Death Comes to Kurland Hall is the third of Lloyd’s historical mystery series featuring amateur sleuthing duo, Major Robert Kurland and Miss Lucy Harrington. Having enjoyed both the first and the second book, I was anxiously awaiting this third installment – and I was not disappointed. In this outing the murder investigation is rather closer to home. That is, the murder occurs in the Major’s home just after a friend’s marriage. Of course, Robert and Lucy must investigate, if only they could agree on how to proceed.
At the end of the previous book, Death Comes to London, Robert made a less than appealing offer of marriage to Lucy (spoiler alert: she refused). From the start of Death Comes to Kurland Hall, this residual tension colours their interactions, which makes from some great and snappy dialogue. However, personal matters must be set aside because of the murder of the unlikable Mrs. Chingsford (the mother of Robert’s ex-fiancé). Is Mrs. Chingsford’s death really an accident? It seems unlikely when another guest also meets an untimely demise…
In the previous two books Robert and Lucy have made a great team. Their verbal sparring is delightful and reminiscent of a traditional Regency romance. That is no different in Death Comes to Kurland Hall. What is different is their relationship dynamic. Robert and Lucy aren’t “just friends” any more. That marriage proposal has changed the dynamic between these two, forcing them both to acknowledge that they just might have feelings for one another. Yes, this is Regency England, restraint is key, so of course neither can speak of such delicate matters in frank terms (much to my chagrin). Complicating matters further is Robert’s lack of enthusiasm for Lucy’s participation in the investigation. He misses her company when they argue, but she might be in danger if she’s back on the case! Thankfully, Lucy’s spunky enough not to let Robert’s attitude railroad her; she’s going to investigate whether Robert helps her or not.
Death Comes to Kurland Hall is another light, charming and witty addition to this traditional series. While the mystery does involve murder, it’s not particularly violent or overly complex. The murders themselves are motivated by gossip and inheritance and investigated by complete amateurs. If you like procedural mysteries, it’s likely that this is not the book for you. But if you like cozy mysterious filled with quirky characters, witty dialogue with a dash or romance, you’re likely to enjoy this just as much as I did. Death Comes to Kurland Hall is a lovely litter departure from reality and I will be back for the next book especially because it is a charming and diverting read. Robert and his grumpy ways are no match for Lucy and her headstrong personality, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
If you liked the light tone of Death Comes to Kurland Hall you can’t go wrong with Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series. Like Lucy and Robert, Amory is a complete amateur when it comes to investigations, which is delightful. There’s also a hint of romance among the charming series with Amory’s own rapscallion of a husband. Start with book one, Murder at the Brightwell, and check out my review of the sequel Death Wears a Mask, to find out why it’s worthwhile to check out this series.
If you’re a fan of the traditional Regency atmosphere Cheryl Bolen’s Regent Mysteries is likely to appeal. The dynamic between the hero and heroine is also very similar to that of Lucy and Robert. Like Death Comes to Kurland Hall, Bolen series is on the lighter spectrum of the mystery genre. Start with book one, With His Lady’s Assistance.