One of the most interesting and amusing mysteries I have read in some time. Kind of a combination Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster. Kept my interest till the very end. Lots of red herrings. Characters with dimension. Read it over 2 days time and had trouble falling asleep considering who could have dunnit. It's amazing that this is the author's first novel. I can't wait for more !
One of the most riveting mystery novels. Like other reviewers have said, it is Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle etc rolled into this novel. The Russian Revolution throws in an added twist.
Delightful main character, dry humor, and detailed historical settings Did I say humorous? I hope this is the first of many.
Hilarious! One of the best books I have read in a long time. The writing is witty and laugh out loud funny. Major Lennox is part genius and part goofball.
Menuhin is close to genius. Although I buy way too many books, and generally enjoy them greatly, I am far too slothful to write reviews. However, I simply had to make an exception for MURDER AT MELROSE COURT. A brilliant work! Witty, sardonic, sweet, clever. Wonderful plot, superb characters, very very clever, hilarious and touching at the same time. This work compares well with the British classics of the golden age. I hope that the author will continue to delight us with many more Lennox mysteries of this exceptional caliber.
Well-structured, very period correct, with cleverly drawn characters. Mrs. Menuhin has produced a thoroughly enjoyable, clever, highly engaging story. Peopled with both likable and despicable characters, she evokes thoughts of strong work from Cyril Hare, Patricia Wentworth, George Bellairs, and other gifted British authors.
Light, amusing cozy country house murder/mystery. In the vein of Bertie Worster, this book is both amusing and has an ingenious murder at its core. Perfect for a grey miserable day in January, with the gentility and manners of the times of Downton Abbey. Loved the escapism it brought.
An English gentleman finds his inheritance threatened as he’s accused of murder in this mannered comedic mystery.
It’s 1920, and Maj. Heathcliff Lennox, a veteran of the First World War, receives distressing news from his butler, Greggs: There’s a dead man lying on his doorstep—truly an uncommon circumstance in sleepy rural England—which kicks off Menuhin’s often humorous story. Lennox has no idea who the man might be nor how he ended up delivered, like a parcel, to his property, but then he finds a sheet of paper hidden in the corpse’s coat with a stranger’s name written on it: Countess Sophia Androvich Zerevki Polyakov. To confound matters further, he later finds out that his uncle, Lord Melrose, has recently asked the very same Sophia to marry him. She turns out to be a supporter of czarist rule who recently escaped the carnage of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Sophia proves herself to be something of an imperious sort, herself; she’s taken over the quarters that had long been reserved for Lennox himself, and she dismissively expels Cooper, the aging butler of the manor, from the premises. She even kicks out Lennox’s dog—before bluntly announcing that Melrose has amended his will to leave her the whole of his considerable fortune. Lennox suspects that something is awry with this whole arrangement—particularly after he overhears Peregrine Kingsley, a longtime lawyer and counselor to Lord Melrose, engaged in intimate and conspiratorial conversation with Natasha Czerina Orlakov-Palen, who’s Sophia’s niece and the fiancee of his own cousin, Edgar. Then Lennox discovers Sophia’s bloodied body, shot dead with his own gun. He’s the principal suspect, and now he’s compelled to devote his Christmas to clearing his own name.Menuhin conveys the entire story in lighthearted quips and genteel witticisms, hewing to the tradition of classic, madcap British comedy. For instance, it’s revealed that Lennox’s family has been historically plagued by the aforementioned Kingsley, who’s as boundlessly unscrupulous as he is incompetent; it’s never clear why he’s never been dismissed, but his presence is a constant source of delight to readers whenever he appears. The relentlessness of Menuhin’s comedic style can grow exhausting, though, as it sometimes has the feel of a literary stand-up routine. Some of the jokes barely elicit a polite chuckle, as when Lennox chats with Greggs: “Greggs was right; the man looked very dead. ‘Did you check?’ I asked. ‘No, sir—back’s been playing up.’…‘Your paunch is more of an impediment than your spine, Greggs.’ ‘As you say, sir.’ ” For the most part, the characters tend to be stock caricatures rather than nuanced and complex people. For example, Sophia is, at best, a vaudevillian sendup of the stereotypical Russian aristocrat; even her accent is gratingly ridiculous. However, the murder mystery itself is a fine diversion, and readers who may be looking for some very silly entertainment—which is neither too serious nor too literary and which makes minimal demands—will find this a companionable read.
A carefree tale that’s often enjoyable despite occasional clichés.