Friday, December 10, 2021

Review: "The Debutante's Code" by Erica Vetsch

A new Erica Vetsch Regency novel? Yes, please!

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

The Debutante's Code is a captivating Regency mystery. The first thing to understand (and what I didn't grasp at the beginning) is that this novel is, at its core, a mystery, while the romance is ... practically non-existent. This isn't a problem, necessarily, but as someone who enjoyed Vetsch's Serendipity & Secrets series, which were very much romance novels, I was expecting this novel to follow suit. I imagine there will be much more romance in future novels, but this one was all about the mystery and establishing Juliette and Daniel in their new vocational roles. (Note: This is on me, not Vetsch. The cover clearly states this is part of the "Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries." I just made assumptions based on her previous work.)

As for the story itself, I really enjoyed it once I stopped looking for romance and started appreciating the story that was there. I especially enjoyed Juliette's adventures with her Uncle Bertie, a man who turned out to be not at all who she'd thought him to be. Mystery and suspense abound throughout the novel, and I found it to be a really fun reading experience. (Do I wish some of the code Juliette was trying to break had been given to readers? Yes. I'd have enjoyed trying my hand at cracking it ... not that I would've been successful!)

Juliette and Daniel are both likeable protagonists, which made rooting for them easy. Several characters from Vetsch's Serendipity & Secrets series pop up, as well, and "The Gentleman Spy" himself, Marcus Haverly, appears poised to play a prominent role throughout this series. 

The book ends with this particular mystery wrapped up, and it opens up the path for many more Thorndike and Swann adventures in the future - a prospect I'm eagerly anticipating! 4 stars.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Buy the book (Amazon ad).

Read my reviews of Vetsch's The Lost Lieutenant (4-1/2 stars), The Gentleman Spy (4 stars), The Indebted Earl (5 stars), and her novella Wonders of His Love (5 stars, found in Joy to the World).

Enter the giveaway!

Erica Vetsch
is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.

Vetsch is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series.

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review through Read With Audra. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I enjoyed this one as well. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Glad to hear it, Cindy! I hope you have a great weekend, as well!

  2. Thank you for hosting The Debutante's Code on your blog! <3


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