Murder at Blackwater Bend by Clara McKenna

Murder at Blackwater Bend (A Stella and Lyndy Mystery, #2)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: A Stella And Lyndy Mystery #2
Publication Date: 6/30/20
Number of Pages: 304

It has been two months since American Stella Kendrick, her father, her aunt, and three thoroughbred racehorses arrived in England – specifically at Morrington Hall. The arrival, murders, and betrothal are all chronicled in the first book of the series – Murder at Morrington Hall. Now, Stella is beginning to settle in – at least a little. While the local folks are fairly accepting of what they see as the American’s eccentricities, society hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

Stella’s father is still as obnoxious as he was in the first book, but at least he gets a little less page time in this one. I did take great delight in him getting a bit of what was coming to him from quite an unexpected source. Lyndy’s mother, Lady Atherly, is also still a piece of work – she doesn’t want Stella in her family and makes no bones about it. She gets a bit of a comeuppance too, but not enough to suit me. I hope Mr. Kendrick goes back to America soon – like right after the wedding. I also hope Lady Atherly disappears from the pages soon.

Stella is unhappily planning an engagement party in order to appease her future mother-in-law. She’s attended balls, musicales, and garden parties, and she’s managed to acquit herself quite well. While the gentlemen appreciate the warm smiles, open, honest comments, and interested questions, the ladies are appalled at those same things. Lyndy has certainly come to appreciate Stella’s warmth, kindness, and enthusiasm. So, when he offers to teach her to fish, he’s delighted when he accepts – and he loves watching her enjoy herself.

Near dawn one morning, Stella and Lyndy are at the Blackwater with Stella learning to trout fish. As she casts her fly, it catches and she wades over to try to free it – only to find the body of Viscount Fairbrother. Oh! No! Not again.

When suspicion is cast on local snake catcher, Harvey Milkham, Stella gets involved in the investigation. Unlike other society ladies, Stella makes friends with every level of society – much to Lady Atherly’s dismay. Harvey was one of those friends and Stella just knows in her heart he can’t be a murderer.

There are more murders, more mysteries, more treachery, more masquerades, and more betrayals before everything is all wrapped up. The story is filled with twists and turns and more suspects than you can name.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and hope you will as well. Stella and Lyndy are a delightful couple and I look forward to reading more books in the series – just as soon as they are written.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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