Mystery novelist Hazel Martin's maid suspects foul play when her childhood friend Doris jumps from the third-story turret of Farnsworth Abbey. Unable to resist an investigation, especially one that's staged to look like suicide, Hazel calls in help from her chauffeur, her cook, and even the mysterious butler her husband hired before his death.
Hazel soon learns that Doris's death was no accident. Someone had a secret, and they wanted to keep it that way. With her trusty Siamese cat, Dickens, by her side and handsome Detective Chief Inspector Gibson at her disposal, Hazel follows a trail of clues to reveal a surprise twist that even the killer didn't suspect.
In a way this is a cozy mystery version of Upstairs, Downstairs. It involves Hazel, the wealthy widow crime writer who lives in a mansion, and considers her staff to be her friends. She gets involved in a murder that occurs in another wealthy home, where there are more traditional lines of demarcation between staff and family.
When Doris (a maid in the wealthy Wakefield household and friend of Hazel’s maid) mysteriously falls from a window, Hazel realizes it was murder, not an accident. So she undertakes, with the flimsiest of excuses (doing “research” for a new book) to invite herself into the house to look for clues. She works closely with Inspector Gibson to try to solve the mystery (and leaves the reader wondering if there will be budding romance). There are plenty of suspects.
I think you might read this book because it is light, a quick getaway from heavier things in life—knowing it won’t be a huge challenge to work out the whodunnit part. But the narration is nice, it is a fun listen, and a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Recommend for cozy lovers.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
A reasonable attempt at mystery with an amusing cast of characters. Not much depth to any of them and the sleuth is way too naive. Her missteps seemed intended only to try and make the story longer.
This book definitely lacks substance. The interactions of the characters is implausible, The story line isn’t bad, but it’s so under-developed that you have little to wonder about and you’ve figured out the ending halfway through the book. Also, the narration is irritatingly slow.
Another great mystery! I loved the story and the narration was spot on. Ms. Larkin brings so much life to the characters. Looking forward to see where this series goes.
it's nice! easy and fairly logical and sweet. will brighten up your commute or your day!