Death at the Dance:
I have read the first book of this series previously. At the time, I felt like there was potential and hoped to pick the next up. I have now made progress in the series although I am missing one odd one out. It does not seem to have affected my reading experience, although I would not recommend skipping the first because it holds a lot of information.
Ellie is settling into her new role. She is on good terms with her household staff and looking forward to attending a Ball. Once there, she is on the lookout for the man(boy) who captured her interest the last time. In tailing him, she finds herself in an inexcusable position of being found near a dead body. Thus begins a tale with a countdown where a friend’s life is in danger, and almost everyone in his circle seems to be hiding something. Ellie and her trusted Butler set out to systematically find alibis and identify the culprit before the time runs out. As usual, Clifford (the Butler) does the actual solving, but Eleanor is the one who ferrets out the details by being in the right place at the right time as well as saying the right things. It was a quick read, moving at a fast pace and wraps up quite neatly.
Life in the period is shown in all its fake glamour with people living beyond their means and being people of leisure.
Murder in the snow:
I missed the intermediate story between this one and the last I read. I seemed to have missed a significant change of heart. Eleanor is now reconsidering who her heart belongs to because of something that happens in the third adventure. Since I did not get a chance to pick it up, I can only speculate. This time we arrive at Henley Hall amidst the first Christmas Celebrations with Ellie at the helm. She is concerned about keeping up with traditions but intends to be herself and do her best. The biggest hurdle comes when one of the least liked people in town drops dead. I guessed who the culprit was ( but not the reason) halfway into the investigation, but it did not bother me as it could have.
The formula remains the same, a list of suspects followed by verification of alibis. There is a bit of misdirection thrown into the mix, and Eleanor is thrown right into it all. The narrative style stays snappy and kept me involved throughout. Once again, this was a single sitting read. Especially since Eleanor is the one who identifies the root cause which cracks the case, something that is not as evident in the previous instalments.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.