Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Book Review: Murder at Wedgefield Manor by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Jane Wunderly #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, engaging mystery
Cons: Modern attitudes stretched credibility
The Bottom Line:
Death at the manor
Secrets to be revealed
Engaging story

Stop Over in England Leads to Murder

Last year, I enjoyed meeting Jane Wunderly and traveling with her to 1926 Egypt.  Now, Jane is stopping in England on her way home to America, and I am pleased to say I enjoyed Murder at Wedgefield Manor, her second adventure.

Jane and her aunt Millie have stopped over at Wedgefield Manor, the home of Millie’s old friend Lord Hughes.  Jane doesn’t mind since it is giving her a chance to take flying lessons, something she is really enjoying.  The stay turns tragic when Simon Marshall, the mechanic for the manor, is killed in a motorcar accident.

Simon, like most of the staff, was a veteran of World War I.  He was suffering from the effects of the war, but he was mostly a nice young man.  It is quickly apparent that it was murder.  The question is, was Simon the target, or was it Lord Hughes himself?  When Millie asks Jane to investigate, she quickly realizes that everyone is hiding something.  Can Jane figure out the truth?

I must admit, I’m not usually drawn to British manor mysteries (despite loving cozies), so if this had been the first book in the series, I probably would have skipped it.  That would have been a huge mistake.  With all the secrets and strange behavior that Jane has to sort through, the plot kept me going the entire time.  The red herrings did a perfect job of keeping me off the scent until I neared the climax.  And what a climax it was – action packed and suspenseful.

We actually met Lord Hughes and several of the other supporting players in the first book, so it was nice to see them worked into this book seamlessly.  Millie is fun here.  I found her a bit over the top in the first book, but that wasn’t an issue this time.  Meanwhile, Jane does some growing of her own, which I really enjoyed.  For those who read the first book, yes Redvers, Jane’s love interest in back as well.  I love his character.

If you haven’t read the first book, there are some spoilers here for the characters and their backgrounds.  It would be impossible to have them continue on here without it.  So if you want to meet them unspoiled, read the first book before you start this one.

My one issue with the book was the modern attitudes that many of the characters seemed to have to certain issues.  Ironically, one of the reasons I love Redvers is because of his modern attitudes toward Jane.  But some other issues come up that I found the attitudes stretched credibility.

That issue aside, I still really enjoyed Murder at Wedgefield Manor.  I’m very curious to see where Jane winds up for her next adventure.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

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