In its 300-year history, there has never once been a scandal at Mullings, ancestral home of the decent but dull Stodmarsh family. Until, that is, Edward Stodmarsh makes an ill-advised second marriage to the scheming Regina Stapleton, who insists on bringing her family’s ‘ornamental hermit’ to live on the estate. Suddenly everyone wants to visit Mullings to glimpse this mysterious figure. Strange but harmless, thinks Florence Norris, the family’s longstanding housekeeper. But events take a sinister turn with the arrival of sudden, violent death – and suddenly the hermit doesn’t seem so harmless after all.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For a book with Murder in the title, this certainly doesn’t start out as one would expect–and I thought that made it stand out from the crowd of other similar books.
This book is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The characters (there are a lot of introductions so, easily confused or distracted readers beware) are very well thought out and penned. I liked the mix of personalities in this story. The main character is portrayed over many years, and it was interesting to watch her grow and become someone different and wiser from when we first met her.
The plot is complex and kept me interested. One of the main things I liked about this book was the style in which it was written. The author did such a good job of writing it in keeping with the language of the period it was set in that I had to remind myself this was a contemporary effort.
A cozy type of historical mystery, this book will have something to offer just about anyone who picks it up. It will be interesting to see if this turns into a series. I’m hoping it will.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.