Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Grace Interrupted
A Manor House Mystery, No 2
Julie Hyzy

June 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24190-5

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Grace Wheaton is the new curator of Marshfield Manor. Having been involved in solving the murder of her predecessor in the first book “Grace Under Pressure”, Grace is settling into her work routine and wishing for no more trouble. That wish goes unanswered, however, when a Civil War Re-enactment camp rents space on the grounds and yet another murder happens. One of the actors, Zachary Kincade, is a shallow ladies man and is disliked by many of his fellow campers.

Unfortunately, Marshfield Manor’s groundskeeper, Jack Embers, and his younger brother Davey have a history with Kincade and his own brother. When Jack falls under suspicion Grace is at a loss as to what to do. She and Jack have a budding relationship and she doesn’t want to believe he could be guilty of murder. Will the police arrest him or will they be led in another direction with a little help from Grace and her assistant Frances?

I really like this series for many reasons. The characters are believable, and Grace is a strong woman who is striving for independence while balancing her career, her falling-apart house, and her relationships with her boss, the elderly Bennett Marshfield, her roommates (including a new kitten that she is allergic to), her assistant Frances, and her new romance with Jack Embers.

The story is well written and I found it interesting to learn about the customs and manners of Civil War Re-enactment groups as well. The author obviously did her research and put a great deal of effort into accuracy. It was very realistic, down to the fact that some of the people in the camp smuggled in things that were considered “farby”, which loosely means historically inaccurate.

The book manages to tie together a present day murder in a Civil War setting and a modern day murder that happened several years ago. It is done very cleverly, with no loose ends left hanging, and no obvious red-herrings. Grace, unlike many amateur sleuths, actually talks to the police and keeps them in the loop about what she learns. This doesn’t mean she won’t face danger, but it shows she has a good head on her shoulders.

I enjoyed the book very much, and I recommend it to mystery lovers of all ages. It is a fairly fast read, perhaps because as a reader you get so caught up in the atmosphere that the book is hard to put down. History buffs will like the book too. It is not necessary to read “Grace Under Pressure” first, but it is a good way to get to know the characters from the beginning and to be in on the ground floor of this sure to be a hit series.


Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of 2009's "Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?"
Reviewed 2011
© 2011