Today I’m reviewing the latest in this fabulous series. You can find my reviews for the previous books on my blog. Many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.
The Book: Christmas, 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift has received a rather unexpected invitation to the village Christmas party in the tiny, rural hamlet of Derrydee in the west of Ireland. Eleanor is thrilled about exploring her ancestral roots at her late uncle’s estate and spending the festive season in a castle. Packing Gladstone the bulldog’s coziest Christmas jumper, they set off to the Emerald Isle with her butler Clifford in tow.
Arriving late at night, Eleanor and Clifford are shocked when they find a body sprawled in the snow on the winding country lane outside the estate. The local constable is immediately suspicious and all but accuses the pair of murder. This isn’t the warm Irish welcome Eleanor imagined!
Clifford is certain he recognises the poor fellow from the funeral of Eleanor’s uncle – but what was their connection? Undeterred by the villagers’ lack of gossip on the matter, Eleanor is determined to get justice for the victim. The man’s pockets are suspiciously empty of personal effects, but closer inspection reveals an old key hidden in the heel of his boot. Could this unlock more than one mystery for Eleanor?
But when a fire breaks out at the castle on Christmas Eve, an even bigger question looms: is someone out to ensure the family line dies with Lady Swift? And will Eleanor’s first Irish Christmas be her last?
An utterly addictive festive whodunnit set in Ireland, brimming with mystery, intrigue and wit. Sure to delight fans of T E Kinsey, Agatha Christie and Rhys Bowen.
The Review: In this latest instalment in this series, Eleanor travels to Ireland for Christmas, wanting to learn more about the Irish side of her family. Unsurprisingly things do not go as planned, not only do Eleanor and Clifford discover a body within minutes of arriving, but many of the locals are far from friendly. Some of the unfriendliness is clearly due to recent historical events in Ireland, but that doesn’t account for all of it and Eleanor and Clifford feel the need to investigate, again.
Once again we have a story that’s descriptive enough to transport the reader, without getting bogged down in too much detail. Unlike in the stories set near Eleanor’s home of Henley Hall there are few friendly faces here, so it really is Eleanor and Clifford versus everyone else, and that adds to the tension from the beginning. They don’t get any respite in the castle itself, because even there not is as it seems, and their Christmas plans are looking precarious.
This is another excellent read, and brilliant addition to the series. I enjoyed spending time with Eleanor and Clifford, the situation they were in was unlike all the previous books and providing a refreshing change, as does the setting of the next book in the series which will be out in March, and I can’t wait to read it.
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
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