Sunday, November 10, 2013

Death Is in the Air: Review

Death Is in the Air is a cozy little English village mystery by Kate Kingsbury.  It is set during World War II in the village of Sitting Marsh.  Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton is the Lady of the Manor--the first woman to lead the village alone in hundreds of years.  She is just earning the villagers respect when she does the unthinkable and allows American officers to be housed in the Manor.  Feelings run deep--the locals and the British soldiers both take it hard that their girls are running after those "Yanks."  Lady Elizabeth works on a plan--a dance!--to try and bring the two sides together, but soon they are brought together by something far more sinister....murder and mayhem!

A German pilot crash-lands near the village and manages to escape into the woods.  That very night, a local land girl is found murdered in those very woods.  Soon soldiers from both sides of the Atlantic and the remaining local constabulary are joined by a militant band of village housewives bearing kitchen cutlery in a hunt to bring the murderous German to justice.  But Lady Elizabeth caught a glimpse of the terrified young boy in the pilot's uniform and is not so sure that he's to blame for the girl's death.  There's a bit of jealousy running rampant among the men who sought her affections and the girls who thought she'd stolen their fellows.  The culprit may be closer to home than the villagers think....

This was a very pleasant weekend read.  The pace is quick and the characters are quite likeable.  I definitely enjoyed the growing friendship between Lady Elizabeth and Major Monroe.  The mystery isn't a particularly deep or complex one--but the motive is believable.  No heavy-duty thinking necessary--I spotted the murderer and the reason fairly early--but it was great fun watching Lady Elizabeth figure it out and bring the crime home to culprit.  

This is actually the second on the "Manor House Mysteries" by Kingsbury, but I didn't feel like I had missed anything in not having read the first one. I'm sure there was some background that might have been useful--but nothing that was absolutely necessary to the mystery itself.  The setting and the characters are good enough to ensure that I'll look for the next installment.  Three stars for a nice cozy mystery.

1 comment:

Tonya said...

Sounds really good!! Added to my ever growing list!!