Death Comes To Kurland Hall, by Catherine Lloyd

Pub Date: Nov 24 2015

Kindle e-book 9.99, hardcover $18.63 (Amazon)

I’m starting off by saying upfront, I’m bias to this series as I’ve come to love it. Each new ‘chapter’ [book] in the series weaves a delightful tale of mystery, murder and relationships. The Kurland St. Mary Mystery series began two books ago with Death Comes To the Village (2013) followed by Death Comes To London (2014). Our main characters are Major Robert Kurland and Miss Lucy Harrington. If you haven’t read the prior books, its okay, Ms. Lloyd covers all the bases with her 3rd book Death Comes To Kurland Hall (DCTKH); I found both prior books enchanting and the relationship between the hero and heroine delightful; I would recommend reading them so you’ll get a better idea of the characters personalities.

For those of you who have read the first two books, you’ll love that Ms. Lloyd started this 3rd book out where she left off in Death Comes To London. Lucy is still stewing about feeling slighted, Major Kurland is still in the dark about what he said, the horror of the final death in the last book still haunts Lucy; Lucy’s best friend, Mrs. Sophia Giffin is days away from her wedding and the town is bustling to receive visitors, dress the halls and prepare for the celebration [party].

Let’s start out with the cover. I’ve mixed feelings on it. The first two covers were eye-catching with vibrant colors where as this one leaves me left wanting something more; creeping ivy on the Hall or a pop of color in the tree beside the door or maybe a bit more character about the building. Fortunately, the story is much more enticing than the cover.

Inside, you’ll find a story laced with secrets, espionage and witty English humor which may have you chuckling, smiling and your minds-eye will be painting some wonderful visuals from the crafty writing of Ms. Lloyd. Lucy and Robert’s characters develop more emotional depth, the reader sees the departure of other characters– moving on in life and in death. While Ms. Lloyd creates realistic characters, great dialogue and is fairly even in her writing the male and female personalities, she does drag out Lucy’s naivety regarding Major Kurland’s feelings for her; the reader may ‘hear’ her thoughts and can justify this for the most part as in Death Comes To London she was clueless about the relationship growing between Sophia and her fiance, Mr. Stanford, but with where things left off, Lucy should have a bit more of a clue as DCTKH she’s surrounded by people telling her she’s caught Major Kurland’s interest.

For the mystery itself, once again, the ‘who’ in ‘who done it’ is fairly obvious by chapter 4 due to Ms. Lloyd gives it away, possibly by accident, not to mention she seems to have a writing pattern for who her killer is closest to. I forgive Ms. Lloyd due to her character’s whit. One liners such as “It’s like picking up a hedgehog. Hundreds of tiny spines just waiting to pierce your skin, and while you’re distracted, one long barb is left quivering in your heart.”, “Did you mean to kill her?” and my absolute favorite “Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.” In order to know what these are about and the context their said, read this book!

The series is in the genre of Historical Mysteries; personally I think it’s an ongoing historical romance mystery. I say this because the books center around the relationship that forges between Lucy and Robert; for these characters, solving the mystery of ‘who killed the deceased’ is the bond which brings these two together; although in book 1 the characters did not start out knowing there was a murder, only a missing maid and a suspicious shadow. As I mentioned in the review for the first two books, Lucy and Robert are like Elizabeth and Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice”, the chemistry between them simmers and boils, the sleuthing cools them down and with enough time, they merge into something that’s rather addictive.

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