"The Case of the Disgraced Duke" By Cathy Ace: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

The fall season has the WISE Enquiries Agency busier than ever, with each of the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and English women juggling a case that will challenge their unique assortment of skills. A deft artist at blending in and working undercover, English working-class Annie Parker is the perfect candidate to follow-up on the fears of two women who fear that their father is being taken advantage of by his new girlfriend. She is the one who also designates the best names for their cases, and so she embarks on the Case of the Suspicious Sisters.

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Image Source Four Tails Publishing
Meanwhile, Henry Devereaux Twyst, eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth, is driving his very pregnant wife Stephanie insane with his helicopter-hovering overprotectiveness and worries. While Chellingworth Hall closes to the public for the season and necessary repairs must be done, they have found a means of paying for some of the costly renovations by allowing a TV crew to film some of the construction. It is one of the producers who mentions the Thirteenth Duke of Chellingworth and rumors that he buried two corpses on the property during his stay in the 1800s. It’s a scandal that the Chellingworth family has never looked too deeply into out of fears of what they might find. Feeling obligated that her soon-to-be-born child know the truth about their family lineage, Stefanie asks her friends of WISE to investigate the fate of Frederick Algernon Devereaux Henry Charles, aka The Case of the Disgraced Duke. 

Now that she has a toddler in her home, Welsh Carol Hill, is working from home and using her financial and computer skills to tackle the Case of the Aggressive Acquisition, a wealthy investor attempting to fast-track and pressure the buyout of local hair salons. Scottish Mavis finds herself pressured into taking on the Case of the Purloined Pickles when local police are less than enthusiastic about the possible theft of hundreds of jars of pickles that were entries for a charity pickle competition. The final “I” of the team, Irish Christine Wilson-Smythe, is pursuing a mystery far closer to home when she begins to have suspicions about the man she has allowed into her life. 

Despite the multitude of investigations going on – there’s still the Case of the Roofer Who Relinquished his Responsibilities and The Case of the Antiquarian and the Artist to tackle. It’s easy to follow each one as they quickly put together puzzle pieces and find answers for their clients. Although they are mostly working apart in this fifth of the series, their unexpected but very strong friendships make each interaction rewarding. Irish Right Honourable Miss Christine Wilson-Smythe, daughter of the Viscount Loch Carraghie and Ballinclare, proves to be one of the most complicated and fascinating characters, and at times the most prickly due to her guardedness. Despite her youth, her lineage has made her extremely distrustful of others, and unfortunately that is greatly affecting her relationship with the wealthy rogue Alexander Bright.

The bonds between the women have grown stronger and more complicated as this series has progressed, with their friendships breaking through societal class and race structures. Their romantic relationships are diverse and compelling as well, but despite their different backgrounds and ages they all experience similar feelings of anticipation, fear, and love. The Dowager from the first in this series, Lady Althea, has become a stalwart force throughout the novels as she once attempted to rule over them but has now become a source of inspiration and support. Her bulldozing over a rather ill-prepared conservative priest in order to celebrate a Nos Galan Gaeaf ancient Celtic tradition on Halloween is an absolute delight, and one never doubts who will win in the end. The WISE agents and their growing circle of friends continue to be entertaining and resourceful investigators as they take readers on a scenic tour through Wales and its long history.

To enter to win a copy of The Case of the Disgraced Duke, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "duke,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen early for this one on September 28, 2022. US & Canadian residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email be sure to include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.  

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. The Case of the Disgraced Duke by Cathy Ace sounds like a royally wonderful book to read!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. You get six or more mysteries in one book? Count me in!

  3. this sounds like a fun book. Would love
    to read it. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. New one for me but the setting sounds lovely and I enjoy an intriguing cold case.

  5. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

  6. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

  7. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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