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
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.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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35 Responses to “A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener”

  1. 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!

    Faye D'Social Potato ( recently posted: ARC Review: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor
  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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! 🙂

    kimberlybuggie recently posted: Bout of Books! – Wrap Up Post
  6. 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. 😀

    Christy recently posted: Easy by Tammara Webber
  7. 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!

    Melliane recently posted: The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
  8. 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.