Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Murder At Cleeve Abbey
Flora Maguire Series – Book II
Anita Davison

Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)
1 December 2016/ ASIN: B01J5X8ZRC

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Butler’s daughter, Flora Maguire, is now married to gentleman motor car enthusiast, Bunny Harrington, and is living in Richmond. Their married bliss (apart from her mother-in-law) is shattered when the house catches fire mysteriously, and Flora receives a letter. Her father has died suddenly, and thus the pair travel to Flora’s former home, Cleeve Abbey, to oversee his burial. But why was he out riding when he never rode? And what is the mystery surrounding the death of Flora’s mother when Flora was a child?

I enjoyed reading the first in the series, Murder on the Minneapolis, and was eager to read more of Flora’s adventures. I was surprised to find her married, as the first book introduced Bunny as a character that Flora had become attached to as a fellow sleuth and possible future love interest but no more. I imagined reading several books that dealt with their growing relationship, so having them as a newly married couple very in love was rather sudden. The plot was enjoyable but fairly easy to guess; however, that did not detract from the engaging characters and well described environment of an Edwardian country house. This book has a lot in common with the gothic romances and their “governess in peril” themes that were popular in the 80s, and which I always loved; reading a new book that updates that type of story is a great idea. There is always something going on, all of which is germane to the plot, and the fact that Flora is genuinely upset about her father’s death raises the tale above that of a puzzle to be solved and adds a sense of realism. The only jarring element was in having missed out on the courtship of Flora and Bunny, making their close relationship seen contrived, particularly in light of their vastly different backgrounds. That being the case, I still eagerly anticipate the next book in the series as there is so much else to enjoy.

Reviewed 2016