Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #7
Publication Date: 1/28/2018
Number of Pages: 304
It has been a little over a year since the last book in this series, Death Comes To Bath, and I was beginning to suffer from anxiety pangs waiting for this one. This is an absolutely delightful series and this book was a terrific addition. It has been wonderful watching Robert and Lucy’s relationship grow and mature. Robert has mellowed – at least a tad – from the taciturn curmudgeon we first met and Lucy has settled a bit as well. At the end of the last book, Lucy was expecting their first child after suffering two miscarriages. In this book, we meet the captivating Ned who is now almost three years old. NOTE: The book blurb says eighteen-month-old, but the ARC I read said he was nearly three.
Robert never thought he wanted children – those noisome small creatures who would be constantly underfoot. Then Lucy came into his life – and then there was the wondrous addition of Ned to the family. Robert is now totally besotted with both his wife and his son. How could life get any better? He quickly finds out when Lucy tells him that she is now expecting their second child in a few months. Their calm, peaceful routine quickly gets turned on its head when Lucy hires another maid for the nursery. Lucy is tiring quicker and can’t do as much and with a new baby in the nursery, they’ll need more staff. Luckily, their current nursery maid, Agnes, has a cousin who is looking for a position. Lucy is delighted when Agnes recommends Polly because she is very well pleased with Agnes.
The chaos sets in almost immediately. Polly excels in the nursery and Ned quickly comes to love her – as do all of the single males within the household and the village. While Polly does nothing to encourage the men – actually she does quite the opposite – they still come to fisticuffs on a regular basis. Robert is at the point of firing all of them – and then Polly comes up missing. When her lifeless body is found, Robert and Lucy quickly set out to find the murderer.
This book has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Is Polly more than she seems? Is she even who she says she is? Polly is Agnes’ cousin but … Agnes is plain and Polly is breathtakingly beautiful. Who is the hostler who began working at the Inn at the same time Polly arrived in Kurland St. Mary?
Lucy and Robert end up making a trip to London in order to discover more about Polly and how she came to be in their household – and who she really is. As they learn her real identity, they have to find out what happened to the real Polly – and what caused the girl they know as Polly to run away from London. Of whom or what was she afraid?
I highly recommend this book. It is very well-written, fast-paced, well-plotted, and filled with characters you’ll love. Well, except for the villains of course – and I was very happy that they got their punishment! You will probably figure out who the murderer is before the end of the story, but, even if you do, it doesn’t detract from the story at all.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.