Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin US)
Release Date: June 4, 2004
ISBN: 0425194906
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre:   Cozy, historical mystery
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  Review One

Berried Alive
By Kate Kingsbury

     Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton is back for a sixth case. Still poor and still in love with married GI Major Earl Monroe, she endeavors to keep the peace in the picturesque village of Sitting Marsh. This time somebody is murdering red-haired American servicemen, and the other thing they all have in common is that they spent their final hours at the Tudor Arms. Bad feeling against the GIs is building up, and there are not only several suspects to quiz but several more redheads in the troops…

       Kate Kingsbury is surely the Queen of the Cozy, first with the Pennyfoot Hotel series and now with this one. She has the right, light touch and there are some very funny moments in here too, to do with packets of soap, missing glasses and the humorously quarreling inhabitants of both the Manor and the village. As with the other two books in this series I have read (reviews of A Bicycle Built For Murder and Death is in the Air are also on this site), the story is longer on charm and shorter on plot than it could be. But the WWII background is spot on and very well described, with all the little details that make it appear real and immediate - what good historical fiction is all about. The formerly sketchy portraits of the other denizens seem to have been fleshed out, so a fuller picture of Sitting Marsh appears to complement all the meticulous research. This is a very entertaining, amusing and delightful novel, but the addition of a more convoluted plot would make it even better.