Take a group of Civil War re-enactors, one lowlife scumbag, a stray kitten, throw in a couple of murders and you have an intriguing cozy mystery.
Grace Wheaton is the director/curator of Marshfield Manor. She has her hands full with the day-to-day operations, while also overseeing a group of Civil War re-enactors on the grounds.
She handles one minor altercation between two women and one of the re-enactors, Zachary Kincade, only to have Kincade attack an employee of the manor’s landscaping crew minutes later. It seems Kincade has a history with the employee, Davy Embers, and his brother, Jack, owner of the landscape company. Kincade believes Jack killed his younger brother, Lyle, 13 years earlier.
Arriving home that night in the rain, Grace discovers a stray tuxedo kitten at her house. Taking the kitten in, Grace calls her Bootsie. While determined to find the kitten’s owners, Grace can’t help the attachment she begins to feel for the little bundle of fur.
The next morning Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death near the re-enactment camp and the list of suspects includes the Embers brothers.
Grace believes in the brothers’ innocence in both murders. There are plenty of people who didn’t like Kincade even though he was slated to take charge of the re-enactors. She feels there’s more to the first murder than everyone is saying. Solving the latest crime could lead to the killer in the original murder. Grace begins her search for Kincade’s killer with the help of her incorrigible assistant, Frances. She also seeks the help of Ronnie Tooney, a want-to-be private investigator.
Grace works to find the killer, falls in love with the new kitten she’s allergic to, and tries to enjoy a budding romance. But the more Grace uncovers, the closer she gets to being the killer’s next victim and the more strained her romance becomes.
Author Julie Hyzy has created lovable characters that you will want to visit again and again. They are zany and realistic. They will draw you in, hold your attention until the last sentence, and leave you longing to know what Grace will be up to next.
GRACE INTERRUPTED is the second installment in the Manor House Mystery series, but is a stand alone book. While there are references to prior events, the reader is never left in the dark. This is a delightful series and an enjoyable read. A great addition to your library.
Author Julie Hyzy’s website is www.juliehyzy.com and she also blogs on Fridays at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.
Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy, A Manor House Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2011, ISBN: 9780425241905, Paperback, 288 pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.