Saturday, May 09, 2015
REVIEW: Murder At Rudhall Manor by Anya Wylde
Author: Anya Wylde
Publisher: Anya Wylde
Publication Date: June, 2014
Buy The Book: Amazon
Description: A murder and a theft have been committed at Rudhall Manor. A box of jewels has vanished and Lord Sedley, a lusty old aristocrat, has been stabbed six times in the chest.
It is all very mysterious, and the Sedley family and the servants have decided that Miss Lucy Anne Trotter, a recently employed governess, is to blame for the unfortunate events. The legendary and wickedly handsome Marquis, Lord William Adair, learns of the matter and decides to uncover the truth.
Lucy, however, has little faith in blue blooded creatures—even if they possess dashing good looks— and, accompanied by two naughty pugs and a moody raven, decides to investigate and unmask the killer herself.
But the hunt for the killer turns out to be far more complicated than she anticipates—what with snooty servants, warts in odd places, mixed up love affairs, agitated chickens and dreadful disguises ruining her plans.
Soon she begins to wonder if, for once, she is in over her head….
My Thoughts: Though quite silly, I found Murder At Rudhall Manor to be a good and entertaining story. There’s a murderer on the loose at Rudhall Manor but it’s nearly impossible to take any of it seriously with the over the top goings on. Naturally, the dysfunctional Sedley family is quick to blame our charming governess, Miss Lucy Trotter, though they have not one shred of proof, other than their obvious dislike and prejudice against the hired help, though she has yet to be paid for her work. Unfortunately for Miss Trotter, the rest of the household staff soon begins to believe she is the culprit and go out of their way to make her feel alone and without any allies. The arrival of Lord Adair does not seem to be of any help either as his investigation does not expose the killer either. Lucy starts to seriously fear that her neck will soon be in a noose. The arrival of Aunt Sedley provides a welcome distraction and Lucy agrees to look into the murder to find the real killer, but Aunt Sedley is not much help, being dead herself and a ghost. Lucy embarks on a madcap chase through the house and grounds looking for clues that will reveal the true identity of the killer before she runs out of time.
I enjoyed meeting Lucy and found her to be very brave and full of spunk, which is a rarity for women in this time period. Growing up in an orphanage has taught Lucy to rely on her own wits and intelligence to get through life. When she takes up the post of governess at Rudhall Manor, she has no idea that her wits and intelligence is what she has most going for her to keep her out of the hangman’s noose. I admired her tenacity to investigate the murder while facing animosity and opposition from everyone else around her. I found Lord Adair to be a very strange character, starting with his bizarre entrance by hot air balloon into the story. He’s quite eccentric and I suspect a little bit insane, but he and Lucy make a great, though odd, couple. What I found interesting was though Lucy found him to be very attractive, there was absolutely no hint of romance between them. This will make sense if you have read Penelope, though I am curious to see what they get up to next. I did not care for the living members of the Sedley family. Though she wasn’t much help to Lucy in her investigations, I thought Aunt Sedley was very entertaining. It’s too bad the rest of the family wasn’t as likable.
The story moves at a very good pace, keeping me engaged and interested in the story enough to want to know what happens next. A major twist at the end of the book with the reveal of the villain, which took me completely by surprise, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise since this story doesn’t follow the expected direction at any time.
My Final Verdict: Murder At Rudhall Manor will appeal to fans of light mysteries or quirky storylines and characters. Overall, this is an enjoyable story that will keep the reader entertained for several hours.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Murder At Rudhall Manor from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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