Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Book Review: Murder at Keyhaven Castle by Clara McKenna (Stella and Lyndy Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters in a fun story
Cons: A little predictable, but a minor complaint
The Bottom Line:
A wedding coming
Unless a murder stops it
Pleasing book for fans

You Are Invited to a … Murder

Fans of the Stella and Lyndy Mysteries know that we’ve been on quite a ride with their relationship.  I’ve gotten hooked on it and couldn’t wait to get to Murder at Keyhaven Castle, the third book in the series.  I needed to see just what would happen surrounding their wedding.

If you are new to the series, it takes us to 1905 England as American heiress Stella Kendrick prepares to marry Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst.  Their marriage was an arranged marriage that was a complete shock to Stella when she first arrived in England, but over the few months the couple has spent getting to know each other, they have fallen in love.  Now, their wedding is only days away, and neither of them can wait.

However, murder rears its ugly head once again.  First, it’s the death of a stranger in a nearby town.  Normally, that wouldn’t be concerning, but in this case, he was heard ranting about killing someone, and he had a newspaper clipping about Stella and Lyndy’s wedding in his pocket.  Is someone at the Lyndhurst estate in danger?

Then, an outing to the nearby ruins of Keyhaven Castle ends in a tragedy that threatens the wedding.  Are the two deaths connected?  Will Stella and Lyndy ever get to marry?

If you are new to the series, you could jump in here.  The background you need is explained, which is always nice.  However, I’m not sure the events of this book will be as understandable to you as they would if you’ve read the first two books.  I’m not going to say more to avoid spoilers.

This book walks a fine line.  It has to balance the real reactions of characters to the events as they unfold with the lighter tone we normally expect for this series.  I found the book did that perfectly.  That’s definitely a compliment to the author.

The pacing is fantastic, with plenty to keep us engaged as we read.  I guessed a few things early and wasn’t completely surprised at the outcome, although the motive did surprise me.  Still, that’s not a major issue since I truly was enjoying every minute I spent with Stella and Lyndy.

This series has always had a strong romantic sub-plot, stronger than many of the cozies I read.  That’s part of what drew me into the story here.  I think I was rooting for the two of them to get married as much as they were.

Obviously, both of them are great characters.  The rest of the cast is just as strong, and it is a pleasure to see some growth in some of those relationships.  Honestly, if these characters were real, I’d love to hang out with them.

The world of 1905 comes to life as well, mostly for me in the social norms of the day.  While they aren’t as big a part of things as they were in earlier books, they still are part of the story, and I enjoy that look at a different time.

The next book in the series is due out in a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Stella and Lyndy next.  If you’re a fan, you’ll be happy to visit them again in Murder at Keyhaven Castle.  If you have yet to meet them, I definitely recommend you do soon.

Enjoy the rest of the Stella and Lyndy Mysteries.


  1. That cover is so pretty. Sounds like a fun series.

  2. I’ve been reading lots of similar books lately and especially love finding series I enjoy. Will be sure to try this one :)

  3. A wedding can be stressful enough without murders as well!

    Thanks for sharing this review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


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