THE MURDER AT MANDEVILLE
HALL is the seventh book in the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series by Stephanie Laurens. I
love the setting in this installment of Stephanie Laurens' mystery series
featuring Barnaby Adair and his friends. Alaric, Lord Carradale, a
wealthy bachelor in his late thirties, is attending a friend's house party
with the intention to find a woman to wed. Unfortunately for Lord
Carradale things take a deadly turn when he finds Miss Glynis Johnson
murdered. That moment proves to be a turning point in Alaric's life
because, right after stumbling upon a body, he is discovered by the
woman who ends up rocking his world. Miss Constance Whittaker's
only thought is to save her cousin from any rash behavior when she
finds her dead and a strikingly attractive man at the scene. This setup
is one that I find irresistible: a murder at a drafty country estate, a
house party gone terribly wrong, suspects galore, and a strong and
savvy hero and heroine working together to solve the mystery and
avenge an innocent.
Although I loved the previous book in this series, THE MURDER AT MANDEVILLE HALL has a lot to love.
The potential lovers in this story are a little older than the ones in the
previous book, and I like that. Alaric and Constance are self-assured,
intelligent, and know what they want and recognize it when they see it.
Barnaby Adair and his crew of sleuths help out solving the mystery but
are not needed to play matchmakers. Alaric and Constance work
together hunting down clues and verifying alibis in perfect harmony
and fall in love along the way. In the previous book, the investigators
had a little more to work with and a better idea of where to start looking
for answers. In THE MURDER AT
MANDEVILLE HALL, everyone is struggling to find any piece of the
puzzle that will lead to the solution of this mystery. This is a story about
the secrets kept by members of high society and the varying lengths
they will go to in order to keep them and a murderer who is guided by
his madness. The dogged determination by the detectives, the thrilling
race against time, and the enchanting bit of romance make THE MURDER AT MANDEVILLE HALL
such a treat for fans of historical romance as well as Golden Age
THE MURDER AT MANDEVILLE
HALL is a perplexing and enthralling mystery. There are so many
supporting characters in THE MURDER
AT MANDEVILLE HALL who I was intrigued by and hope to see in
future stories. In this story, Stephanie Laurens shows how the cruel
actions of one person can ruin more than one life, and how characters
are transformed by tragedy. I'm excited to see what kind of magic
Stephanie Laurens works in her next book.
#1 New York Times -bestselling author Stephanie
Laurens brings you a tale of unexpected romance that
blossoms against the backdrop of dastardly murder.
On discovering the lifeless body of an innocent ingénue, a
peer attending a country house party joins forces with the
lady-amazon sent to fetch the victim safely home in a race
to expose the murderer before Stokes, assisted by Barnaby
and Penelope, is forced to allow the guests, murderer
included, to decamp.
Well-born rakehell and head of an ancient family, Alaric,
Lord Carradale, has finally acknowledged reality and is
preparing to find a bride. But loyalty to his childhood
friend, Percy Mandeville, necessitates attending Percy’s
annual house party, held at neighboring Mandeville Hall. Yet
despite deploying his legendary languid charm, by the second
evening of the week-long event, Alaric is bored and restless.
Escaping from the soirée and the Hall, Alaric decides that
as soon as he’s free, he’ll hie to London and find the
mild-mannered, biddable lady he believes will ensure a
peaceful life. But the following morning, on walking through
the Mandeville Hall shrubbery on his way to join the other
guests, he comes upon the corpse of a young lady-guest.
Constance Whittaker accepts that no gentleman will ever
offer for her—she’s too old, too tall, too buxom, too
headstrong…too much in myriad ways. Now acting as her
grandfather’s agent, she arrives at Mandeville Hall to
extricate her young cousin, Glynis, who unwisely accepted an
invitation to the reputedly licentious house party.
But Glynis cannot be found.
A search is instituted. Venturing into the shrubbery,
Constance discovers an outrageously handsome aristocrat
crouched beside Glynis’s lifeless form. Unsurprisingly,
Constance leaps to the obvious conclusion.
Luckily, once the gentleman explains that he’d only just
arrived, commonsense reasserts itself. More, as matters
unfold and she and Carradale have to battle to get Glynis’s
death properly investigated, Constance discovers Alaric to
be a worthy ally.
Yet even after Inspector Stokes of Scotland Yard arrives and
takes charge of the case, along with his consultants, the
Honorable Barnaby Adair and his wife, Penelope, the
murderer’s identity remains shrouded in mystery, and
learning why Glynis was killed—all in the few days before
the house party’s guests will insist on leaving—tests the
resolve of all concerned. Flung into each other’s company,
fiercely independent though Constance is, unsusceptible
though Alaric is, neither can deny the connection that grows
Then Constance vanishes.
Can Alaric unearth the one fact that will point to the
murderer before the villain rips from the world the lady
Alaric now craves for his own?