For me, one of the best things about reading is the opportunity to travel around the world. One of the most enjoyable trips I’ve had recently was a trip to Bath in the United Kingdom. An added bonus was the opportunity to travel there during the regency period, which added to the overall experience. This trip was accomplished through the talented writing of Catherine Lloyd in her book Death Comes to Bath. I got to enjoy the elegance and formality of the time period without having to experience any loss of modern day comfort. Who wouldn’t want to have that opportunity?
As many of the books I read these days, I got an advanced digital copy of this book through https://www.netgalley.com. I’ve been reading books through their program for over six months now and it’s a great way for me to feed my reading habit. An added bonus is the opportunity to find “new to me” authors who introduce me to new places, people and situations. Death Comes to Bath has recently been released as the sixth in the “A Kurland St. Mary Mystery” series featuring Robert and Lucy Kurland.
If you are looking for a new series to indulge your reading habit, you might give this series a look. As I mention in the review below, there are some relationships among the principle and secondary characters that grow and change over the series. So, if you are interested in reading an excellent mystery, you can start with this one or probably any of the other books Lloyd has written. If you want to read and experience friendships as they develop along with an excellent mystery, you might want to start with the first in the series. Either way, I can recommend these books for your consideration. Here’s my review:
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.
Let me know what you think and how you like this one. For me, I’m going to settle in for the holidays with a good book and a cup of coffee. Happy Reading!