British Manor Murder

It’s a nippy spring in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and so Lucy Stone can’t wait to join her friend Sue at the Earl of Wickham’s manor in England for the “Heads Up!” hat exhibition—even if she has to spend her entire holiday curtseying. But at Moreton Manor, privileged life isn’t always tea and crumpets . . .
Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly—snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel’s gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison’s son, Cyril.

Considering the weapon and the clandestine location, Lucy wouldn’t be shocked if the murder was an inside job. Cyril wasn’t exactly a gentleman, and it’s unclear what business he had on the property. Was the victim trying to make off with the family riches before meeting his end? Or was a scorned country squire looking to settle an ancient indiscretion for good? One thing’s for sure—the criminal is privy to Moreton Manor secrets . . .

To end the reign of terror, Lucy must keep her ear to the ground and mind time-honored traditions—no matter how unusual. Because Lucy has a hunch that the killer has been in her company all along, just waiting for a chance to make blueblood run red . . .

My Comments: I love Lucy Stone mysteries. I feel like as I’ve read the series that I’ve watched this family grow up, because they do grow up in the stories. I think in the very first one I read, Zoe was a nursing baby. Now she’s getting ready for college.

In this story Lucy and friend Sue go across the pond to England for a hat show. Although it’s not exactly like they expected (Downton Abbey), the scenery is beautiful and there is plenty to keep sleuth Lucy busy and to help her forget how much she misses her grandson, Patrick, who is now in Alaska with his parents.

The story is engaging, has a few twists and turns and interesting characters. Of course, there is a murder to solve.

I recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries. This is a clean, entertaining read. Thank you Leslie Meier – keep the books coming!

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