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British Manor Murder by Leslie Meier

British Manor Murder

by Leslie Meier

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A fun--read it in one session mystery. It's always good to see Lucy, who this time goes with her friend, Sue, to visit one of the "stately homes of England." Lucy misses her grandson, whose parents have moved to Alaska. The trip is a perfect way to ward off her increasing depression. Of course, there is a murder or two and an eccentric family of the aristocracy. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make an appearance and Prince William makes a joke.
Enjoyable as all of Leslie Meier's Lucy Stones domestic mysteries. ( )
  dorisannn | Jan 10, 2017 |
Lucy is in the throes of depression caused by her son taking his family, including Lucy’s grandson, to Alaska. Lucy’s best friend Sue, invites her to go to England with her for a hat exhibition. Staying at a huge manor house, Lucy and Sue soon find themselves in the thick of it, with an accidental death and a murder. The characters in this book are like old friends to all of us who have read the series, and any Lucy Stone adventure is delight. However, even though Lucy deserves a vacation now and then, I find the novels that center around her home life and family to be the more enjoyable ones. ( )
  Maydacat | Oct 22, 2016 |
This is only the second book I have read in the Lucy Stone series, but it is easy to enjoy the book and follow without having read the others. Lucy is falling into a depression because her son and his family have moved to Alaska. She misses her grandson terribly. Her friend Sue has been invited to England by the Earl of Wickham to bring her hats to display in his "Hat Exhibit" at Moreton Manor. When they arrive they are in for a surprise. Expecting a lifestyle similar to what they have seen on Downton Abbey, they are shocked to find that the Manor House is actually a tourist attraction open to the public and the family lived in the renovated servant's wing. Perry (the Earl), his sister Poppy and her husband Gerald are living there full-time and taking care of the house with their staff. When Lucy, Sue and the hunky gardener Geoffrey find a dead body in the maze, the police put it off to a tourist who has overdosed. When snobby Aunt Millicent and her lady's maid Harrison unexpectedly drop by the family members are consistently tense. When Aunt Millicent complains about the smell in the hallway near her room, the family puts it off as a dead mouse, but it eventually gets unbearable. A body is discovered in a secret room and Lucy can not help but begin her own investigation.

This is an interesting story. It has all the stuff mysteries are made of: dead bodies, secret children, drugs, thievery, dalliances, snobbery, and entertainment. The fact that I had pretty much figured out who the murderer was quite early, it did not deter my enjoyment of the book. I certainly recommend this Lucy Stone mystery to all Cozy Mystery readers.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Oct 4, 2016 |
British Manor Murder by Leslie Meier is the twenty-third A Lucy Stone Mystery novel (can you believe it). Lucy Stone is feeling depressed since her grandson, Patrick went back to living with his parents. Lucy loved having him around while his parents were out of the country. Sue Finch has received an invitation to visit England and her husband cannot accompany her. Sue invites Lucy to go with her. She believes a change of place will help get Lucy out of her funk. They are going to be staying with Peregrine “Perry” Pryce-West, Earl of Wickham and his sister, Poppy (along with her husband, Gerald). He is hosting an event at Moreton Manor called The Head’s Up! Hat Festival. Sue has some lovely hats that she will be contributing to the exhibition. Lucy brought some mystery novels to read, but no dress clothes (not a good choice). Also staying at the manor are Poppy’s children Flora (anorexic) and Desi (ballet dancer). Unfortunately, Aunt Millicent shows up and brings her lady’s maid, Harrison. Aunt Millicent is a bit of a pill (and very demanding). The manor is very expensive to maintain so the family opens up the main house to tourists. Lucy and Sue are staying in the old servant’s quarters that have been renovated. Lucy is going through the maze on the property and when she reaches the center Lucy discovers a dead body! Then the house starts to smell. At first they thought it was a dead animal, but then the smell got significantly worse. A body is found decomposing in a priest hole (a hidden room). It turns out to be Harrison’s son, Cyril. Lucy just loves a mystery and cannot help poking her nose into this one (the bonus is her depression is lifting). Whoever killed Cyril has to know the house very well to have found the priest hole. Will Lucy be able to find the killer before there is another victim? Join Lucy Stone on her latest adventure in British Manor Murder.

