Review: The Murder at Mandeville Hall

Review: The Murder at Mandeville HallThe Murder at Mandeville Hall (The Casebook of Barnaby Adair, 5) by Stephanie Laurens
Published by Savdek Management Pty Ltd on August 16, 2018
Genres: Historical, Mystery

FINAL DECISION: The mystery was good, but the solution was pretty obvious to me from the beginning. In compensation, however, the romance was a nice diversion as the two get to know one another and solve the crime.

THE STORY: Alaric, Lord Carradale has been a rake but something has changed recently and he is considering looking for a bride. Unfortunately, the sweet innocent young woman that would be the typical bride is someone who would likely bore Alaric in a week. While attending a house party by his friend and neighbor, Alaric ends up stumbling across one of the young women who is attending the party dead in the bushes. The young woman’s cousin immediately comes across Alaric and it appears that he is the most likely criminal. Constance Whittaker has arrived too late to help her cousin but is determined to find the murderer. Soon Constance and Alaric have teamed up to solve the murder and bring in Barnaby Adair, his wife Penelope and Inspector Stokes of Scotland Yard.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book, but the balance of the story wasn’t as good as others in the series. The mystery was intriguing all the way until the reveal. Unfortunately, I had pegged the villain from the start and the exact reason for the crime. It made the resolution of the mystery anticlimactic.

While I enjoyed the story between Alaric and Constance, I missed seeing more of Barnaby and Penelope. Because there was no real conflict between Alaric and Constance other than the crime, I liked them as characters, but their relationship wasn’t really something that I had to root for.

This was a fine one time read, but I have enjoyed others in the series more.


CONNECTED BOOKS: THE MURDER AT MANDEVILLE HALL is the seventh book in the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series. The story here is self-contained, but Barnaby Adair and his wife and the Scotland Yard investigator are continuing characters. Here, however, they are not as prominent as the couple and thus this is a good standalone in the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.



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