Friday, July 14, 2017

Death Plays a Part: A Cornish Castle Mystery

Welcome!  Cindy Woodsmall will be releasing the third and final book in The Amish of Summer Grove series.  It is titled Gathering the Threads.  The publisher is offering a BOGO.  Pre-order Gathering the Threads and get Ties that Bind.  I am looking forward to reading the last installment in the series.  

Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy is the first book in the new series A Cornish Castle Mystery.  Guinevere Evans and her dog, Dolly are heading to Cornisea Island on the Cornish coast.  Guinevere is a costume designer at a theater in London.  The theater is closing for the summer to do renovations and Guinevere would be at loose ends.  Mr. Betts, theater director, helped her acquire a job cataloguing books for Lord Bolingbrooke at Cornisea Castle.  Guinevere arrives to a little kerfuffle between Lord Bolingbrooke and his son, Oliver.  Oliver is a documentarian who has just returned to the castle after his latest excursion.  He has been trying to convince his father to open Castle Cornisea for public tours.  Guinevere discovers that the Cornisea Historical Society is recreating the trial of Branok the Cold.  At one time, he was the steward of Cornisea Castle and accused of vile acts against the villagers.  There is a rehearsal that afternoon.  Arthur Haydock is playing Branok and fireworks are sure to abound.  Arthur and Lord Bolingbrooke do not get along.  They have differing view for the castle and island.  Haydock is put in a cell for the rehearsal.  When they return, Haydock in on the floor with a knife sticking out of his chest.  Lord Bolingbrooke is suspect number one.  Guinevere believes he is innocent and embarks on a mission to prove it with Oliver’s assistance.  Cornisea Island is a small community that Guinevere discovers is rife with secrets.  Who killed Haydock and why?  Can Guinevere uncover the killer and save Lord Bolingbrooke?

Death Plays a Part sounded like a cute cozy mystery.  The book has a slow pace that would put Loralei Gilmore (she drinks vast quantities of coffee) to sleep.  A majority of the story is Guinevere running around the island (with her dog) talking to the locals who are wary of strangers.  I wished the author had fleshed out her characters (especially Guinevere).  We are given very little information on Guinevere.  The mystery was intriguing (treasure).  The killers’ identity, though, was easily discerned (at least I thought so).  I identified the killer after Haydock was discovered dead in the cell.  The suspect pool is limited. How the murder was accomplished, though, was clever.  I am rating Death Plays a Part 3 out of 5 stars.  The reason for Guinevere to investigate the murder is flimsy.  She dislikes unsolved crimes plus she is curious.  It is a weak excuse since London has dozens of unsolved crimes every week.  I wish the author had provided a pronunciation guide for the Cornish names.  I would rather the mystery had been set at the theater in London (so many possibilities). I was hoping Rubies in the Roses (second book in the series) would return Guinevere to the theater in London, but she will be continuing her stay on Cornisea Island. Rubies in the Roses will be published on August 30.

I sincerely hope that you have a fantastic Friday.  I will be sharing my thoughts on The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck next time.  My mother's birthday is Sunday so I am gong out to pick up a few last minute items.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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