I’ve been overwhelmed lately with my work as a standardized patient for the local medical school, so reading and blogging have taken a back seat. The holiday break has allowed me time to indulge my reading habit and the opportunity to become acquainted with a new to me author. What a delight to have found a new series that I would like to explore more. I started with the sixth book in the series, since I was introduced to it via my participation in https://www.netgalley.com/, but when I have time to read more books in the series I plan to start with the first one. For now, here’s my review for Death Comes to Bath. Enjoy and Happy Reading.
Step back in time to Regency England with Death Comes to Bath by Catherine Lloyd and join Lord and Lady Kurland as they travel to Bath, England to seek treatment for his leg that was injured in the Battle of Waterloo. This is the sixth in “A Kurland St. Mary Mystery” series and my introductory read to the books. The story is a complete mystery of its own and it is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series. There may be some secondary character development, or some exploration of the two principal characters’ relationship that has been established in earlier books, however enjoyment of this book is not dependent on having previously read anything in the series.
Lord and Lady Kurland rent a house in Bath for a month while he participates in daily treatments in the healing waters. Almost immediately upon moving into their rental house their next door neighbor, Sir William Benson, comes to call. He is a bombastic, opinionated man, but Lord Kurland enjoys his company and a friendship develops. They are also soon visited by Sir William’s second wife, Miranda and her two sons, who voice very different opinions of the man.
Lady Benson extends an invitation to dinnr, explaining it is at the insistence of her husband. Both Lord and Lady Kurland accept, and are soon introduced to the rest of the Benson household, Sir William’s three sons from his first marriage. The tension between the members of the blended household is apparent from the initial meeting with Sir William contributing to its increase as it becomes apparent that he enjoys changing his will on a regular basis depending on who may have disappointed him most recently.
It comes as no surprise to any regular reader of mystery fiction that Sir William becomes a victim of murder. Lord and Lady Kurland enter into an investigation as they are both determined to discover what happened to Sir William and set things to rights if it is within their power. In addition to the death and subsequent investigation, the book has secondary stories featuring Lord Kurland’s doctor, Sir Patrick Fletcher, his very pregnant wife, Penelope, and Lady Kurland’s sister Anna. There is just enough story involving these characters to give depth to the novel without bogging it down in unnecessary detail.
Character development of the principals as well as the victim and his family is well done. Through the writing, they are presented as complex people who are interesting and have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. There are also clues and red herrings sprinkled throughout the book allowing the reader to draw conclusions as to who might be guilty of committing murder. While I solved the mystery prior to the end of the book, it wasn’t too early in the book and it was still enjoyable to read and ascertain if I was correct.
This book is an excellent representation of a cozy mystery. The reasons for Lord and Lady Kurland being in Bath and the involving themselves in the solution of their neighbor’s murder are completely believable, which adds to the overall enjoyment of the story. The characters who populate the book add depth and interest beyond the mystery itself and help to increase the reader’s interest in the book as well as the series. Although I haven’t read any of the other books, I would certainly consider reading others in the series and would probably opt to begin with the first book as I suspect there is some relationship development that would be interesting to experience as it grows.
My thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.