Friday, November 24, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd

I received this book for free from Netgalley. This did not influence my review.

I like cozy historical mysteries, and one of my favorite series is the Kurland St. Mary Mysteries by Catherine Lloyd. The most recent release is Death Comes to the School.

Lucy (now Lady Kurland) and her husband, Sir Robert, have been married for three years. (It is 1820, in the small English village Kurland St. Mary.) It’s been three years since they’ve had a mystery to solve. They have been going about doing the things that landed gentry do and are well regarded by the people of their village.

Unfortunately, all is not well between them. Lucy has miscarried twice and is confused and miserable. She is not used to "failing" and feels she has failed at marriage and heir-producing. Robert is at his wit’s end trying to figure out how to behave towards her. Moreover, the pain in his injured leg is back, making him miserable as well. Communication has all but broken down between them, which puts them almost back at square one in their relationship.

It is Christmastime. Lucy has been occupying herself with plans for a village party and ball, as well as some matchmaking on the side. But it isn’t enough to keep her thoughts from returning to the miscarriages, especially since people keep asking after her health.

And then, the recently-hired school teacher is found dead at her desk, stabbed in the neck. The woman was universally disliked, with no apparent family or friends. But she had no particular enemies either.

In addition, nasty unsigned notes are turning up all over the village. Lucy and Robert feel the two things must be connected, but are at a loss for how to connect them.

As always, the two go about collecting clues while dealing with their own problems, managing the affairs of town, and helping friends and family. In this book, the relationship is primary with the mystery a bit in the background. It is intriguing and the plot holds together well, but I was more concerned with how Lucy and Robert would resolve their differences that with who killed the school teacher.

The series continues to charm. This novel could probably stand alone, but to truly appreciate the story start with book one, Death Comes to the Village.

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