Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Book Review: Death at a Country Mansion by Louise R. Innes (Daisy Thorne Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong plot, engaging main characters
Cons: A few minor issues, including a timeline issue
The Bottom Line:
Dead opera star
Plenty of twists in story
Enjoyable first




Dead Diva

While I read some books set in England, I am more drawn to books set in the United States.  As a result, Death at a Country Mansion wasn’t on my radar.  However, when the book came out at the beginning of the month, I started hearing lots of people praising this debut.  I decided it sounded too good to pass up, and I’m glad I picked it up.

Dame Serena Levante was a world-renowned opera singer.  She’s also the mother of Daisy Thorne’s best friend, Floria, so when news comes that Serena is dead, Daisy rushes to Serena’s mansion outside of the English village of Edgemead.  The police quickly see that it was murder, and they believe that robbery was involved since an expensive painting is also missing from the mansion.  Daisy owns the local hair salon, and it is a hub of gossip.  As a result, she begins to hear things that might help the police in their quest to find out what happened.  Can she get the gruff inspector to listen to her?

This book wastes no time getting us into the mystery, and it is quickly evident that it was murder.  That allows more time for the twists and turns of the plot.  There are plenty of those, and they kept me engaged the entire time.  The climax wraps everything up neatly for us with a staple of the traditional mystery – the gathering of the suspects together.  I enjoy seeing that used well, which it is here.

Even though we don’t really get to know Serena before she is killed, we get to know her during the investigation.  I’m sure it will be no surprise to say that she led a life that left behind plenty of suspects.  The way the plot unfolds, we don’t get to know all the suspects super well, but we are still drawn into the book and care about the outcome, so it works.

Part of that is because we like Daisy and Floria.  We meet some other regular characters who I’m sure we’ll get to know better as the series progresses.  Because of these characters, we get fully invested in the story.

I do have to point out that there is a timeline issue with the book.  As you know, those drive me crazy.  There were also a few times that I felt like something still needed to be smoothed over in an edit, but they were minor.

This book is on the short side.  I was able to breeze through it in a couple of days without putting in too much extra reading time.  Just know that when you pick up the book and you’ll be fine.  The result is a tightly written book without any wasted space.

Overall, Death at a Country Mansion is an enjoyable debut.  I’m definitely going to pack my bags to find out what Daisy is up to next.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

2 comments:

  1. You need to hire yourself out as a timeline wrangler!

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  2. I hate a messed up timeline! That is one of my biggest pet peeves and always pulls me out of the story. That said I love the sound of this! This sounds like it could be the start of a great series and hopefully the timeline issues won't happen in the next book.

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