Murder in Unsound Mind by Anne Cleeland

Murder in Unsound Mind (Doyle & Acton, #13)
Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Doyle and Acton 13
Publication Date: 2/28/21
Number of Pages: 240

In 2013, when the first book of this series came out, I thought it was a wonderful, entertaining, and quirky book, but I thought it might not have longevity because not everybody appreciates quirky as much as I do. Eight years and thirteen books have proven me very, very wrong on that front. This latest addition to the series just adds more and more to the wonderfully quirky Doyle and Acton duo. I think it would be hard to jump into the middle of the series and really appreciate it for what it is. If you haven’t read any of the previous books, I’d suggest reading at least the first one or two books so you can better understand both Acton and Doyle. However, realistically I think you should read the entire series in order because each book builds on the previous book in character development, case backgrounds, etc.

If you read the last book, Murder in Revelation, you will remember that Doyle ended up in a fight for her life as well as their son’s – in their own home. Thanks to Acton, their home is better guarded and fortified than the palace, but still, their security was breached. Although she doesn’t realize it, Doyle is suffering a bit of PTSD from that earlier altercation and she has a good bit of pregnancy brain-fog. Those two things make her a bit slower to pick up on the clues about what is going on – especially what Acton is up to.

Acton is being hyper-vigilant in assuring his wife is safe and snug while she’s carrying their second child. You see, Acton absolutely adores Doyle and will go to any lengths to assure her comfort and safety – even if she isn’t exactly thrilled with his machinations. Somehow, she manages to stumble onto a case that will cause them nothing but trouble even though he’s tried to keep her assigned to the most benign things. As soon as she is at the crime scene, her Spidey-senses begin to tingle and they continue until she has all of the answers and manages to curb Acton’s revenge plot as well.

The case to which Doyle is called is the murder of the office manager at a medical clinic. The only reason Doyle is there is to see if this murder relates to the events in a previous case – Doyle thinks it might – but the perpetrator is quickly arrested and it turns out to be unrelated. Or is it? The office manager was a cooperating witness in that previous case and Doyle learns, by accident, that yet another cooperating witness in that same case has also been recently murdered.

While Doyle is quietly investigating all of that, she learns that Lady Abby, who has appeared as a not-so-nice person previously, is in London and she was trying to harass Mary who is the nanny to Edward, Doyle and Acton’s small son. When Lady Abby is found drowned in the Thames, was it an accident, suicide, or murder?

Acton is his usual enigmatic, manipulative self, but Doyle knows he is up to something and she knows she needs to figure it all out fast and put a stop to it.

All of our favorite characters make an appearance and we learn some surprising things about some of them. What will that portend for future books? Who knows? We’ll only find out with each entrancing book in the series is released. We do get a nice hint about the subject for the next book in the series. Can’t wait.

I definitely recommend this book if you love quirky, flawed characters and an excellent mystery.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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