Death Comes to the Rectory (Kurland St. Mary Mystery, #8)

Death Comes to the RectoryDeath Comes to the Rectory
by Catherine Lloyd
Rating: ★★½
isbn: 9781496723253
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #8
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Pages: 262
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
Publisher: Kensington

Lucy and Robert's joy in christening their new daughter, surrounded by extended family and loved ones who have gathered in the village of Kurland St. Mary, is only enhanced when Robert's aunt Rose--now the second wife of Lucy's father Ambrose--announces that she is with child. However, not everyone is happy about the news, in particular Rose's adult daughter Henrietta and her husband, who fear for their inheritance.

Following the christening, Rose's disagreeable son-in-law Basil Northam threatens to turn afternoon tea in the rectory into an unsightly brawl. The next morning, he is found in the rector's study, stabbed through the heart with an antique letter opener, clutching a note that appears to implicate the rector himself.

Tedious.  While I’ve enjoyed this series up until now – enough to re-read a few of the books – I found this one tedious.

If I’m being completely fair, I imagine some of this is because I’ve just come off a re-reading binge of Deanna Raybourne’s Lady Julia Grey series, and the tone and writing are altogether different from the Kurland St. Mary series.  It would probably have been better to cleanse the reading palette in between.

Even if I’d had, I’d still have found it tedious to a degree.  The author over plays her characters: her villains are entirely too villainous; her suspects entirely too cryptic, the clues completely chaotic.  The tension between the two MCs was altogether irritating.

Buried beneath all this unfortunate tediousness is a rather clever murder plot though.  I almost DNF’d the book early on because I was certain the murderer was too obvious, and all due credit to Lloyd, she completely fooled me until I got much closer to the end.

I’m not completely turned off the series, but I have to admit my enthusiasm is diminished.  Whether or not I read another book (should one be forthcoming), will come down to my mood and my memory.

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