Murder in the Manor (A Lacey Doyle Cozy Mystery—Book 1)
by Fiona Grace
The set up is your classic scenario of a person undergoing a drastic change in her life and becoming involved in a mystery. All the ingredients are there: A divorce triggering the changes, a complete change of scene and job (from New York City to a picturesque English village; from hectic business life to self-employed); from stylish but soul-less apartment to quaint cottage. Of course, the other typical ingredients - a budding romance, new friends (and enemies), a mystery from the main character's childhood emerging and showing a connection with the current situation - are all there, too.
The reader keeps guessing, red herrings are thrown in, but of course in the end Lacey manages to solve the murder that is attributed to her as the newcomer in the village.
Being an American moving to England, Lacey comes across many a difference in language and way of life; some of it seems very stereotype, but it's not so bad as to bother me.
The writing is alright; the only thing that I found a little annoying was the over-frequent use of Lacey's name. For instance, instead of writing "Lacey drove to the village to have a good look around. She spotted a café on the main road and went there for a coffee and a croissant" the author would write "Lacey drove to the village to have a good look around. Lacey spotted a café on the main road, and Lacey went there for a coffee and a croissant." I mean, come on - we know that Lacey is the main character, and when within the same paragraph or even sentence the author uses "she", we usually understand who is meant.
But apart from that I really enjoyed the book and how Lacey (!) goes about this new chapter in her life. There are enough loose threads at the end of the book to make me interested in the next one, and I actually liked the fact that the murder happens not right at the start - my kindle showed I was 35 % into the book by then.
You can find out more about the author and her books on her website. The header picture on that site and the cover of the book show, if I am not very much mistaken, Whitby Harbour by the way.