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A Bicycle Built for Murder (Manor House Mystery Series #1)

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent 1940s mystery

    While the Germans bomb London and other strategic locations during World War II, the villagers of Sitting Marsh look towards Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton as a role model. The townsfolk are unaware that Elizabeth is broke due to her late husband¿s gambling habit. Her only source of income is rent she collects on the cottages on her estate. Still, she knows that the locals depend on her for leadership and since she enjoys the adulation and attention, she tries to meet their expectations. <P>The War Office informs Elizabeth that her Manor House will host American soldiers, a situation the class-conscious aristocrat loathes. At about the same time that Elizabeth prepares for the coming of the Yanks, Beryl Pierce¿s body is found on a nearby beach, an apparent drowning victim. Placing the American invasion on hold, neither Elizabeth nor the mother of the victim believes that Beryl fell off a cliff and drowned. Taking her leadership role to heart, Elizabeth sets out to prove murder occurred and to find the culprit. <P> Readers familiar with Kate Kingsbury¿s Pennyfoot Hotel mysteries will enjoy the author¿s new Manor House series because the plot is as well drawn and the historical perspective is simply fascinating. The audience lives history by observing life in a small village during World War II. Lady Elizabeth is an interesting person who acts like the big fish in a tiny pond adding to the aura of the reader feeling they are there, which, in turn, makes A BICYCLE BUILT FOR MURDER an entertaining novel. <P>Harriet Klausner

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