I have read every Lucy Stone Mystery book. They are all enjoyable to read and highly entertaining. The book is well-written, has a good pace, and is easy to read. The characters remind me of everyday people. Lucy and her family could be my neighbors or relatives and I like that. The mystery was interesting. It is more complicated than just dead bodies. I liked that there were various elements to it. Leslie Meier has an easy breezy style of writing that makes the novel a pleasure to read. I give British Manor Murder 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I liked figuring out the different elements and identifying the killer. It was also nice to revisit Lucy, her family, and friends. I enjoyed that we were taken out of Tinker’s Cove to a new destination. Tinker’s Cove really does not need another dead body (the town is bound to get a bad reputation). The only thing I did not like was how whiny Lucy was at the beginning of the book. It did not fit with her personality and it was a bit of a turn off. I am glad, though, that I persevered and finished the book. I would love to see this author start a new series. I like Lucy Stone, but I believe it is about time for her swan song.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Sep 28, 2016 |
I received this from NetGalley to read and review. This is another Lucy Stone cozy mystery, only instead of being set in Maine, this one is set in England. Lucy’s friend Sue has been invited by the Earl of Wickham, known as “Perry”, to a hat exhibit at his manor in England. Lucy goes along with Sue on her trip across the pond because Sue’s husband does not want to go and because she is feeling “withdrawal” pains because her young grandson Patrick has left for Alaska with his parents, who are off to a new job. First of all, I am not sure Lucy was suffering from the big “D”, depression, as the book claimed everyone thought. Yes, she missed Patrick, who she treasures dearly, but come on, she is an adult and a mother/grandmother, who never shies away from reality, and the Lucy Stone I have met in her books is reasonable, smart and accepting of whatever life throws at her. Lucy being depressed to the extent that the characters in the book try to portray just does not sit well with the Lucy Stone, erstwhile sleuth, who works on and helps solve mysteries throughout the series. I honestly thought the author had more going for her than this. Back to the story. Lucy and Sue find that, once they arrive in England, things are not all Downton Abbey or the merry “olde” England of castles and upper crust nobility, as they had imagined. The earl is struggling to maintain the manor, as upkeep costs for old buildings can get rather steep. Members of his family who appear in the story are a bit disjointed and not the happy campers one would imagine or hope. In addition, his snobbish Aunt Millicent and her difficult-to-put-up-with handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly “drop by” for the exhibit, moving in with the family, making life at the manor consistently tense. Add to this two dead bodies, one dead of an overdose and one found stashed away in a “hidden” room in the manor, and you have a real mess. Lucy and Sue do not want to become involved in the police investigations into the mysterious murders, but Lucy, being Lucy, finds the whole thing hard to avoid.

This book is a bit different because the setting is not the usual Tinker’s Cove, Maine of the series, but the author does do a fair job of putting the duo into this very British environs. As other reviewers have wondered, I also question the cover of the book. Why put two corgis on the cover, if the only dogs mentioned, and then only in passing, are not even corgis? Is this an attempt to entice dog lovers to read the book or to lend a “homey” appearance? It may work to entice, but does not make the book any more “homey”. I also wondered about the relationship between the two good friends Lucy and Sue. If they were two good friends (and who but good friends would go together to England on a visit such as this one), why does Sue come across so antagonistic and unfriendly so often in the book? In addition, Lucy definitely comes across as out of sorts and not as the hard-working, intelligent sleuth of the series. Finally, Lucy’s husband definitely comes across as a real flake, though he is only mentioned in passing in a few phone conversations. I found it difficult to imagine Lucy even married to such a flake, if she is really the strong, intelligent woman portrayed in other books. Finally, Lucy does almost nothing to help or work the investigation, except give a couple of short, practically meaningless, interviews with the police. It is almost as if going to another country put a real damper on her brain. She may be leery of meddling in a foreign investigation, but that should not totally keep Lucy Stone out of things.

The book is quick read, though it will never be my favorite Lucy Stone mystery. I almost think the author tried too hard to shake things up, to keep things interesting, and lost too much in the process. If you enjoy the Lucy Stone mysteries and if you enjoy the author’s style, this may be a good book for you. Just do not expect too much, as it is entertaining, but definitely not as good as the others in the series. ( )
  KMT01 | Sep 16, 2016 |
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Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly: snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel's gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison's son, Cyril. From back cover.… (more)

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