!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Review: Death and the Singing Birds
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Death and the Singing Birds
Nell Drury Mystery – Book III
BY Amy Myers

Severn House
1 December 2020/ ASIN: B08MPYCG23
Mystery /Historical

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


It’s 1926 and Nell Drury is getting ready in her role as chef at Wychbourne House for a luncheon to welcome the new neighbors. These are famous artist, Sir Gilbert Saddler, and his new wife, a former artist’s model and heroine of the recent war. Sir Gilbert is a member of a new art movement called the Artistes de Cler (nicknamed the Clerries), and he has invited some of its members to stage an exhibition of Africa-inspired work at his summer festival. Things take a dark turn when a body is found, and it is up to Nell (and her friend, Inspector Alex) to uncover whodunit, and why.

This is the third in Ms Myers’ entertaining series of country house mysteries set in the 1920s. Investigator Nell might be a servant, but since the war, the relationship between master and servant is not quite the same. Nell has her own car and is more akin to a modern caterer and a well respected member of the household. I don’t know enough about the period to say how accurate this is. Lord Ansley’s valet and his friend are both shell shocked veterans, trapped in their own worlds and the recent war overshadows everything, as well as being a vital element in the mystery.

Ms Myers has a readable, lively way of writing, and I was instantly drawn into the story, which has an excellent beginning and end but sags somewhat in the middle as certain clues are investigated again and again. Some editing would have been a good idea, and I still find Lady Clarice and her ghost obsession was rather wearing (in my opinion), although even this has a part to play in the story. As this is not a paranormal series, rather too much time is accorded to it, but this is a minor gripe in a mystery that has plenty in it to entertain. I look forward to the next title in the series.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and www.craftsuprint.com/rachel-a-hyde/
Reviewed 2020
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