Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen CambridgeMurder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge
Narrator: Jennifer M. Dixon
Series: Phyllida Bright Mystery #1
Published by HighBridge on October 26, 2021
Source: Audible Plus
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 29 mins
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
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Tucked away among Devon's rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses...

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha's Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor...

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense--and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands--along with a distracted, anxious staff--but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered--this time, one of her housemaids--Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot's footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans' guests is the killer. With help from the village's handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida's wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end...

Murder at Mallowan Hall takes us to the fictionalized home of author Agatha Christie and her second husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan. I will admit to being a huge Christie fan, which is why this series caught my eye.

Our amateur sleuth is the housekeeper, Phyllida Bright, who is extremely competent at her job. She is the one who finds the body in the library. The murdered man was an uninvited guest at the Mallowans’ house party, and Phyllida questions whether local police are capable of solving the crime. So, between serving the demanding guests and managing the nervous staff, she starts investigating on her own.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this one – not the guests, but the staff. Phyllida is shrewd and charming. The butler has his own views on the way things should be run, but has her back when push comes to shove. The chauffeur is a good foil for Phyllida – irreverent, mysterious, always getting on her nerves, but helpful too. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops.

I did not love the plot, however. Not that it was bad and it did fit the time period. I just wish there had been a different motive. That being said, I did enjoy it enough to listen to the next in the series.

About Colleen Cambridge

Colleen Gleason (aka Colleen Cambridge, C.M. Gleason, and Alex Mandon) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author who can’t seem to decide what type of book to write…so she writes a lot of different genres!

So far, Colleen has written everything from vampire hunters to dystopian romance, to steampunk, historical romance, and mysteries with a supernatural flair or a historical setting. One element, however, that appears in all of her stories, is that of partnership…whether it be professional, romantic, or both.

All of Colleen’s books feature strong heroines experiencing fast-paced adventures, danger, mystery, and of course, romance. But at the core of each story is the belief that every woman deserves a partner who accepts her for her strengths as well as her weaknesses—and vice versa.

Colleen lives in the midwest United States with her family and two dogs, and is always working on her next book.

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