Series: Honeychurch Hall Mysteries #2
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Challenges: Cruisin' Through the Cozies | Finishing the Series | May 2015 Clean Sweep ARC Challenge | NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge |
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on the Honeychurch Hall estate, suspicion as to his unusual demise naturally falls on the residents. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line and rolling stock depot built in their front yard?
News of the murder soon reaches our heroine Kat Stanford’s nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kat’s discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing—and humiliating—Kat’s mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.
As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the minister’s death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mother’s unusual past?
I read and enjoyed the first book so I was happy to see this book up on NetGalley. Like the first book, "Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall" was quirky and funny. The books are more soap opera with a side order of mystery than a full-fledged mystery. This one does have several mysteries going on but it takes a while for the action to kick in. The Honeychurch Hall mysteries are more about the people than the actual mysteries. They're character driven, not plot driven.
The events in this book unfold about six weeks (more or less, I couldn't find where exactly the time frame was mentioned; I didn't highlight it) after the events of the first book. Many secrets are being kept about those events, most especially from Lady Edith, who may or may not be senile, and her young grandson Harry. Kat thinks that they should know the truth and would tell them if she could.
Kat and her mother join the movement to prevent the train from building in their area, but right from the beginning things don't go smoothly. What follows is a sometimes twisty, sometimes quirky, often meandering story of people living their lives, for better or worse. Actually, though the story seems to meander at first, as the story progresses, you realizes it's more tightly woven than it appears. Little details take on new meaning and look different when turned just a little bit. I like that Dennison doesn't ignore what happened in the earlier story but incorporates it into this story. The impact of events is carried along into future stories and adds a depth and richness sometimes missing in cozy mysteries.
I didn't love "Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall" as I often had trouble relating to Kat, her mother, or many of the characters. Kat is pleasant enough but there's just something about her that keeps me at a distance. But I enjoyed watching the story unfold and trying to guess what would happen. I was pleased to find I was partially correct but I was more wrong than correct.
"Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall" was a little confusing at times and I had trouble keeping all of the characters straight (it's a large cast), but if you like small town life, quirky characters, and lots of detail, this is the story for you.