Historical fiction, Mystery

Murder at Blackwater Bend by Clara McKenna

Murder at Morrington Hall (A Stella and Lyndy Mystery, #1)

I read and reviewed the first book earlier on the blog.

I mentioned in the first review that this series held promise. It is a rare occasion when I can happily admit my prediction came true. This second instalment is a much better work than its predecessor. The writing was smooth and flowing, with emotions tied up to the ongoing investigations. It drew me in, to the extent that I ended up reading it in one sitting, not really pausing during my meal and ending up sleeping later than I have recently.

I could point out the factors that play out in its favour:

  • Lyndy is not the typical supportive fiancé. He is flawed and has very few real interests. He does not make any claims to be anything other than an ordinary gentleman. Particularly with a focus only on his girl and horses (and not necessarily in that order always).
  • We get a few chapters, scattered throughout the narrative from the point of view of even some small players. This enhanced the overall atmosphere of the narrative.
  • The plot was simple, sad, but well done. It had me emotionally invested in the outcome as well as the collateral damage that was caused. I almost suspected the culprit(s), unsurprisingly I got it wrong (although not entirely, which is not much better than being wrong in this case).
  • The side characters were very vivid, and there were some hidden gems among the lighter moments.
  • It has really stepped up my hopes for the next instalment.

I may not have mentioned our leading lady Stella in the above points or the content of the mystery, but that doesn’t mean her part is small. She is open and engaging, and her emotions are visible to the public. The engaged couple is slowly coming to understand and trust each other. This slow build of the relationship was also presented in a very appealing manner. The mystery is better met while reading as it takes a while to set in, and then the unravelling is also done similarly.

I look forward to reading the next instalment. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes reading historical cozies. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

P.S: GoodReads awards has actually added quite a few write-ins into this next round of voting! I have not seen this happen very obviously in the last couple of years.

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