I was really looking forward to reading Twilight at Moorington Cross because I had read and enjoyed other books from this author. This book, however, didn’t live up to its predecessors.
Mrs. Amelia Pembroke has had a difficult life. We didn’t learn anything of her parents, how they met their deaths, or how they came to leave their young daughter’s future so unplanned. We do know that she was in the hands of a guardian by the age of five, and that guardian was a loving and caring one. Although not loving and caring enough to assure she was protected – he left for France and left her in the care of yet another guardian. She was passed from uncaring guardian to uncaring guardian until she was old enough to marry and then she was foisted off on an unsuspecting bridegroom. You see, Amelia has a sleeping disorder (narcolepsy I assume) and is apt to fall asleep at the most inopportune times. In times of severe stress, her entire body locks, and she falls – totally paralyzed. None of her guardians could deal with that – nor could the bridegroom who knew nothing of the disorder when he married her. They were only married a week before he placed her in the Cluett Mesmeric Hospital where she has been for the last two years. Though she is now a widow, she is still in residence at the hospital.
Ethan Hawkins has been summoned to the Cluett Mesmeric Hospital to formalize Mr. Cluett’s will. It is definitely a strange will, but it isn’t his job to judge – it is only his job to assure that the will is legal and binding. He is amazed when Mr. Cluett decides to share the contents of the will with the beneficiaries as soon as it is finalized. However, Mr. Cluett wants all who will be affected to be aware of the clauses in the will and what it will mean to them. You see, Mr. Cluett is leaving his considerable fortune and property to Amelia – as long as she marries one of two gentlemen he has named. Should she choose not to honor that clause in the will, the ENTIRE fortune and property will be awarded to the mesmeric school in France.
Later that same evening, Mr. Cluett is found dead in his bath. Accident or murder? The bumbling magistrate rules it an accident, but Ethan and Amelia are sure it was murder. Everyone in the home was accounted for at the time of death, so it couldn’t be one of them. Or could it? The house was locked up for the evening, so it couldn’t have been anyone from the outside. Or could it?
The characters were almost cardboard and I just couldn’t find any affinity with them, and the mystery was so very slow – and – well – boring – until you got to the end and then all sorts of weird and unexpected things just came out of the woodwork. Almost the entire book has Amelia vacillating between the two possible suitors – but she really prefers Ethan – but she really has to choose one of the other two men – but she really prefers Ethan – and on and on. It was very tiresome and really didn’t move the story along. I will certainly try another book by this author, but I cannot recommend this one.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.