’Till death do us part may come sooner than they thought…
1934. Kitty Underhay steps out of the battered Rolls Royce and onto the gravelled driveway of Thurscomb Castle in deepest Yorkshire. She’s honoured to be a bridesmaid at her cousin Lucy’s wedding to the reluctant Lord Rupert Woodcomb, but as family and friends gather for welcome drinks, Kitty dodges intrusive questions about her own marital status by taking a stroll about the castle grounds. As she passes through the manicured gardens, a fatal shot rings out…
The valet, Evans, is dead. And Kitty can’t help but notice how rattled the man standing next to him seems. Could Rupert’s best man, The Right Honourable Alexander ‘Sandy’ Galsworthy, believe the speeding bullet was meant for him?
When she discovers that Sandy has been receiving blackmail notes, Kitty suspects that one of the assembled guests has plans to make good on their threats. The local constabulary won’t act on Kitty’s hunch, so, busy with her bridesmaid’s duties, she asks her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, to help.
The ceremony passes without a hitch. But when an anxious Sandy slips away during the dancing, Matt follows, only to make a hideous discovery: Sandy is dead, flattened on the terrace by some falling masonry.
Now the duo are sure that there is a murderer within the castle walls. But can they untangle Sandy’s final hours and catch this killer before they strike again, or will the wedding bells be replaced by a death knell for Kitty herself…?
A completely charming and unputdownable cozy historical Golden Age murder mystery! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
Author: Helena Dixon
Series: Miss Underhay #7
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 273
Date of Publication: October 6, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
Kitty Underhay is excited to be traveling to Thurscomb Castle to perform her role as bridesmaid at her cousin Lucy's wedding. Wanting all attention to be on the bride, Kitty is disconcerted with well-meaning comments regarding her marital status. This is especially so because she has often been seen in close company with ex-army captain Matthew Bryant. Not only do the pair have an affinity for one another, they often work together to solve murders that have taken place at certain locations.
They get another chance to do this very thing when a bullet practically whizzes right by her. She is not struck, but the valet, Evans, is. Dead on the spot is shocking enough. However, the best man, Sandy Galsworthy, has strong reasons for believing that the bullet was meant for him. So there are two questions right at the outset. Who shot the gun and why?
Kitty cannot help herself. Rather adept with her skills of deduction she feels she is the perfect one to answer those very questions. Asking for Matt's assistance in this endeavor comes naturally to her and the two do what they can to prove who the killer is.
Despite the murder, the wedding does indeed take place. During the reception, Sandy steps out for a smoke and before Matt can go after to him in order to question him, Sandy is killed. Before Sandy's death Kitty and Matt were made aware of threatening notes that he was receiving, so his sudden death comes as no surprise.
Despite the bleakness shrouding over the wedding guests in this story, there are moments of levity, especially when it comes to a delightful character who makes a brief appearance in this book, Matt's aunt Euphemia. Characters such as hers provide brief respite in stories where death is a major player.
Murder at the Wedding is the seventh book in the truly enjoyable Miss Underhay series by Helena Dixon. I love the time frame, mid 1930s, and how strong a character that Kitty is. Not only does she defy convention, but she proves the perfect amateur detective in a successful and delightful series. I love how her relationship with Matt has bloomed over the course of the stories, which provides a nice layer to an often amusing series.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Helena Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. Helena was the RNA winner of the Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010.