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High Marks For Murder
A Bellehaven House Mystery

by Rebecca Kent
(aka Kate Kingsbury)

      Young widow Meredith Llewellyn is the headmistress of the exclusive Bellehaven Finishing School, where she presides over fifty impressionable young girls. The last thing she expects is to encounter a dead body on the grounds, especially when it is one of her staff. Kathleen Duncan has been killed by a tree branch - but whodunit?

This is the first in a new series by the popular cozy writer better known as Kate Kingsbury. It is a simple, linear tale involving the ghost of the deceased trying to tell Meredith soundlessly about how she met her end while the headmistress and two of her teachers look for clues. Personally, I would have preferred more sleuthing and less of the supernatural; and although we are permitted with the third person viewpoint to see things from not only Meredith’s viewpoint but also that of two maids, the students themselves remain elusive. I also wanted to know more about what it would have been like at an Edwardian finishing school but this too is left largely to the imagination. There are a number of pointers towards interesting developments in future books - the new teacher, the school’s enigmatic owner, Meredith’s new talent for seeing ghosts and the mysterious "pasts" of the three main characters. Hopefully, the second book might seem fuller, and give us a more well-rounded look at the characters and what they do apart from sleuthing.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group)
3 June 2008
0425222047 / 9780425222041
Historical Cozy Mystery / 1905, Cotswolds, England
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008