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January 30, 2021

Death Comes to the Rectory by Catherine Lloyd ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

January can be such a long month but one bright spot has been the anticipation of a new book in Catherine Lloyd's Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. As you may know, I discovered this series a few years ago when I read book 4 Death Comes to the Fair. I still have book 2 and 3 to read in the series. after reading the author's note at the start of Death Comes to the Rectory, I'm glad I still have those two books to read.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.
Death Comes to the Rectory
January 2021; Kensington; 978-1496723253
audio, ebook, print (272 pages); cozy mystery
I know a lot of series are set out to be a certain number of books and eventually come to an end. But I read a lot of cozy mystery series that have 20+ books in the series and show no signs of ending. For example, M.C. Beaton died last year but another author is continuing her series. So I was in a bit for a bit of a shock when I read the short author's note at the beginning that announced that Death Comes to the Rectory is the last book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. Did you know the series was ending with this book?

I absolutely love Lucy and Robert, and after so few books (this is book 8), I'm not ready to say goodbye. My favorite cozies involve partner sleuths and these two are just great together. I love all the characters - I've even started to like Lucy's father Ambrose Harrington, the village's rector. I absolutely hated him in book 1, but Rose seems to have softened his sharp edges, or perhaps it is just that Lucy is no longer under his roof and therefore outside of his "control" (for those that don't know this series takes place in the early 1800s).

I tried not to let the sad news dampen my enjoyment of the story. Robert and Lucy are celebrating the christening of their new child Elizabeth. Friends and family have been invited to stay at Kurland Hall for the special occasion. However, unwelcomed guests show up just a few days for the event, and not wanting to be inhospitable to his favorite aunt's daughter, he begrudgingly invites Henrietta and her husband to stay.

Lord and Lady Northam are quite despicable. Even though Rose is in a delicate condition, they demand an audience with her, for they have learned she has changed her will and has cut them out of it. Nevermind that she provided a substantial marriage dowry for her daughter and has continued to fund their extravagant lifestyle, which includes some unsound financial investments.  

As with all well-laid plans in Kurland St. Mary, a death overshadows the celebrations. This may be the most complicated investigation that Robert has had to conduct as the local magistrate as it involves family and friends as suspects. The motive involves many secrets that lead to a tangled mess of the threads for Robert and Lucy to follow. 

This was a really good mystery. While I was pretty sure I knew who did NOT commit the murder, I was just as uncertain as Robert and Lucy as to who did do it. 

I still don't want this series to end but it was a satisfying book if it has to be the last. Thankfully, I don't have to say goodbye to this couple just yet as I still have 2 older titles in the series to read.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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