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British Manor Murder
By Leslie Meier
Pub Date: 27 September 2016
The newest Lucy Stone mystery, British Manor Murder, is a treat for Anglophiles and cozy lover's alike. Once you get past Lucy's whining about the loss of her grandson's company, the book becomes quite enjoyable - the lighthearted fun mystery readers expect from Meier.
Lucy accompanies her friend Sue on her trip to England to see the Earl of Wickham's new hat exhibit. As lovers of British mysteries, Lucy and Sue have quite some expectations about what staying at an English Manor will be like. Needless to say things are not quite Downtown Abbey. Perry and his family live in the former servant's quarters while the house is open to the public. Rather than majestic corgis, they have a pair of untrained labs. Only their eccentric aunt Millicent and her lady's maid still believe in the old ways. What they expect least, however, is a pair of murders and a multitude of thefts. Of course nothing is going to stop Lucy from investigating despite the admonition of a Detective Inspector who is definitely not Morse.
British Manor Murder is definitely an improvement over the previous installment, Candy Corn Murder. This novel demonstrates why the Lucy Stone series became popular.
I received a copy of British Manor Murder from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
“Reading a new Lucy Stone mystery is like catching up with a dear old friend.” —Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author
It's a nippy spring in Tinker's Cove, Maine, and so Lucy Stone can't wait to join her friend Sue at the Earl of Wickham's manor in England for the “Heads Up!” hat exhibition—even if she has to spend her entire holiday curtseying. But at Moreton Manor, privileged life isn't always tea and crumpets . . .
Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly—snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel's gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison's son, Cyril.
Considering the weapon and the clandestine location, Lucy wouldn't be shocked if the murder was an inside job. Cyril wasn't exactly a gentleman, and it's unclear what business he had on the property. Was the victim trying to make off with the family riches before meeting his end? Or was a scorned country squire looking to settle an ancient indiscretion for good? One thing's for sure—the criminal is privy to Moreton Manor secrets . . .
To end the reign of terror, Lucy must keep her ear to the ground and mind time-honored traditions—no matter how unusual. Because Lucy has a hunch that the killer has been in her company all along, just waiting for a chance to make blueblood run red . . .