Murder Wore a Mask by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Murder Wore a Mask by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Sir Harry Mortimer and his American wife, Kat, are settling into married life in the small town of Mydworth. Murder Wore a Mask is the fourthin the Mydworth series and can be read as a stand-alone, but since they’re each only a little over 100 pages, it might just make as much sense to go back and meet Harry and Kat at the beginning. They make a good couple. They’re both smart and resourceful. And the books are enjoyable, quick reads. This time around we're back at Aunt Lavinia's house for a masked ball. A man is found dead by the lake, apparently of a heart attack. Thankfully, many of the guests are spending the weekend at the manor, so when Harry and Kat find out that it was actually murder, all of the suspects are still around. There are a couple of interesting twists and the characters are fun. The masks everyone was wearing fit into the solution too, which was...
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A Shot in the Dark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello

A Shot in the Dark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello

I've listened to several of the Cherringham series by this Richards and Costello, so when I stumbled across A Shot in the Dark, the first in their Mydworth series, I went ahead and picked it up. I enjoy a light mystery novella, and this fit the bill. Lord Harry Mortimer and his new wife, Kat have just arrived in England, when Harry is called to Whitehall on urgent business. So Kat decides to drive herself to their new home, but when she arrives, it's all locked up. She walks across the fields to "nearby" Mydworth Manor where Harry's aunt, Lady Lavinia, lives. As she arrives she hears gunshots, a man falls from a window and more shots are fired in her direction. Not quite what she was expecting. Harry arrives and they search the body and find jewelry in his pockets. The man was Lady Lavinia's driver, who was apparently shot while attempting to rob one of her guests. She asks Harry,...
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Murder in High Places by Helen Marchmont

Murder in High Places by Helen Marchmont

I've been enjoying the Bunburry novellas, but I really think for Murder in High Places it's helpful if you've read a couple of the earlier ones. We finally meet Oscar! He comes down to visit, drawn by a party. To understand how kind of awesome that is, you need to know a little more about Oscar than this episode gives you. He's Alfie's best friend, but thinks living in the country and not London is ridiculous. And of course everyone in town acts like they already know him, since they've heard so much from Alfie. Alfie, Betty and Oscar go to the party. Alfie and Betty have some major communications errors and Alfie acts like an all-around jerk. Granted, Betty's not much better, but at least she isn't blatantly flirting with anyone else. And then we have a murder. Sergeant Wilson immediately arrests the most obvious suspect, but, since this is a cozy mystery, that's clearly not the right solution. The...
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Drop Dead, Gorgeous by Helena Marchmont

Drop Dead, Gorgeous by Helena Marchmont

I was browsing Audible the other day and was happy to see Drop Dead, Gorgeous was out. This is just a fun little series. Alfie has inherited his aunt's cottage in the Cotswolds and has been living there for almost a year now. He's finally gathered the courage to ask the local beautician about getting a pedicure, something he enjoyed in London, but most men in Bunburry do not get pedicures. He meets the beautician while she is out walking her dog and they go back to the salon to set up the appointment only to find, what else? A dead body. Eve Mosby had been receiving a deluxe treatment, massage, hair, botox, the works, and the beautician had snuck out while Eve was napping, obviously not expecting her to be murdered while she was gone. Time for the Bunburry Triangle to take a look at the case. Alfie, Liz, and Marge toss around theories and go about asking questions as...
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A Taste of Murder by Helen Marchmont

A Taste of Murder by Helen Marchmont

“A Taste of Murder” is the third in the Bunburry series. I guess it could stand alone, but I’d suggest reading the first two. They're short anyway, around 100 pages, so it’s not a huge commitment, and that way you’ll be introduced to the town and Alfie and have more background going on this one. Alfie is settling into village life. He has friends and a favorite restaurant, even though his friend, Oscar, is still trying to lure him back to London with food and Oscar Wilde quotes. And of course we have another murder in quiet little Bunburry. Just after Alfie's friend, Betty, learns that a local farmer is no longer treating his cows humanely, the farmer ends up dead. The incompetent and mean sheriff of course jumps to the conclusion that the killer must have been Betty and Alfie's ready to jump to her defense. I always wish the Bunburry books were a little longer. I really like the characters and the charming town....
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Cherringham, Episodes #10-12 by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Cherringham, Episodes #10-12 by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

There's been more murders in dear little Cherringham. And of course Sarah and Jack have to solve them. I enjoy these novella length mysteries. They're long enough for clues and suspects, but short enough that they have to keep moving. In "A Deadly Confession," the cops think Father Byrne died of a heart attack, which is true, but his old friend is convinced there's more to the story. Once again Sarah's internet skills come in handy. I like the old-fashioned denouement here, something this series doesn't usually have. It drags the whole motive(s) out into the open, but allows for a bit of grace in the handling of the whodunnit. Jack and Sarah have to solve the crime in "Blade in the Water," because there's no real evidence that a crime, aside from vandalism, has occurred. That's one of the tricks with cozy mysteries, giving a legitimate reason for the amateur and/or retired detective to need to solve the case, a...
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