First in the series! I read and reviewed book two here.
Death Comes to the Village
by Catherine Lloyd
A wounded soldier and a rector’s daughter discover strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Kurland St. Mary in Catherine Lloyd’s charming Regency-set mystery debut.
Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . .
Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion–but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . .
As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again…
I’m reading this series backwards, as I have an odd tendency to do. So I’ll never know for certain if I caught on quickly to “whodunit” because I knew who was missing from book two, or from clues given here, or a combination of the two…
Either way, this was a really good read. A Regency cozy mystery exactly fit the bill for what I needed to read this week (my re-read of The Shining the past two weeks had me pretty tense on my drives to and from work each day. Add in snowy weather and it was difficult all around). Listening to Death Comes to the Village had me looking for excuses to keep listening once my rides in the car were over (at home–not at work, of course. That would be wrong. ;))
I love that the author brings such a feeling of authenticity to her books. Even when Lucy (or Robert) is flaunting conventions of the time somewhat, it all had an authentic feel. I believed that these characters lived in the Regency era, not that they were modern characters dropped into that setting as sometimes happens in historical romances.
The narrator is not my favorite–she doesn’t bring a lot of personality to her reading, though her reading is adequate–the story itself made up for her shortcomings.
Once again I thoroughly enjoyed the characters of (Miss) Lucy Harrington and (Major) Robert Kurland; I cannot wait to read more of this series! Poor Lucy–I could feel my blood pressure rising each time her father (!) or any other character disparaged her and/or her future options. The major still has a lot of healing to do; in this novel, his walking on his own or even keeping his leg are not a given. They both have a lot of personal issues to work through and the possibility of romance is far in the future.
But oh, the possibility!
Did I mention I was anxious for more of this series? 🙂
Another bonus–Lucy and Anna were working on a quilt in one scene, and the activity ended up giving Lucy a clue to the major mystery. Quilting saves the day!
Rating: 4 stars / B+