. Injecting plenty of real-life happenings into the book as explained by the author in her historical notes gave this book a great sheen. I’m sure other readers out there and fans of the series will appreciate all that Jessica Fellowes has to offer in The Mitford Trial.

The Mitford Trial by Jessica Fellowes is published by Hachette Australia on November 10th 2020. $32.99.


To learn more about the author of The Mitford Trial, Jessica Fellowes visit here.

*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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