"Books Fall Open, You Fall In"
I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.
It’s 1918. Nineteen year old Phoebe Renshaw and her family celebrate the end of a difficult year at their beloved estate, Foxwood Hall. The war is over and the family’s eldest daughter is engaged to the Marquis of Allerton. The peace doesn’t last long though when on the morning of Boxing Day, the Marquis goes missing. When macabre evidence of foul play turns up in gift boxes and Julia was heard having a heated exchange with her fiancé the night before, Lady Phoebe takes a personal interest in the mystery. When the local Inspector suspects the family footman, Phoebe and Eve, the lady’s maid, follow to clues to find the killer. Hopefully before the killer finds them.
I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
I have to say that I wasn’t sure what to think of this book at first. There were quite a few characters to keep track of and I continuously kept getting Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, confused. But once I got passed the first few chapters, I was able to sort them out and enjoy the story. Which I very much did.
Lady Phoebe and Eva were the perfect balance in a sleuthing team. I liked both of them almost instantly. One more careless and the other more reserved, I enjoyed their back and forth investigating and the excitement they exhibited as they shared their news with each other. They worked well together as a team and were believable in their pursuits to find the killer.
Most of the other characters were interesting and well written. The Inspector was, of course, inept in his job and a very easily unlikeable character. You also have the Constable, who does everything the Inspector should be doing and a group of characters that could all be considered suspects. The only one I really disliked though was Lady Phoebe’s sister, Julia. I’m not sure if we were supposed to like her or not, but I didn’t not care for her at all and I almost found myself wishing that she was the murderer.
The mystery itself was engaging and the fact that there wasn’t a body pretty much throughout the entire story, made it even more intriguing. Although it was pretty much suspect that the Marquis was dead, you never really knew for sure and that kept you wondering. I did not figure out who did it until right before the reveal and I’m happy to say I was surprised. With a cast of likeable and not so likeable suspects, it made it difficult for me to guess. I look forward to more books by this author.
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