Berkley Prime Crime
Date: September 2003
it at Amazon
Mystery / Historical (WWII) / Cozy
Manor House Mystery, No. 5
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.
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.
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.