Friday, May 30, 2008

Mystery! Again!

Death Is In The Air and For Whom Death Tolls by Kate Kingsbury: These are #2 and 3 in the Manor House series. This is a mystery series set during WWII. Lady Elizabeth, the lady of the manor in the village of Sitting Marsh, has uninvited guests, a group of American officers billeted in the deserted East Wing of her home. Tensions are high in the village between the American GIs and the British citizens. In Death Is In The Air, a German parachutes into Sitting Marsh, coinciding with a brutal murder. In For Whom Death Tolls, an American GI is found hanging from the bell tower at the church. The mysteries in these novels (beginning with A Bicycle Built For Murder, which I confess I bought only for the title) are fine, but the real fun is in the portrayal of village life and the budding romance between Lady Elizabeth and an American officer. These move at a snail's pace (it's not until book #2 that Earl is allowed to call Lady Elizabeth by her first name), so they're almost like a longer serialized novel. I didn't mind the slowness--it's like popping into a beloved village to see what's going on with my favorite residents. If you're a cozy mystery fan (heavy on the cozy), I recommend checking out this series.

Strangled Prose by Joan Hess: This is the first in the Claire Malloy mysteries, which take place in Farberville, Arkansas. Claire, a widow, owns a bookshop, and ends up coerced into hosting an event for Mildred Twiller, who writes romance novels under the name Azalea Twilight. Mildred and her husband are both professors at Farber College (as was Claire's husband), and Mildred's latest book features barely disguised members of its academic community. When Mildred is found strangled, everyone is a suspect. Claire's daughter Caron and her wimpy friend Inez appear to know something about the murder, so Claire decides to investigate to protect Caron. I think Joan Hess is very funny, and I enjoyed this light, frothy mystery.

1 comment:

Joy said...

Strangled Prose sounds good to me AND it's the first in a series - gotta love that! :)