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Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mysteries,…

Grace Under Pressure (Manor House Mysteries, No. 1)

by Julie Hyzy

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I enjoyed this novel but perhaps because I discovered the Book Retreat Mysteries Series by Ellery Adams first, I chose "liked it" rather than "really liked it." There seemed to be many similarities in my mind between reading about Storyton Hall (the storybook resort tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia) as created by Ellery Adams and Marshfield Manor (part mansion and part museum in the town of Emberstowne, a quaint tourist town in the hills of North Carolina). Jane Steward is Resort Manager at Storyton and Grace Wheaton is Assistant Curator at the manor.

The supporting characters of Marshfield Manor are interesting to meet. Grace's roommates actually reminded me of Scarlett Parker and Vivian (Viv) Tremont's neighbors in The Hat Shop Mystery series written by Jenn McKinlay. Nick is a dentist and Andre is a photographer and they're always creating wonderful dinners for Scarlett and Vivian while Grace's roommates seem to care for her by ensuring she has their best glass of wine to relax after a stressful day at the manor.

I probably will not continue reading this series but truly it's only because I have so many new novelists to discover and I'll continue reading about Storyton Hall as who can resist a thoughts of a book retreat getaway. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Nov 16, 2017 |
Grace takes a job at Marshfield Manor. Her boss is killed and suddenly she is running the elegant mansion. The small town police department isn't well equipped to investigate a murder, and they think she might be a suspect. The employees of the Manor are suspicious of her also. Grace takes it on herself to figure out who killed Abe. In doing so, she learns more about the Manor's employees and her own family's connection to the Manor, while juggling home repairs and a couple of roommates (the roommates get scammed by the same woman who scammed Grace at Marshfield - a nice subplot). Grace is also struggling personally - her flighty sister and her ex are peripherally mentioned, and there is groundwork laid for a potential romantic interest in Jack, who works at the Manor.

The plot was interesting, though a bit unwieldy at times (I'm still not sure why the inept private detective was mentioned so much) - but perhaps that will all become more clear later in the series. The characters were interesting, particularly the annoying Frances (who I hope gets hers at some point). The setting was delightful.

I look forward to reading more by this author. ( )
  LLRobinett | Jan 29, 2017 |
Great start to hopefully a long series. I enjoyed the main character grace but felt that she should have been much stern with her "new" assistant, Frances. She was over the top rude and horrid behavior - I would never put up with it.

Their were a few open ended story lines including her younger sister and Grace's fiancé running off together and getting married, and of course the hunky Jack Embers. There always is a hunky young thing with a soap opera style name.

I will definitely read further into the series of this. Loved the setting of a beautiful mansion manor, however don't remember hearing where it exactly is in the US. ( )
  anglophile65 | Mar 8, 2016 |
Great book, but the fact that it didn't say where the manor was (Virginia?) drove me nuts! ;-) ( )
  AnaKurland | Jan 30, 2016 |
This book captures all of the classic elements that you expect from a mystery. I found myself guessing who did it as each page and chapter got me closer to the end. An excellent strong heroine that inevitably is the only intelligent person who is able to solve this mystery. Well written and I'm looking forward to reading another book featuring Grace. ( )
  LiteraryChanteuse | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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This one is for you, Curtie
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There were at least sixty people in the Birdcage room this afternoon, but not one of them made a peep.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Meet Grace Wheaton, lover of history and mystery -- both of which can be found in her hometown's palatial Marshfield Manor...

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations. The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes...

Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe's job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions -- or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace's home, she and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets -- and sour grapes out for revenge...
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"Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, but now it's up to a new curator Grace Wheaton and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers to protect dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets--and sour grapes out for revenge" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

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