Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy (Manor of Murder, #2)
Genre: Mystery, Cozy
Received from Kaye Publicity for review
Finished Reading: 5/25/2011
In six words: I didn’t want to be interrupted.
1) Grace Under Pressure
2) Grace Interrupted
Civil War re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especually 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?
Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts
Kay Publicity gave me the opportunity to review this book, and although it didn’t really pique my interest, I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Sometimes you never know. In this case, I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed Grace Interrupted. I don’t read a lot of cozy mysteries, but this makes for a very good summer read. Come to think of it, it would make a good winter read, too – curled up under the covers. So those in the southern hemisphere can enjoy it right now, too.
A More In-Depth Look
Although this is the second book in the series, it can stand on its own. I assume that I missed a lot of character development in the previous book, because there were references to previous events to which I had no knowledge. Often this can make me frustrated, but here it only made me intrigued, and it has me considering reading the first book.
I liked Grace, and found her very sympathetic, if only a little stubborn. I suspect that Bruce and Scott are a treat and a half, but their role in this story seemed minimal (I hope they have a greater role in the first book, because I think they’d be a lot of fun) other than in the introduction of Bootsie, the cat, into the story. Some of Jack’s reactions perplexed me, but, like Grace, I find myself liking him. Normally I like a little more romance in my mystery (I’m a sucker for romance, what can I say?), but I also feel that perhaps their relationship is a little more…realistic, I think is the word, than a lot of romance in other books. And Frances – I hope she will be in more books. There is a great potential for Frances becoming a reliable and humorous sidekick.
The first couple pages were difficult for me to get through. This was the first mystery and the first paperback I have read in a couple weeks, so I think the transition was a little rough. Having read the first book may have also made it easier to jump into the story. That said, once I started reading, the pace really picked up, and it became harder and harder to put the book down – to the point where I was cranky when I had to put it down.
While my guess on one of the murders was a little off, I was still on the right track. There aren’t any serious twists and turns, but there are enough clues to figure it out (looking back, I probably should have, considering the one damning clue is actually given to us) without it being too obvious. I loved that this was set on the grounds of a southern (I assume southern?) mansion, and the setting itself probably contributed to my enjoyment of the book. It made me want to go visit Marshfield Manor.
You Might Enjoy This Book If…
If you’re looking for a great summer read, or a fantastic cozy mystery, take a chance on this one. I’m even passing this book along to my mother for her enjoyment.