Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell

Florence Norris began as a lowly servant at the country house and worked her way up to head housekeeper.  Life is calm, everything is in order, and then people begin dying...

Severn House and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to download and read this ebook.  It will be published January 30th, so look for it at your local bookstore and visit with an author I've read before.

I read Dorothy's "The Thin Woman" and was hooked.  She had written a book with good humor and silliness that made me laugh out loud.  When I saw another story by her, I had to read it.  This one is more formal, more sedate, and reflects the time period perfectly.  It might be the 1930's but greed is still alive.

The Stodmarsh family has lived at the country house for 300 years and there has never been any scandal, no old ghosts, nothing of any sort that stood out.  It was all pomp and circumstances and family love.  When the lady of the house suddenly dies, the doctor said it must have been her heart.  Her rheumatism kept her in her bed for years.  That was the first murder, but no one suspected it.

Mr. Stodmarsh goes away after a year of grieving to vacation and set aside his grief.  He ends up coming home engaged, not quite sure how it happened...

Florence has become friends with the local pub owner, a widower.  Just when their romance is beginning to bud, the household ends up in turmoil and Florence steps away from George.  He's hurt, but he understands.  And he soon has his own problems to worry about.

There are several twists and turns in this story.  It's a slow saunter through the countryside picking up clues as you go.  The country house that stood for 300 years without scandal is being shaken to its core.  And Florence is trying to solve the case and save her household and those she loves.

Ms. Cannell writes well.  This tale was a bit slower than those I've read in the past but times were slower in '30's.  She sets the mood, introduces her characters and takes you back in time.  I'm already waiting for the next book in this series.  I'm hoping Florence and George get back together!

Happy reading.

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