by Catherine Lloyd
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #6
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
This has been a reliable series from the start. Death Comes to Bath is not the strongest in the series in terms of mystery plotting or main character development, but the atmosphere, setting and secondary character development balance the scales.
After a serious setback in Sir Robert Kurland’s post-war recovery, Lady (Lucy) Kurland packs up and drags him to Bath for 3 months for the restorative water cure, dragging her sister along in the hopes that she will find a suitable man to marry. Sir Robert makes fast friends with their cantankerous neighbour and when he ends up dead, Robert and Lucy take it upon themselves to discover who, in one of the most disastrous families that ever was, might have committed the crime.
The outrageous dysfunction of the murdered man’s family almost lends an air of frivolity to the story, but not really. The plotting of the murder itself was semi-predictable; the murderer wasn’t a shocking revelation, though it wasn’t at all telegraphed. A few extra points go to the author for the plot twist that I only cottoned on to a few pages before it was revealed to the characters.
The character development between Lucy and Robert was sadly predictable, although also historically accurate, so no fault goes to the author. What was far more interesting to me is the continued exploration of Lucy’s sister Anna’s reluctance to marry because she doesn’t want kids. Historically accurate or not, I find her small story line compelling and it filled the gaps nicely for me when the story threatened to become stale. (It’s possible I mixed metaphors there?)
MT and I spent an all-too-short overnighter in Bath a few years ago, and all it’s done is whet my appetite for the city. The area of Bath this story covers is small, and almost cliched with its mentions of the Pump Room, but I still ate it up with a spoon.
Death Comes to Bath is a light and charming way to spend a few hours, and I will happily anticipate a 7th adventure.