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 faade 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....
©2013 Christie Kelley (P)2013 Audible Inc.
I love reading reviews. No plot spoilers please. These are not book reports!
Based on the reviews I have read about this book I was expecting a post WWI Rector and his daughter solve a cozy British mystery. It isn't that at all. The story is set during the Regency Period around the Napoleonic Wars--early 1800s. It is a wonderful period mystery with terrific characters, village intrigue and loads of fun interaction and insight. The narrator has a slow drawn out sort of voice which added to the feel of the era and the suspense and drama. The author paints every scene with just enough information to transport the reader back in time. To me it proved an excellent diversion that gained speed gradually and held my attention to the last word. I've done some checking and it is the first book of a new series--book two is due out in December 2014. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Set in the village of Kurland St. Mary, "Death Comes to the Village" is the first in a projected series. The mystery plot is intriguing, with several twists along the way, featuring two missing maids from two households, and a series of thefts of small items from the houses of each of the wealthier families in the area. The identity of the villains is not who we usually would suspect, and the author keeps the secret well through most of the book.
The characters are even more intriguing, in my opinion, particularly Miss Lucy Harrington, the oldest daughter of the Rector, considered by some to be an old maid in her early 20's. Unlike the heroines in most Regency Romances I have read, this young woman chafes under the strictures imposed upon her by society. Since her mother died in childbirth when Lucy was 15, Lucy has had to act as nursemaid to her 7-year-old twin brothers and as her father's housekeeper and hostess, fulfilling the duties her mother would have performed. She has no prospect of escaping those duties, since her father views the arrangement as a permanent one and intends to send her beautiful younger sister to London for a coming out season.
In rebellion, she becomes involved in investigating the disappearance of the maids and the thefts, in an uneasy alliance with Major Robert Kurland, the wealthy local squire, who is bedridden while he recovers from injuries suffered in the battle of Waterloo. He is rude, with a quick temper, and they argue as much as they work together. Both main characters are multi-dimensional and interesting. Other characters, while not as finely drawn, are still interesting and entertaining.
Narrator Susannah Tyrrell has an unusual voice and delivery which bothered me a bit at the beginning, but I soon grew used to it and decided that it was perfect for this book. Her change of voices and delivery of both high class and low class regional accents sounded wonderful to this American's ear. And she dealt well with scenes of suspense and violence.
I enjoyed this book a lot, and I look forward to listening to the series as it progresses.
Well worth a credit!
Susannah Tyrrell was wonderful. She made all the characters come to life. It felt as if you knew them. He accent was perfect for this story. The story was fun. Can't wait for the next book.
It reminds me of Agatha Christi books.
I liked the main character
Warm and Intriguing with a since of humor. Fun mystery.
If I don't like the narrator I cannot listen to the book. I found Susannah Tyrrell voice very soothing and sophisticated. I loved her voice. She was perfect for this book. I am looking for more stories read by her.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
This appears to be a new series (though no other books seem to be available at this time)--in which a man, home from the Napoleonic wars with his serious leg wound, teams with the local rector's daughter to solve a mystery involving some petty thievery and a missing young woman. Quite an unlikely pair--Major Robert Kurland is in a lot of pain and cannot walk, so depends upon the visits of Lucy Harrington (local rector's daughter, and something of a spinster) to discuss the odd situation, and she does his detecting outside the house. He is the local magistrate, by virtue of his position in the community--so he can justify his interest. However, someone does not want either of them to be working on this.
I think the series has a lot of promise--could see the beginnings of characters that will probably remain in future books and have more involvement with each other. I liked that this was not so easy to figure out, and the setting and time period were both interesting.
I struggled with the narrator. I think she would have a good voice for certain kinds of books--she spoke clearly and with good inflection. But the quality of her voice (along with reading a bit slowly) just didn't seem the best fit for this particular book. Over all, I hope to listen to another one when it is available. There is a lot of promise here--and this book itself is well worth the listen.
Read & ride, read & ride, read & ride . . . repeat often.
Sadly, patience is not one of my virtues. One must exercise more than a little of this quality when listening to this book. The story develops very s-l-o-w-l-y. The writing is excellent however as is the narration. If you are looking for a good old fashioned British mystery - I wouldn't call this 'cozy,' BTW - then you might enjoy this read.
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