Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: September 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19215-6
Format Reviewed:  
Buy it at Amazon
Read an Excerpt
Genre: Mystery / Historical (WWII) / Cozy 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Brenda Weeaks 
Reviewer Notes:  

Paint by Murder
A Manor House Mystery, No. 5
By Kate Kingsbury 

     In her fifth Manor House Mystery, Lady Elizabeth is in a hurry to solve the death of Cottage Number One's tenant, painter Basil Thorncroft. Throncroft's isn't the first death in this cottage. Those following the series know that Number One isn't the luckiest estate cottage to rent. Elizabeth visits the out-of-retirement constables to get answers. Someone higher than the inspector is handling the case and it's a secret. Needless to say, Lady E sets out to solve the case herself. Major Monroe is Lady E's confidant, and their relationship moves another step forward.

     Rita Crumm, the local glory hound, is set on winning Mr. Churchill's gratitude for her war efforts. As leader of the Housewives League, she has the ladies practicing, even in the rain. During practice, the ladies think they are witnessing a spy in action. It's enough to stir up the rumor mill and keep the ladies busy. Their bumbling antics add some light-hearted entertainment to the mystery.

     Paint by Murder is the best in series so far. The War plays a strong role in all of the Manor House mysteries, but this episode seems to really bring it home. The mystery, with its espionage storyline, is solid, with plenty of suspects to keep the armchair sleuth busy. This may be a light mystery, but the wartime fear is apparent and the relationships being built are touching. Kingbury's scenes with the local women falling in love drum up images of the black-and-white war movies. I can almost hear the haunting music as the couples draw close, only to lose ground. Very romantic. But then again, Kate Kingsbury, aka Doreen Roberts knows all about romance. Ladies, I recommend picking up one of Doreen Roberts Silhouette romances once you finish Paint by Murder.