Sunday, March 18, 2018

Murder in Thistlecross: A Malice Novel

Hello.  I hope you had a delightful St. Patrick's Day.  The Promise by Susan Lantz Simpson is coming out on March 27 along with Charlotte Hubbard's A Mother's GiftThe Road Home by Beverly Lewis will be available on April 3.

Murder in Thistlecross by Amy M. Reade is A Malice Novel.  Eilidh Stewart has been working for Annabel Baines as her estate manager and assistant for the last two years in the Welsh village of Thistlecross.  There has been a flurry of preparations as Annabel gets ready for her three estranged sons to visit.  Andreas and his pregnant wife, Sian are the first to arrive.  Then they welcome Hugh and his wife Cadi who do not seem to be getting along.  The last to arrive is Rhisiart who is the writer in the family.  The tension can be palpably felt by everyone and matters are not helped by Brenda, the maid, who is acting oddly (clumsy, irritable).  The family reunion takes a tragic turn when one of the family members turn up dead the next day.  This is just the beginning of the misfortune to strike the household.  Eilidh works to unravel the clues and discover who is behind these deadly deeds.  Someone, though, does not appreciate her nosiness.  What will they do to prevent Eilidh from ferreting out their identity?

Murder in Thistlecross was not quite what I expected after reading Amy Reade’s previous novels.  While Murder in Thistlecross is part of A Malice Novel series, it can be read alone.  Characters from the previous novels are present, but their backstory is included.  The other novels in A Malice Novel series are The House on Candlewick Lane and Highland Peril.  I found the story easy to read with a gentle pace.  The main character has been divorced two years and is ready to move forward with her life (i.e.—romantically speaking).  Thus, enters Griff, the stable manager as a love interest for our heroine.  Eilidh is referred to as an estate manager and assistant (in the beginning as an estate manager and later as personal assistant).  She acted more like an assistant (a competent yet bland one).  I wish that Eilidh had more of a presence (stronger personality, braver attitude).  She does have a good heart and is loyal to her friends and employer.  The mysteries have some interesting components, but they are not compelling (did not hold my attention).  The mysteries can be solved long before the reveal.  Eilidh is not as fortunate as I was in flushing out the culprit’s identity.   I did not feel the suspense in the book, and the ending felt rushed (the author was nearing the end and needed to wrap up everything within the next few pages).  My rating for Murder in Thistlecross is 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay).  I wanted more substance and depth in Murder in Thistlecross.  I do look forward to reading more of Amy Reade’s novels in the future and I recommend checking out her other novels.

Tomorrow I will feature Searcher of the Dead by Nancy Herriman.  Thank you for reading my review and I hope that you have a special day (one void of turmoil).  Please consider following my blog.  You just have to click the little button at the top right of my page (I added it this week).  Make sure you take time for yourself and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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