A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener

May 19th, 2014 Kimberly Review 35 Comments

19th May
A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener
A Dangerous Madness
by Michelle Diener
Series: Regency London #3
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie... He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life...but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he's asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone believes he still is to find out more. Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too... All her life she's played by society's rules, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it's gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, though a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he's been murdered, she realizes he wasn't so harmless after all. And now the killers have set their sights on her... The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker--a man she knows she shouldn't trust. And she soon realizes he's hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the clock ticks down to the assassin's trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy behind the prime minister's death. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.

I love Michelle Diener’s historical suspense mysteries. They are all based around actual events, with delightful characters and a side dish of romance. A Dangerous Madness is connected to her previous novels; The Emperor’s Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies since we see characters from those novels but all are standalone and can be read in any order.

It is 1812, and the man her father arranged for to marry before his death has just jilted Phoebe Hillier. It was not a love match, but Phoebe has always played by the rules. She soon discovers her ex-fiancé was involved in a plot to a sinister plot. The Duke of Wittaker, a notorious rake and scoundrel to the ton, is actually a spy for the crown. For the first time, he wants to step down but when the prime minister is assassinated, and there is a rush to trial, well duty calls. Phoebe soon finds herself in trouble and turns to the Duke for help. As the two work together, they quickly realize the other has been living a lie. The tale that unfolds is suspenseful with sweet moments, and I found myself lost within its pages.

I love the characters that Diener creates, and Wittaker and Phoebe were delightful. Phoebe who always plays the dutiful daughter is, quite smart. She has wit and does not crumble under stress. I adored how she spoke her thoughts and made her desires clear. Ah, the Duke of Wittaker. Can we just take a moment to say, “Yum?” He is devilish handsome, noble and admittedly lonely. It is hard to lead a double life. He has a commanding presence and is forwarding thinking regarding a female’s intellect making him swoon-worthy. The characters were strong, believable, and I easily connected with them both individually and as a team.

A Dangerous Madness is a suspense woven around historical facts that Diener explains in the back of the book. The way in which she uses real names and events add an authenticity to the tale. All of the secondary characters were colorful and the thread regarding the assassination was fascinating. Diener has us tagging along with Phoebe and Wittaker revealing clues and facts to us. Little side stories about old characters and chefs add interest. The romance is secondary and very clean but oh so charming. There were some hilarious moments as well as sweet, tender ones that made me smile. Once again, Diener delivered, and I closed this novel satisfied.

Fans of historical fiction, suspense and mystery, will enjoy A Dangerous Madness. The romance was sweet and added that perfect touch without bogging down the tale. I have enjoyed all of Diener’s regency era novels and look forward to the next one.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

35 Responses to “A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener”

  1. Teddyree

    I love the sound of this one but I have to read Banquet of Lies first, it’s been waiting patiently for me. I think we claim Michelle as an Aussie author now so I’ve been remiss waiting so long lol

  2. Michaela

    Ooh I really like the sound of this book! I have been looking for a good historical fiction book to read, I need a break from the sci-fi genre. This looks like it will work nicely :). Thanks Kimba!

  3. Dani

    Sounds very interesting! I may just have to give it a try. Thanks for the informative review!!

  4. Jan

    This sounds good! Thanks for the review, Kimba! I’m off to find out more about the book and the author.

  5. aurian

    This sounds very good, I know Blodeuedd is a big fan of this author, so she is already on my wishlist. One day …

  6. Meg

    I am reading this book next week! I have really enjoyed the other books that I’ve read from Diener 🙂

  7. Lupdilup

    Oh! I don’t think I ever read/listened to anything from this genre before. This really sounds like something I could enjoy, specially when I get tired of too much romance…It happens… so the other aspects in the plot could be a real winners for me.
    Thanks Kimba! I hope you are feeling a little better today.

  8. Melliane

    Oh it’s nice to know it’s based on real events, it’s something quite rare! It’s been a few months since my last historical romance, I really should go back to the genre, I love a good book like that. thanks for the review!

