Whom Death Tolls by Kate Kingsbury
For Whom Death Tolls, the third installment in Manor House series, offers up a cozy mystery as it updates series readers on life in Sitting Marsh. Back to solve another cozy crime is Lady Elizabeth Compton, along with her cook, Violet; the secretary, Polly; the senile butler, Martin, who swears the late master is haunting him; and Gracie and George, the pups.
There were no spoilers to be found. If this is the first for any reader, jumping back to the first in series will not be a problem.
As life goes on in Sitting Marsh, the villagers, like all of England, continue to survive wartime. Rationing is still a requirement, but some how Violet is able to serve up some bountiful meals at the Manor. Lady Elizabeth is determined to discover how this is possible.
The American Air Force Officers are still housed in the Manor's East wing and this time it's a Cricket match between the English and American soldiers that Elizabeth hopes will break up the animosity between the two armed forces.
Again the village housewives are given the chance to bear garden tools and frying pans when the bell tolls warning them the Germans have arrived. They learn it's a false alarm, but discover an American solider is tied to the tower's bell rope. Someone has committed murder.
Since the Air Force is investigating the crime, Major Monroe requests Lady Elizabeth urge the villagers to cooperate. After solving two mysteries, Lady Elizabeth is confident she can solve this one, so it's a sleuthing she will go.
Although the era and characters are different compared to Ms. Kingsbury's Pennyfoot Hotel series, this series is just as entertaining. The author gives her readers a chance to really get to know the characters. Her writing style is light and easy, so reading up on either Sitting Marsh or her other series, the Pennyfoot Hotel, is a wonderful way to pass the evening.
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