Today’s team review is from Barb, she blogs here, http://barbtaub.com/
Barb has been reading The Curse Of Arundel Hall by J. New
Again, J. New doesn’t disappoint. In true homage to the genre, in The Curse of Arundel Hall all the suspects are gathered together in the drawing room while the detective lists each one’s opportunity and motive for murder. The victim, American social climbing actress Patty Mae, had revealed herself guilty of every sort of character fault, including that most unforgivable of all—bad manners. Although the author withheld a vital clue that solved the crime until that final summation, I have to admit that the identity of the murderer would have been just as complete a surprise to me at either point.
Wikipedia defines a cozy mystery as “…a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.” True to the definition, sex, profanity, and violence are “behind the door” and only gently referenced. Sleuth Bella is an amateur who gathers a posse of essential helpers—in this case the Police Commissioner, his chief medical examiner, and her own well-connected family.
I did have a couple of places where the required “willing suspension of disbelief” was more of a stretch. And the writer’s device of ending each chapter with somewhat heavy-handed foreshadowing—”Little did I know it would be sooner than I expected.”—got old quickly. But the thing that raises this series to five stars for me and makes me anxious for to read the next book, is the genre mix of paranormal with cozy mystery.
Bella sees ghosts, and even talks to them. Her cat, Phantom, is usually a ghost. Except (he’s a cat after all) when he’s not. Mixing the paranormal elements with the main mystery, and adding dessert toppings of secondary mysteries/ghosts keeps the story lively and makes the reader look forward to learning more about the characters (both living and dead).
As a cozy mystery, as a paranormal detective story, and as a completely entertaining series in a historical setting, I am delighted to recommend The Yellow Cottage Mystery series.
One ghost, one murder, one hundred years apart. But are they connected?
Ella has discovered a secret room in The Yellow Cottage, but with it comes a ghost. Who was she? And how did she die? Ella needs to find the answers before either of them can find peace. But suddenly things take a nasty turn for the worse.
Ella Bridges has been living on Linhay Island for several months but still hasn’t discovered the identity of her ghostly guest. Deciding to research the history of her cottage for clues she finds it is connected to Arundel Hall, the large Manor House on the bluff, and when an invitation to dinner arrives realises it is the perfect opportunity to discover more.
However the evening takes a shocking turn when one of their party is murdered. Is The Curse of Arundel Hall once again rearing its ugly head, or is there a simpler explanation?
Ella suddenly finds herself involved in two mysteries at once, and again joins forces with Scotland Yard’s Police Commissioner to try and catch a killer. But will they succeed?
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths
About the author
J. New is the British author of British Vintage Murder Mysteries, which have been dubbed by readers as ‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’.
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.
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