"Elite Secrets" A Maid Ivy Cozy Mystery By Hazel Smith: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

“Maid” for Murder!

Ivy Stone is living the dream in London, making new friends, enjoying Monty her growing Great Dane, and building a reputation as an amateur detective. She works at one of London’s most prestigious hotels, the Hotel LaFontaine, as part of housekeeping, but she’s also been involved in three murder investigations: one a bride, then a fashion designer, another a Hollywood diva. Although her role as a hotel maid affords her unfettered access about the facility, she relies on her close friends in the kitchen, concierge, and housekeeping to spy, eavesdrop, and gather clues. She earned the gratitude and friendship of the hotel’s owner Sir Maximillian Hardy Humphrey for saving the hotel’s reputation on more than one occasion, and gained the respect of Inspector Clayburn for her determination and cleverness. She’d, of course, prefer to do just her job without interruptions and have fun with her friends and furry roommate, but it seems that just might not be possible.

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Elite Secrets Earns 5/5 Silk Ties … Clever & Entertaining!

Hotel LaFontaine is a popular destination for a variety of events from fashion shows to awards’ ceremonies to hosting bridal parties, especially for the British “elite.” The groom, Henry Lancaster, once named Britain’s most eligible, is also the only son of the insanely wealthy and scandal prone Sir Richard Lancaster. The bride, Phoebe Turner, is herself from old money, but also not immune from family scandals as evidenced by the frequent tabloid headlines. Everyone’s busy, but Ivy’s curiosity is piqued after witnessing a couple of odd occurrences. First, Sir Richard has a creepy exchange with Mrs. Becker, the demanding head of housekeeping, and later, the Lancaster’s family physician, in the middle of his list of demands, seems spooked and abruptly departs. These two incidents may spark Ivy’s interest, but it’s the murder that really grabs her attention. Inspector Clayburn is not allowing anyone to leave, guests and staff alike, so Ivy and her friends are set to hunker down at the hotel. The only problem? There’s a killer roaming the halls, and they’re not done.

Here Comes the … Newest Hit! Hazel Smith has brought another clever drama compounded by multiple victims, exciting predicaments at all hours, and a cast of characters from upstairs and downstairs to the third book in her Maid Ivy Cozy Mystery. There’s always the possibility for conflict when the entitled engage with the help, but with the lockdown, the close proximity can only be trouble. With the hotel staff in every corner of the hotel, something is bound to be heard, seen, or discovered, so what will Ivy make of all the arguments and threats? Prenups, a secret twenty years old, dismissed consciences, and an additional victim. Karma may have checked in!. Ivy has the confidence of the detective, so she, her friends, and Monty have near free reign to spy. But, this also puts a target on them by a killer who wishes continued anonymity.

Hazel’s writing style is very entertaining with clever clues entangling several suspects (some too close to Ivy), twists to challenge any cozy expert, and predicaments that put our heroes in danger. Her clear descriptions don’t overload the mystery, yet paint the beauty of the London hotel and the diverse cast of characters. I love a bit of romance in my cozy, and there are a few couples to follow, but for Ivy, however, what started sprouting as more than friendship has hit a snag. Clever mystery with a surprise conclusion. Fun personalities with great friendships. Realistic techniques and collaboration with the police. A “couldn’t put it down” experience with a desire for more!

Recipes! I love my cozies with recipes, and in this book Hazel Smith includes two easy-to-follow recipes with Tips & Tasty Options: Blueberry Muffins. Macarons. Hazel is eager to hear about using her “yummy” recipes. Join her Deliciously Addictive Cozy Mystery Community Facebook group to share your experiences.

Maid Ivy Cozy Mystery

Twisted Wedding (2022) Prequel Subscriber’s FREEBIE

Mystery Maid (2022) KRL Review HERE

Deadly Diva (2022) KRL Review/Interview HERE

Elite Secrets (2023)

Subscriber’s FREEBIE! Twisted Wedding is a story available as a FREE gift HERE to those reader subscribing to Hazel Smith’s newsletter. Ivy is off to a private Scottish isle to help out at a lavish wedding, but when a bride plunges to her death, Ivy can’t help but snoop around. She finds herself “dodging flirtation, sampling delicious dishes, and falling in love with Monty the pup,” but while snooping, she discovers some secrets are worth murderous intent. Earns 5/5 Scottish Ballads!

Be a Big Fan of Hazel Smith!

“Hazel Smith is the pen name for an introverted homeschool mom who lives in small-town in Canada. Faith, family and food bring joy, hope and occasional drama to her life. In between taking care of her family & home, her free time is spent creating cozy mysteries on the porch with her laptop or in her favorite wingback chair whilst nursing the baby and typing with one finger.”

Facebook: Hazel Smith Cozy Mystery Books 

Website: Hazel Smith Cozy Mystery Books

Enter to win an ebook copy of Elite Secrets by Hazel Smith by making a comment below about a potpourri of topics: (1) your favorite hotel or hotel experience, (2) a favorite wedding anecdote, or (3) are you a fan of blueberries?, or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "elite,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 15, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. 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 goes up next 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:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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. I am a fan of blueberries! Count me in!

  2. Sounds like a fun book. Looking forward to reading it.

  3. mmmmm blueberry muffins yum
    can't wait ti read it

  4. Huge fan of blueberries!

  5. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  6. Went to a wedding once, the Mother in Law sang a song to the Bride & Groom. We quietly laughed until we cried. JackieT

  7. Love blueberries. Cute and colorful cover would be great to read sounds like fun. Usersns8800@aol.com


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