Good Day! Peach Clobbered by Anna Gerard, The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis and Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly are out today. Shamed by Linda Castillo releases on July 16 along with Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber. There is no shortage of new books coming out this summer.
Killer in the Carriage House by Sheila Connolly returns readers to Asheboro, Maryland. Kate Hamilton was asked by her best friend, Lisbeth Scott to help revitalize the town. After viewing the Henry Barton mansion, Kate came up with the idea to turn Asheboro into a turn-of-the-century village. There are two big obstacles standing in the way of transforming the town: money and citizen approval. Kate feels they need to finish going through Henry Barton’s papers and contacts her friend, Nell Pratt for a referral. Carroll Peterson is eager to dig through the Barton papers and see the Victorian mansion. To sort through the papers properly, Kate gets permission to use the town library which is closed since the librarian is in jail awaiting her trial. The next day, Kate is showing Carroll the space and they find a broken window, a knocked over bookcase and a dead body. Detective Reynolds arrives quickly (he cannot believe Kate found another body) to take charge of the scene. Kate is curious if the victim was trying to access the Barton papers not knowing they had yet to be moved into the library. While the police begin investigating the murder, Kate and Carroll roll up their sleeves to begin sorting the papers in the Barton attic and get them ready to transport. One thing Kate has been unable to learn is how Henry Barton earned his massive fortune. She finds it hard to believe that it came from the now defunct shovel factory. When they fail to find business papers in the house, the group troops over to the factory. The information they uncover could be life changing if they keep the papers from falling into the wrong hands.
Killer in the Carriage House is the second book in A Victorian Village Mystery series. It can be read alone for those who are new to this series. Kate Hamilton lost her job when a big conglomerate took over the hotel where she worked. Her friend, Lisbeth Scott asks her to return to Asheboro and come up with a plan to save the dying town. Kate’s idea is to turn the town into a Victorian village after seeing the Henry Barton mansion. However, it will take a massive amount of planning, money and help to pull it off. Money is something that is in short supply after the banker embezzled the town funds. Kate is hoping Henry Barton’s papers will be a help and gets assistance from Josh Wainwright and Carroll Peterson. I like that we are introduced to some of the townspeople like Mayor Skip Bentley, Frances who owns the newspaper, Ted the diner owner, and Mr. MacDonald with his hardware store. Killer in the Carriage House is a slow starter with a sluggish pace. I thought the mystery was light. The dead body is found after I was a quarter of the way through the book and is barely addressed after that point. Identifying the killer is a piece of cake and the resolution was lacking. Kate has great ideas for the town with no idea on how to execute them. She is also a procrastinator. Kate keeps putting off things she needs to accomplish (even going to the grocery store). She should be looking into funding, building codes, talking to towns people and doing research. Instead, Kate devotes her time to the Barton papers. Henry Barton does sound like a fascinating man and I am sure there is more to discover about him. I like the inclusion of Nell Pratt in the story from A Museum Mystery series. A Victorian Village Mystery series is a concept that I think is charming and I enjoyed Murder at the Mansion. Killer in the Carriage House, though, was lacking which is unusual for Sheila Connolly. I am curious to see what Kate and her friends uncover in the next A Victorian Village Mystery.
Thank you for joining me today and reading my review. If you are on the fence about Killer in the Carriage House, I suggest that you download a sample to see if this cozy mystery is the right fit for you. I will be back tomorrow to share my review of Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher. I hope you have a magical day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader