Although this is not the first of the Yellow Cottage cosy mysteries, Chapter One introduces the heroine, Ella, and explains why, as an intelligent 24 year old widow, she is living on the island of Linhay needing to occupy her life with a challenge.
Set in the 1930s, there are parallels with the investigations of Miss Marple, but in Ella’s case her help is welcomed by Sir Albert Montisford, Police Commissioner at Scotland Yard. In addition to the usual cast of suspects, the local Lord, a spurned spinster, a handsome doctor and a disreputable bachelor, Ella has a phantom cat and sees ghosts others are unaware of. New developments in police methods such as finger-printing are explained and the local village provides a range of interesting characters.
At first the story moves rather slowly as Ella researches the history of Arundel Hall and why it is cursed. I felt Phantom the cat should have had a more active part in the story and I kept trying to locate the island of Linhay, which was such a short drive or train ride from Scotland Yard. Once the murder had occurred, the pace increased and the reader is presented with several possibilities for the culprit.
For me the most interesting part are the questions raised towards the end of the book. What is the mysterious background of Ella’s housekeeper and who is the person who telephones Yellow Cottage filling Ella with dismay? Definitely an invitation to read the next book. If you like a light read in the style of Agatha Christie or Midsummer Murders you will enjoy this novel.
PS I love the black cat on the cover picture!
The Curse of Arundel Hall is available on Amazon UK
J. New is the British author of paranormal cosy mysteries, murder mysteries and magical YA with a hint of romance. A voracious reader and writer all her life, she took her first foray into Indie publishing in 2013, and has never looked back.
She has an eclectic reading taste, ranging from the Magic of Terry Pratchett, JK Rowling, Tolkien and Neil Gaiman, to Dean Koontz, Eion Colfer, Anne Rice and Agatha Christie. A lover of murder mysteries set in past times, where steam trains, afternoon tea and house staff abound. She is convinced she was born in the wrong era as she has a particular aversion to cooking and housework.
She also has an impossible bucket list, which includes travelling on the Orient Express with Hercule Poirot, shopping in Diagon Alley with Sirius Black, lazing around the Shire with Gandalf and Bilbo, exploring Pico Mundo with Odd Thomas and having Tea at the Ritz with Miss Marple.
Funds from the sale of her books go towards her dog rescue effort.