Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Grace Interrupted - 2nd in the Manor House Mystery series
Author: Julie Hyzy
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: June 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Emberstowne
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Julie's Website/Blog: www.juliehyzy.com
Grace Wheaton, curator/director for the Marshfield Manor and Museum, has to deal with a variety of problems on a daily basis. Her life, however, shouldn’t be this complicated but when it rains it pours, doesn’t it?
Civil War re-enactors have descended on the Manor property for a week of drills. Two women are determined to jump and taser one of these suave individuals. Her could-be boyfriend (they haven’t managed to have a date yet) Jack’s brother Davy is attacked by this suave individual (there’s history there). This suave individual (okay, if you want to know, his name is Zachary) is murdered. On Marshfield property.
The only good thing that has come out of the rain (literally and figuratively) is Bootsie, a stray cat Grace rescued.
Sigh. Jack and Davy are suspects. What a surprise. If she had been able to get the detectives to look at the bigger picture, whatever that was, she wouldn’t have to get involved or even solicit her gossipy and somewhat acerbic assistant's help. Snooping and unearthing juicy tidbits is Frances’s specialty. What better way than for Grace to send Frances to do some reconnaissance in the encampment (someone there has to know something) while Grace follows hunches and leads in a different direction?
Danger and deception loom. Time is of the essence. The re-enactors will be breaking camp soon. Lives are at stake. More than one life could be jeopardy.
With Frances at her side, or perhaps often being a thorn in her side, and Bennett (owner and long time resident of the Manor) putting a guilt trip on her, and possibly having to give up Bootsie, and trying to give a barely-begun relationship a chance, Ms. Hyzy drops a bomb in Grace’s lap (and the reader’s) with another murder at Marshfield Manor. I thought I had all of the answers…well maybe all of them except for the why, but I didn’t. I had gotten ahead of myself. Something I need to remember not to do.
Ms. Hyzy can sure create an unforgettable setting and cast of characters. I didn’t much care for Frances in Grace Under Pressure, but she grows on you. Jack is still a bit of a mystery so we’ll have to wait and see how he unravels. Bennett is like a dear old uncle. Grace, well she is a bit vulnerable underneath it all, but she’s definitely personable. Oh, the Manor? Well, I can see potential for lots of murder and pandemonium coming from the within the wall and halls of the 150 plus rooms.
A most intriguing and engaging read.
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