Saturday, 10 September 2011

Review: Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy (Manor of Murder Mystery #2)

Publisher - Berkley
Publication Date - 7th  June 2011
Paperback - 288 pages
Genre - Mystery

Source - Received from Kaye Publishing for review

Rating - 3/5: I liked it

Book Info - Civil War re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and into the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death.

Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he's linked to the death of Zachary's brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of "general" is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer... and for the sweet tuxedo kitten, Bootsie, found on her doorstep. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger's way.

My Thoughts - Grace Interrupted is a cute and fun mystery with a likeable heroine. The author's writing style makes it a quick and enjoyable read. There were several times when I meant to stop reading at the end of a chapter but then the author would throw in a cliff-hanger and I would have to keep reading. The characters are all realistically drawn and it is this complexity of character that gives the book its depth.

However, there were a few points that stopped this being a really great book. Firstly, a good murder mystery should have lots of twists and turns that stop the reader from guessing who the murderer is (which Ms. Hyzy managed to do perfectly in Grace Under Pressure). But I had managed to work it out about halfway through the novel and this did spoil the ending for me.

Also, I found the relationship between Grace and Jack Embers to be confusing to say the least. They meet in the first book in the series and they go on their first date roughly halfway through this  book (and  this is the only date they go on), but Grace seems to talk about him and think about him as if he is her boyfriend. He lets her down several times and she always makes excuses for him and forgives him at the drop of a hat. I would think that it would be easy for her to walk away from the situation seeing as she hardly knows Jack. Instead she acts in a way that makes her come across as slightly desperate and needy. This weakness of hers just seems to really stand out as she is strong in so many other ways.

Summary - Despite these reservations about the book, I still enjoyed Grace Interrupted and I think that fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy the great characters and beautiful setting. It is a quick read that will keep you entertained, even if it is a bit predictable.

Other books in the series:
1. Grace Under Pressure
2. Grace Interrupted

Other reviews of this book:
Devourer of Books / Lesa's Book Critiques
(If you would like your review of Grace Interrupted included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it.)


Tina S said...

I read this book I while ago and really enjoyed it. Can't wait for the next book :)

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Hi Tina, thanks for stopping by :)

I'm glad you enjoyed Grace Interrupted and I hope you enjoy the next book in the series. It has been a fun series so far and I will be keeping an eye out for book #3 myself :)

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