Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Book Review: Murder at Morrington Hall by Clara McKenna (Stella and Lyndy Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong main characters, well done mystery
Cons: Pacing in the first half (although I’m conflicted about this)
The Bottom Line:
Surprise for Stella
Complicated by murder
Interesting start



Life Upheaval and Murder

Earlier this year, I won the three books in Clara McKenna’s Stella and Lundy Mysteries. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked them up otherwise, which would have been a mistake since I enjoyed the first one, Murder at Morrington Hall

It’s May 1905, and American Stella Kendrick is thrilled to be joining her father on one of his trips abroad. They are in England to sell some of his breeding horses. Only when they arrive does Stella realize that she is part of the bargain. Her father has arranged for her marriage to Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst. 

To say Stella is less than pleased would be an understatement. Before she can completely process what is happening, she and Lyndy find the body of the vicar who was supposed to marry them in the library. While the local police are on the case, Stella and Lyndy stumble upon information that might help solve it. Will they figure it out? And what will this mean for their upcoming wedding?

This book is heavier than I normally prefer when it comes to the romance. Normally, that might irritate me, but here, I found myself pulling for Stella and Lyndy. They are both likeable protagonists, and that makes it easy to want them to be happy. 

The story is told from multiple points of view. Don’t worry, it is always easy to tell when we switch. In addition to Stella and Lyndy, we get many scenes from the point of view of the local inspector. Early in the book, it is actually his scenes that are driving the mystery forward, although Stella and Lyndy are gathering things that will come into play later. On the whole, the pacing could have been a little stronger, but I appreciated how the pieces came together when we reached the climax. On the other hand, I felt a little frustrated when we got scenes from Inspector Brown’s point of view since I was enjoying spending time with Stella and Lyndy.  I know, I know, never satisfied, am I?

Clearly, I like the leads. I can’t say that about the rest of the cast, although that’s okay. We aren’t supposed to like everyone. Several of the others fell into the love to hate camp, which is also fun. The characters are definitely memorable and entertaining, which is most important. 

I’m curious what is next for Sella and Lyndy, so I’m glad I have the next two books in the series already.  If you enjoy mysteries set in historical England, you’ll also fall under the spell of Murder at Morrington Hall.

2 comments:

  1. I love historical mysteries and love reading Clara McKenna's books. Thanks for your blog and feeling about Murder at Morrington Hall.

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  2. I like the setup of this series and it's not one I'm familiar with. I do love when I really like the leads in a book so I will have to give this one a try!

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