Rose Donovan

Welcome! I’m a best-selling author of the Ruby Dove historical cosy mystery series. Join Ruby & Fina on their 1930s sleuthing adventures in search of justice and a roaring good time. 

Series 1:
The Ruby Dove Mysteries

The early adventures of our intrepid amateur-spy sleuths.

Series 2:
Partners in Spying Mysteries

With many cases under their fashionable belts, Ruby and Fina are ready for more!

Partners in Spying Mysteries


Reedsy Discovery Review by Laura Hartman:

“Ruby and Fina are anticipating a quiet Christmas. But the snowy peace of Quenby College is shattered when the police come looking for Ruby. She and Fina escape to a relative’s plush country home — only to find that Aunt Millie has a few surprises in store.

As the mercury drops, Ruby and Fina are drawn into a web of false identities and half-truths. Why did someone spike the cocktails during the after-dinner jazz? Who stole Aunt Millie’s priceless hatpin collection? Could it be a coincidence that all the house guests were also present on the day when Fina’s father was murdered?

With the police on their tail, and a killer on the loose, the two dressmaking sleuths have to use all their considerable wits to solve Fina’s family tragedy – and bring a little joy back to Christmas.

Spending the holidays with the aunt that disowned her after her father’s death was definitely not on Fina’s list of things to do. But when the constable showed up at Oxford looking for her best friend Ruby, the girls need to get away from the college before one or both of them spend the holidays in jail even though neither of them has committed a crime.

Fina used to love her Aunt Millicent, known to most as Lady Shillington. But after Fina’s brother was wrongfully hanged for the murder of Fina’s father, Lady Shillington cut all ties with Fina and her mum after the trial, so it came as a surprise that she would invite Fina for the holidays.

Because Fina knows her brother was innocent, she and Ruby decide to find the real killer when visiting the village for the holiday. Unbeknownst to them, Lady Shillington has invited all of the people involved with the untimely deaths to celebrate the holidays at her home.

Fina, Ruby and their friend Pixley are locked in a snowbound mansion with the person or persons that are undoubtedly the murderer or murderers. Will someone else die before Christmas dinner is served? Fina and her friends must find the killer but who can they trust to help trap the guilty person or persons?

This historical cozy mystery set in the 1930s it is full of red herrings, twists and turns. Like all cozies, the murder is not graphic and the gumshoes are college students, not police inspectors. But do not discount the detailed hunt for the killer using the only tools available to solve crime in the early 1900s, which pretty much amounts to good old brain power.

Reading Ms. Donovan’s book is reminiscent to one of my favorite authors, Dame Agatha Christie. Setting up the suspects in a snowbound house, asking them to meet in the drawing room and the cleverly satisfying conclusion was extremely gratifying. I can picture Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot nodding at Ms. Donovan saying “Well done!”

This is the sixth book in the Ruby Dove Mystery Series. It is the first one I have read. It works fine as a standalone novel, but there were some references to previous cases that escaped me. That is okay, because the reader in me will seek out the five previous books so that I can be privy to the inside jokes between Ruby and Fina as well as learn about their previous cases that were referenced in The Mystery of Ruby’s Mistletoe.”

Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman


Reader Reviews

“Taking place on an exclusive and sophisticated train, it pays homage to Agatha Christie’s Orient Express but has its own twist.” — Goodreads Reviewer

“I love trains and mysteries, so a mystery set on a train is a real treat for me.” — Amazon Reviewer

“It is a clever literary device as it creates a small, intimate and isolated environment for the murder mystery that inevitably ensues, and provides a cast of distinctive characters who are all well described and with interesting back-stories, providing several suspects with possible motives for the killing.” — Amazon Reviewer

“I anxiously await Ruby and Fina’s next adventure!” — Amazon Reviewer

“The plot grabbed my attention right at the beginning and held it right to the end.”

“This series is like watching a 1930’s mystery/comedy with the tongue in cheek comments and antics of the characters that just make you laugh out loud.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Great series and great writing!”– Amazon Reviewer

“‘Clue” has always been my favorite board game, and going on a murder mystery cruise is on my bucket list, so I was beyond thrilled at the opportunity to read this book, and I wasn’t let down.”– Amazon Reviewer

“The plot had a lot of twists and turns that are necessary for a good mystery.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Vivid descriptions of locations and events make you feel as if you are part of the story. Strong women characters, political intrigue, and a murder mystery that keeps you guessing as to who the murderer is and the motive behind the murders.”– Amazon Reviewer

“If you love this genre this is a must read.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Kept you guessing right until the very end.”– Amazon Reviewer

“A delightful cozy mystery.”– Amazon Reviewer 

“Well worth 5 stars.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Lovely vintage mystery.” — Amazon Reviewer

“Perfect” because it’s a rare murder mystery that I don’t figure out the identity of the perp long before the reveal.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Smart, vivid and fun.” — Amazon Reviewer

“Cozy with an edge.”– Amazon Reviewer

“Definitely keeping an eye out for the next in the series!”– Amazon Reviewer

About The Author

Rose Donovan is a lifelong devotee of golden age mysteries. She now travels the world seeking cosy spots to write, new adventures to inspire devious plot twists, and adorable animals to petsit.  

Email her at

Please note that the paperbacks are affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage of the sale in addition to the book royalty. Thank you!

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