I love a good mystery, especially a good murder mystery. I love a good historical novel. And I love a good romance. Clara McKenna’s Murder at Morrington Hall promises all three. It’s 1905 and American heiress Stella accompanies her father to attend a wedding in the south of England only to discover that she’s the intended bride, traded along with her wealth and a prizewinning racecourse for a title. But Stella, being as spirited as the horses, isn’t having any of it — even though Viscount Lyndhurst, her intended, brings a flutter to her heart. And then there’s a murder.
There’s very little original in fiction, I suppose, which means we judge a book on its execution, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a light-hearted romp through a country house setting, perhaps a little light on the characterisation but great fun to read. It was engaging without being riveting and the characters were likeable. There are humorous touches and a couple of points where I laughed out loud.
The book is the first in a series, which is intriguing because unless something significant happens the romance is effectively concluded (no spoilers but, look, you know whats going to happen). Ms McKenna may surprise me, in future books, though, and actually I’m pretty certain the pairing of Stella and Lyndy is strong enough to stand the test of a happy marriage if that’s what she has planned for them.
I’m looking forward to reading more in this fun, light-hearted series and finding out what high jinks this entertain gin couple get up to in stuffed-shirted Edwardian England.
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.