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What a delightful introduction to a new series this book was! I love historical mysteries and this will be a new favorite series for me. I love that it features an American and a Brit and that the writers are also – one American and one Brit. That means that we get the correct lingo, etc. from both sides. Love it!
Kat Reilly and Sir Harry Mortimer are, on the surface, an unlikely match. He is an English aristocrat and she is the daughter of an American pub owner. Yet, each has served in the war and then served their countries in other capacities. Now, they have found each other and love.
Kat and Sir Harry are on their way to Mydworth Manor to begin their new life together. As their car and baggage are being unloaded from the steamer ship, a messenger shows up with an urgent summons for Harry to make an appearance at the Home Office. So, Kat heads to Mydworth on her own – driving Harry’s prized Alvis motorcar. She had a lovely adventure with learning the rules of the English road.
When she arrives at the dower house they plan to live in, it is dark and boarded up. Didn’t their housekeeper get the cable advising of their arrival? Kat heads off, on foot, across the field to the manor house where Harry’s aunt lives hoping for a place to spend the night and await Harry’s arrival. She arrives to find a man climbing out a window – only to be shot – and then more bullets are flying all around – several flying very close to Kat. What a welcome to her new home!
Since Mydworth is a very small community, Harry’s aunt asks him and Kat to investigate. When the dead man is identified, they worry that the murderer might be close to home. With the house full of guests and servants galore, there are plenty of suspects to go around. Time is of the essence since the guests are all planning to leave.
With suspects aplenty, Kit and Harry have to work quickly to identify the guilty party. Who murdered the man who just happened to be a jewel thief? The solution is hard-won, the villain unexpected and the punishment sad.
I loved the romance and the mystery was interesting – but I never did understand why the dower house was unprepared for their arrival. Just something that was left undone and unexplained, yet it was an integral part of the plot
I am really looking forward to the next books in the series.
This is a second reading of this book. I have the complete series and now want to read them in order. love the characters and the quaint description of Mydworth. Recommend for all those that enjoy British Cosby mysteries. Good fun on a short read.
I don't generally like mysteries in post WWI period, but there have been exceptions. This is one. Decent characters, well written, no obvious "social message" belaboring the reader. Plan to try another by this author
As a fan of the 30+ Cherringham village mysteries, I looked forward to sampling the dual authors' new Mydworth mysteries. While the first series is an approximate current milieu, the new series opens with its first entry, A Shot in the Dark, set in 1929 in upper class Britain in Suffux The couple Harry and Kat Mortimer, Sir and Lady Mortimer, has a backstory that tells us the two met in Egypt working for their respective embassies in intelligence, Kat being a Bronx girl raised in her father's bar in the borough. Harry's autocratic title is worn loosely. He adores his new wife and brings her home to England to begin their married life and the series. They end up at his aunt Lavinia's who raised Harry after his parents' death. A house party is underway and before they enter the house they experience 7 gun shots and aunt Lavinia's now dead driver who was shot as he was leaping from a window in Mydworth Manor. Lavinia asks them to quietly investigate the matter in addition to the efforts of the provincial constablulary. And that's how their first weekend in England is spent. Much tongue in cheek reparte' and sarcastic throw away lines is leveraged into their endeavors. Remind s you just a touch of Amelia and Radcliffe in Elizabeth Peters' Egyptian series. This is a lovely addition to the historical cozy mystery genre. More to come.
Open and shut murder mystery, or so it seems. Kat Reilly marries aristocrat Harry Mortimer. Although she is well traveled she has never been to Britain until their return as a married couple. Her first night in Mydworth she heads to her new aunt's manor while Harry has been called away on business. When she arrives, she is just in time to see a man shot climbing out of a window and falling dead on the ground in front of her. Harry arrives shortly after and is told by his aunt that it was Cousin Reggie. Open and shut case. . .
Although the introduction lasted a little longer than I might have liked, the story quickly picked up pace after the murder and I enjoyed the book much more. This is the first book in the series and I can't wait to see what happens next.
As if Cherringham wasn't enough, Neil Richards and Matthew Costello have created yet another place I'd love to visit. The new characters, Kat and Harry, set in a unique time and place in history are fascinating and the possibilities for a husband and wife team, in that world, are endless. (It will be interesting to see how the dynamic of a married couple, of the late Roaring Twenties, works in comparison to the, to date, platonic relationship of Jack and Sarah in modern times.)
Some of the reviewers have noted they guessed the outcome early on and were disappointed. As we all know, the best part of reading a mystery is trying to figure It out before the Big Reveal. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. When I get it right, personally I prefer to think of it in terms of my brilliance rather than any disappointment in the story. Even still, there was always room for doubt here and the characters and their illumination were interesting enough to keep me turning pages to the very end. These were people I grew to like quickly (unlike Aunt Lavinia, who obviously needs more time) and I wanted to know what happened to them.
With the Mydworth series, Neil and Richard have created a fun new playground, full of potential and I can't wait to see what they'll do with it.
I am into my third Mydworth Mysteries book. "A Shot in the Dark" , like the next two stories in this series, is a pleasant read and a nice diversion. The characters, plots and writing style are straightforward and not very complicated, so they are 'easy reads' - that go quickly from beginning to end. The writers are clearly enjoying the exploits of their very likeable main characters, and that makes the reading enjoyable as well. Don't look for P.D. James, Colin Dexter or even Anne Cleeves here, but I still recommend the Mydworth series, including "A Shot in the Dark".
Wenn auch die Figuren moderne Anklänge haben und mitunter etwas zuviel gedacht wird, um der Leserin auch das zu erklären, was sie im Grunde schon weiß, ist es eben genau, was man sich wünscht, wenn man einen solchen Roman liest. Allerdings ist er doch arg kurz und die Autoren lassen sich wenig Zeit, die Charaktere zu entwickeln. Eigentlich bevorzuge ich das, ich mag es, wenn mir nicht bis zum Ohrläppchen des Weinkellners alles vorgesetzt wird. Doch dort, wo atmosphärische Szenen auftauchen - beispielsweise, wenn Sir Harry sich beeilt, aus London heimzukommen, oder wenn Kat in dem Dorf ankommt, in dem sie leben soll, dann gelingt das dem Autorenduo so gut, dass ich gerne zwei oder drei Zeilen mehr davon gehabt hätte und einzelne Personen mit mehr Text gewünscht hätte. Diese gewollte Kürze wirkt auf mich - ganz leicht - etwas zu wirtschaftlich und marktkonform gedacht. Der Roman als Produkt - nun, das ist wohl so, aber etwas mehr Ruhe und Liebe könnte nicht schaden beim Schreiben.
I've been following Cherringham series. So, when the two authors released new series, I'm eager to try, specially because the setting was more "historical" aka in the past.
I really liked this book. The characters were likeable, with air of mysteries surrounding them. I liked that though they're married couple, there were things they just discovered about their spouse. I believe both of them were intelligence agents for their respective countries. The story itself was intriguing. Of course, for mystery books lover like me, the plot was quite standard. Yet I still found it refreshing due to its simplicity.
My only problem with this book was the "hmmm" that being used so often. Was that the way people talk in those days? It was used too often to the point of annoying.
Well, I've pre-ordered the second book and hope it will be as good as, or even better than, the first book.