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Once Upon a Murder (A Lady Librarian Mystery)

Once Upon a Murder (A Lady Librarian Mystery) by Samantha Larsen

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Once Upon A Murder

Once Upon a Murder

Miss Tiffany Woodall must sleuth the slaying of a footman to clear her beloved’s name in the second Lady Librarian mystery, in the vein of Deanna Raybourn and perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

1784 England. Officially hired as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort, Miss Tiffany Woodall is through with masquerades and murders for good. That is, until she stumbles upon the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram. The speed with which her peaceful new life is upended is one for the record books: the justice of the peace immediately declares her the primary suspect in the murder.

As Tiffany hunts for the truth to clear her name, she learns that Bernard got into a fight over a woman at the local pub the night of his death–but he was also overheard blackmailing Samir. The justice of the peace arrests Samir, and Tiffany realizes that her life may have more in common with a tragic play than a light-hearted romance.

With her love locked up in jail and her own reputation on the line, Tiffany must attempt to solve the murder before the book closes on her or Samir’s life.

Publication Date: February 20, 2024
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639106219
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639106219
Digital  ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C4J6WW7B

You can purchase Once Upon A Murder at the following stores: Amazon – B&N – Books A Million – Powells Books – – Target – Walmart 

10 Crazy Eighteenth Century Trial Rules

Author Guest Post: Samantha Larsen

Once Upon a Murder

  1. The accused was not allowed to speak in their own defense at their trial. This wasn’t changed until 1898.
  2. The accused in a felony charge could not see ‘the written record of evidence’ against themselves until 1839. It would have been difficult for a person or their legal representative to prepare for the trial, because they did not know what ‘evidence’ would be presented to the judge.
  3. There were over 200 hanging offenses; including, impersonating an army veteran and sheep stealing.
  4. A criminal’s body would either be given to a surgeon for dissecting or hung in chains at a crossroad. This practice wasn’t ended until 1832.
  5. Fellow citizens were paid to be informers and received part of the fines collected. Pointing the finger could be a lucrative business.
  6. Trials were swift and typically lasted only one day. The first trial to go longer was in 1794.
  7. Executions were just as fast. By law, executions had to be carried out within two days of sentencing.
  8. If accused of treason, the guilty party lost their land and everything else that they owned. This wasn’t changed until 1870.
  9. A hanging could draw crowds of thousands. The executions of a husband and wife, who were murderers, drew over thirty thousand people in 1849. Public executions did not end until 1868.
  10. Not all trials ended in death. Many criminals were sent to the American colonies until the American Revolution. After, criminals were sent to Australia. This practice ended in 1858. “Between 1810-1852 some 140,000 convicts were sent ‘down under’” (Poole, 139).


Pool, Daniel. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew. New York: Touchstone, 1994.

Samantha Larsen — Author of Once Upon a Murder

Once Upon a MurderSamantha Larsen met her husband in a turkey sandwich line.

They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, having tea parties, and chasing her four kids.

She has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Reading (UK).

She also writes historical romances under Samantha Hastings. Learn more at

Learn more about Samantha by clicking any of the following links: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X.

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February 15 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Dianne Casey

    New author to me. Sounds like a good read.

  2. Elena

    Sounds good to me too!

  3. Samantha Hastings

    I’m glad that I wasn’t on trial then! Thanks for the lovely post.

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