  9. Christy

    I love the cover; the blue against grey is so pretty. Wittaker is a favorite name of mine (even though he’s a Duke of). I want to name my next pet Wittaker. 😀

  10. kimberlybuggie

    This sounds like a great book! Awesome review! Now I’m going to add it to my Goodreads To Read pile! I really like it when an author adds real names and events to their story. It gives it that added layer of realism and makes me feel like I’m reading something that really happened! 🙂

  11. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh love that there is a lot of suspense here. I really enjoy these kind of historicals. It really sounds like she does her research! Oh so needing to add this one to the list. Darn you. 😉

    Btw, hope you are feeling a lot better!

  12. Carmel

    It’s great when an author knows their stuff, and is able to back-up that knowledge with names and events. Wittaker and Phoebe sound like wonderful characters as well.

  13. Lisa

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a historical romance novel… and definitely not one with a mystery side too! I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one. Great review! 🙂

  14. Katherine

    I’m always looking for new historical romance authors and this one sounds like a good one! Love the concept!

  15. Debbie Haupt

    OOh sounds good Kimba, I love suspense with my romance. And I especially like that the author uses real history in her fiction.

  16. Kim { Book Swoon }

    This sounds like a wonderful series, especially given the fact that it’s an historical that includes some yummy facts woven into it’s mystery – love that! The sweet romance between Wittaker and Phoebe sounds great too! 😉

  17. Candace

    I love that this is based on actual events! That makes it even more appealing to me for sure!

  18. Heidi

    This is an author I have been wanting to try for far too long. I enjoy a good historical suspense every now and then and I like that she actually bases it on real events.

  19. Mary

    Ooh, this sounds good! Phoebe sounds like my kind of gal and I do love a yummy Duke to drool over…

  20. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I do not read historical novels very often, but when I do, I love when there is a mystery. That is a gorgeous cover, too!

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. finley jayne

    This book has such a beautiful cover! I’ve never read anything from this author, I’ll have to look into her books some more 🙂

  22. Nick

    I don’t think I’ve read a historical romance with a mystery in it ever! I need to give this a shot because it combines two of my favorite genres. Phoebe sounds like a character that I would really enjoy! Also, describing Wittaker as “Yum” is more than enough to make me want to try this book (Yup. I’m that shallow 😉 ).
    It’s interesting how the author uses real life events to craft the story. I’m very curious! Lovely review, Kim and I hope you’re feeling much better now!

  23. Ginny

    I’ve been wanting to try more historical fiction and this sounds like it might be a great author to start. I like that you mention great characters and that the suspense is woven around historical facts. Thanks for introducing me to another “new to me” author and genre that I think I would really enjoy.

  24. Jessica

    You know, a couple of months ago I had never even heard of Diener, but now, not only do I have a ton of her books on my wishlist, I actually won a hardcopy of one that I cannot wait to read. This one sounds fabulous as well 😉 A clever heroine who keeps her cool under pressure, and a devilishly handsome Duke . . . how could it not be?

  25. Franny

    Oh, I’ve recently seen this book on Goodreads and I was quite drawn to it… Thank you for your beautiful review, I’ll definitely check this one out! 🙂

  26. Silvia

    This sounds soooo good!! You know I love historical fiction, so this is definitely a book series I need to check out. Thanks for the great review, Kimberly!

  27. Livia

    Mm, the Duke of Wittaker sounds yummy indeed! I need to show some love to historicals, I’ve been on a break for maybe too long, lol!

  28. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I love books that combine historical facts and fiction. If it comes with an author’s note, I’m pretty much in. Historical suspense mysteries aren’t really within my comfort zone, but who cares? This sounds so lovely.

  29. kara-karina

    That’s exactly how I felt, K.! 🙂 She leaves me satisfied every time, and I love her characters,- they are always so equal to each other, equally strong, it’s a pleasure to read about them. Excellent review, darling!

  30. Faye D'Social Potato (

    So wait, you mean this is a historical fiction mystery that’s actually quite accurate in its portrayal of events and people?! Le gasp! Haha. You got my intrigued by this book, lady! It sounds fantastic, and I actually am looking for a historical read that will make my mind escape to another time and another place. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  31. kindlemom1

    I love that the author uses real events and people for her books! That is such a bonus. Adding this one to my TBR wishlist.