An escape to the country… ends in death.
Summer 1933. Fresh from the discovery that she has family living nearby, Kitty Underhay has packed her carpet bag, commandeered a chambermaid and set off on a visit to stately Enderley Hall. She’s looking forward to getting to know her relatives, as well as the assembled group of house guests. But when elderly Nanny Thoms is found dead at the bottom of the stairs after papers of national importance are stolen, Kitty quickly learns that Muffy the dog’s muddy paws on her hemline are the least of her problems.
Calling on ex-army captain Matthew Bryant for assistance, Kitty begins to puzzle out the mystery. And when more shocking murders follow, the stakes are raised for the daring duo as never before. Which of the guests stand to gain from the theft of the documents? And which, as the week progresses, stand to lose their lives?
After thoroughly enjoying last year’s Murder at the Dolphin Hotel, I was delighted to receive a copy of Murder at Enderley Hall. This is another fun, well-written Golden Age-style murder mystery from Helena Dixon.
It has all the classics required: a grand country house, a disparate group of guests, missing secret papers, mysterious murders and many opportunities for Miss Kitty Underhay to put on her stylish (naturally) sleuthing hat.
Obviously the murder gives Captain Matthew Bryant an excuse to spend more time with Kitty, and it was a delight to see more of Alice. The descriptions of the house, its routines and its customs are very evocative, as are those of all the ladies’ glamorous evening wear. I also like the way there’s a surprising revelation about Kitty’s missing mother, Elowed.
This is a great read, but – if you haven’t already – I definitely recommend you start with Book 1. With huge thanks to Bookouture for my copy of the book.
The scene is set for murder… and Kitty Underhay’s partner has been cast as the killer.
Late summer 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him.
The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up. But Kitty’s digging is bringing her to the attention of the killer. Without her partner in crime-fighting, can Kitty expose them and clear Matt’s name? Or will it be curtains for them both?
I love this series, and I think Murder at the Playhouse might be my favourite so far! It’s full of jeopardy and peril, as well as glamour and wit and, unfortunately for Kitty, a lot of Mrs Millicent Craven…
There’s another batch of shifty suspects for Kitty to scrutinise and I loved getting to know more about cheeky Alice. I love the descriptions of Dartmouth and its surrounding areas and the way it further explores the mystery of Kitty’s missing mother. This is another excellent and well-crafted murder mystery in the classic style.
Whilst none of the subsequent books include real spoilers for the previous ones in the series, I think you get much more from this series by reading them in order from the beginning; start with Book 1 and lose yourself in this elegantly fabulous series.
Thank you again to Bookouture for the ARC.
Join me tomorrow when I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Helena Dixon‘s newest Miss Kitty Underhay mystery, Murder on the Dance Floor. (Spoilers: loved it!)