"A Body on the Doorstep" and "A Body at the Séance" By Marty Wingate: Reviews/Giveaways

Review by Sarah Erwin

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win ebook copies of both books, and links to purchase them.

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Cozy historical mystery fans will be delighted to learn about Marty Wingate’s latest series, The  London Ladies' Murder Club that begins with book one, A Body on the Doorstep. Best of all, book two, A Body at the Seance is also available, so readers do not have to wait. I was happy to be able to immediately jump into the second book.

Book one opens in London,1921. Mabel Canning is an independent woman who has just moved to London from her small English village, determined to make it on her own. She rents her own flat and takes a job with the Useful Women’s Agency, which assigns jobs ordered by the gentlewomen of London. These jobs can range from picking up books from a shop to washing a muddy dog.

One day, Mabel is assigned to help wealthy widow Rosalind Despard with a wake for her husband who disappeared seven years ago, now legally determined to be deceased. Mabel hasn’t been there long when she opens the front door to find a soldier's body on the doorstep. Scotland Yard is immediately summoned, but Mabel can’t help but be curious to find out who this young man was and why he was holding a letter for Rosalind, written by her husband the day he disappeared.

Mabel quickly becomes friends with Rosalind and with the help of Rosalind’s brother, former detective Park Winstone, and his terrier, Gladys, she begins to investigate. And the page-turning mystery takes off!

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Image Source Bookouture
Book two, A Body at the Seance, picks up a few months later in November 1921. The Useful Women’s Agency has added an additional service, private investigation (that Mabel refers to as the London Ladies’ Murder Club). Here Mabel has been hired through the agency to attend a seance at the home of famous medium, Madame Pushkana. The lights are lowered and the seance begins, when suddenly there is a commotion and Mabel stumbles over the dead body of Stamford Plomley–the very man the seance was supposed to contact since he supposedly died in a fire eight months ago.

Mabel, along with help from Park and her wonderful upstairs neighbors take on the task of determining how Stamford died again and who is to blame. They leave no stone unturned, even when the investigation receives a threatening letter telling her to stop and more dead bodies appear.

Marty does such a wonderful job evoking the Golden Era of mystery. I felt as though I were walking the streets of 1921 London with Mabel. I found myself drinking more tea while reading and googling recipes for seed cake.” The details of Mabel’s cozy flat and her delightfully quirky neighbors felt like meeting new friends I could solve mysteries with. Mabel’s desire to be an independent woman, balanced with her light romantic feelings for Park, gave great depth to her character.

Both books were wonderfully cozy treats, perfect additions to the cozy historical mystery genre. I’m anxious to get my hands on more in the series.

To enter to win ebook copies of both books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "Marty,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 10, 2024. 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 this month.

You can click here to purchase book 1

and here to purchase book 2.

Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

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. Both books sound like great stories. Would really like to read both of them.

  2. I love murder mysteries set in the roaring 20s and know, from other books, Marty Wingate’s descriptions will bring the era to life! kat8762(at)aol(dot)com

  3. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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