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Death Plays a Part is a charming cozy

Death Plays a Part A Cornish Castle Mystery by Vivian Conroy HarperCollinsUK HQ Digital General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 07 Jul 2017


With it's beautiful setting on the Cornish coast and its charming lead, Death Plays a Part makes for an enjoyable reading experience. It is a cozy mystery that will appeal to a wide range of ages.

Guinevere is a costume maker, but as the London theater she works for is being remodeled, she has taken a job cataloging the library of Cornisea Castle. Her arrival coincides with the rehearsal of the trial of a historic villain from the area. The intention is to draw tourists, but police are drawn instead as one of the cast is murdered. Haydock is a thoroughly despicable man, but it looks like Lord Bolingbrooke was the only one with an opportunity. Though he has a definite motive, Lord Bolingbrooke proclaims his innocence, and Guinevere believes him. With the help of Bolingbrooke’s prickly son Oliver and her dachshund Dolly, Guinevere sets out to prove his innocence and find the real killer.

As a cozy, Death Plays a Part isn't very serious, but it does ask in various ways what are children's (grown) responsibilities towards the past. The small island is struggling economically and the question is how to maintain tradition while bringing in the tourist dollars that the economy needs. This is an issue facing many areas, so it is easy to accept its role in Death Plays a Part. The mystery is fairly straightforward as there are few possible suspects, but despite its simplicity the novel is quite enjoyable. As the next novel in the series is set in the same area, I hope more time will be spent on characterization. Apart from Guinevere, the other characters were shallow depictions. This is the novel’s main weakness. I look forward to giving Vivian Conroy's next novel a try.

3.5 rounded up to 4 / 5

I received a copy of Death Plays a Part from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



With high tide comes murder… When her beloved London theatre closes for renovations, costume maker Guinevere is excited to start a job at Cornisea castle, a centuries-old keep on a small tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. Imagine a whole summer full of stories of hidden treasures, fab food and long walks with her perky dachshund Dolly. But when a reenactment of a medieval trial in the castle dungeons ends in real-life murder, and accusations threaten the castle's future, Guinevere and Dolly dig deep into the island community's best-kept secrets to unmask the killer and save their Cornish summer. The first book in the Cornish Castle Mystery series with the second instalment RUBIES IN THE ROSES coming August 2017!

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