On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Murder at Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England
Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496725883
ISBN-13 : 978-1496725882
Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496725891
ISBN-13 : 978-1496725899
Kindle ASIN : B08CBP6QW3
England, 1926: Wedgefield Manor, deep in the tranquil Essex countryside, provides a welcome rest stop for Jane and her matchmaking Aunt Millie before their return to America. While Millie spends time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian, and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills the hours devouring mystery novels and taking flying lessons—much to Millie’s disapproval. But any danger in the air is eclipsed by tragedy on the ground when one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed in a motorcar collision.
The sliced brake cables prove this was no accident, yet was the intended victim someone other than Simon? The house is full of suspects—visiting relations, secretive servants, strangers prowling the grounds at night—and also full of targets. The enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who helped Jane solve a murder in Egypt, arrives on the scene to once more offer his assistance. It seems that everyone at Wedgefield wants Jane to help protect the Hughes family. But while she searches for answers, is she overlooking a killer hiding in plain sight?
Moving on from Egypt Jane and her Aunt Millie make a stop at Wedgefield Manor in the countryside of Essex, England so that Millie can have some quality time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian. Millie is also enjoying time with their host Lord Hughes. Meanwhile, Jane spends her time reading mystery novels and taking flying lessons. Millie would rather have her using her feminine wiles to land a man.
Not long after their arrival one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed when the car he is driving crashes into a tree. Mr. Redvers arrives to inform everyone of the man’s death and reveals it was not an accident. Someone had cut the brake lines. Redvers offers to stay and assist in catching the murderer. Jane is happy about that and looks forward to working with him again. But their investigation isn’t going to be easy. The manor is full of visitors and servants and even mysterious strangers and they are all suspects. Plus they are not even sure Simon was the intended victim. She and Redvers will have to work through all the secrets and clues to uncover the killer. While at it, maybe she can uncover what her true feelings are for Mr. Redvers as well.
Again Ms. Neubauer takes us back in time, to England in 1926 and the country estate of Lord Hughes, a very complicated man with more than a few secrets. Several characters including Lord Hughes from Murder at the Mena House return in Murder at Wedgefield Manor so we get to know them better and in different ways.
Jane Wunderly is a great protagonist. She is strong-willed, smart, independent and ready for almost anything. She has grown quite a bit since the first book in this series. Jane and Mr. Redvers make a very good team and I enjoyed the way their feelings for each other played a major part in this story. I like a little romance with my mystery and this one continued to develop over the course of this story in a very natural way, especially for a woman who has sworn off ever getting married again. Millie is still trying to play matchmaker for Jane so she is thrilled when Mr. Redvers arrives on the scene. Her daughter Lillian has devoted herself to bettering her golf game in hopes of playing in tournaments. Like Jane, all these characters are well-developed and their growth continued throughout the story.
There are a lot of new characters introduced too. They are all unique and I never felt overwhelmed getting to know them and how they fit into the realm of things at the manor. It was interesting and I was pleased to see that Lord Hughes hired so many veterans from the war. They were all dealing with emotional or physical disabilities, sometimes both. They were realistically portrayed but there is more than just the Lord’s generous nature behind these hirings.
The murder mystery was very well-plotted and written. The police, Redvers, and Jane all were active in the investigation and I like the way they worked together. Clues were sorted through, secrets were revealed and some good honest legwork came together leading up to an exciting chase to catch the killer. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of solving this mystery.
I must also say the setting of Lord Hughes’s estate was wonderfully described. From the manor house itself to the outbuildings and the countryside, the author took this reader on a wonderful virtual trip to a beautiful place at a fascinating time.
Murder at Wedgefield Manor was a stirring story filled with an entertaining cast of characters. The mystery was compelling and the setting ideal. I can’t wait to see what is next for Jane as her journey continues.
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