Murder at Blackburn Hall (High Society Lady Detective)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd In Series
Setting – England
McGuffin Ink (January 7, 2019)
Paperback: 280 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07JGW142Q
A missing author and a sleepy English village rife with secrets . . .
September, 1923. Despite closing her first case, high society lady detective Olive Belgrave hasn’t found a new client. She’s taken a job as a hat model to pay for her poky boarding house room. But then a job offer comes her way—make discreet inquiries about a famous author who’s disappeared.
Olive travels to the English countryside to hunt for the missing mystery author. But soon after she arrives in the sleepy village, a body is discovered. Then a second murder focuses the police’s attention on Olive, and she must clear her name before the murderer pens a plot that frames her.
Olive Belgrave is back and off on the trail of a missing author thanks to her friend Jasper. The publisher of a hot series is concerned when the author misses their deadline. R. W. May is a recluse living in the guest house of Lord and Lady Holt and communicates completely through a solicitor. Since Lady Holt has contacted Hightower Books about a book of her own the publisher would like Olive to meet up and go over her manuscript while doing some discreet inquiries about May. Lady Holt keeps her very busy with the manuscript and social dinners. She never expected to fall into the middle of another murder investigation and certainly not two. The author she was sent to find is dead and another murder happens right in front of her. In fact, she is considered a suspect. She has very little time to get herself out of this mess and her investigation uncovers some very interesting things.
Our main character, Olive is a strong, independent woman trying to keep a roof over her head and food on her table. This time she runs into another strong woman in Lady Holt. Lady Holt rules over Blackburn Hall with an iron fist. Her way is right, everyone else’s way is wrong. She keeps the dinner conversations under her control and tries to keep her grown son under her thumb. She has written an etiquette book more than 500 pages long with “proper” illustrations and she is still adding chapters. Murders in her home or on her property are not tolerated, they need to be declared accidents immediately. It’s 1923 and roles of woman are changing and Ms. Rosett has created two women of very different status and the interplay between them is extraordinarily fun to read.
The characters are twisted up in a delightful mystery. Olive makes a shocking discovery that turns things upside down. Jasper arrives in time to help her sort things out and to try to keep her safe and out of trouble. She has a real keen sense that usually has her not thinking things entirely through before she leaps, but I did enjoy the way they worked together.
Again, the author’s writing style was very comfortable for me. The descriptions of the people, time, and places created clear pictures. Ties, pocket squares, a cottage, a pub, Blackburn Hall and all its residents and visitors truly came alive. I felt as if I was right there with Olive each step of the way.
The author’s tale kept me guessing and totally engaged. Entertaining and fun set in the roaring ’20s. The info about book 3 has me very intrigued. The Egyptian Antiquities Murder will be out April 15 and I have saved a spot on my reading calendar. I can hardly wait.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.
She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.
Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.
Also by Sara Rosett
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”