Murder at Morrington Hall

Murder at Morrington Hall

by Clara McKenna


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Stella Kendrick is an all-American heiress who can’t be tamed. But when the lively aspiring equine trainer tangles with British aristocracy, she meets her match—and a murderer . . .
Spring, 1905:  Free-spirited like the Thoroughbreds she rides across the Kentucky countryside, Stella takes adventure by the reins when she’s asked to attend a mysterious wedding in rural England. But once she arrives at the lush Morrington Hall estate, her cold and ambitious father confesses that he won’t only give away his best racehorses as gifts—he has also arranged to give away his daughter as bride to the Earl of Atherly’s financially strapped son . . .
Stella refuses to be sold off like a prized pony. Yet despite a rough start, there’s something intriguing about her groom-to-be, the roguish Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst. The unlikely pair could actually be on the right track with each other . . . until they find the vicar who was to marry them dead in the library.
With culture clashes mounting between families, a scandalous murder case hangs over Morrington Hall. Now, Stella and Lyndy must go from future spouses to amateur sleuths as they team up to search for the truth—and prevent an unbridled criminal from destroying their new life together right out of the gate . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496717771
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Series: A Stella and Lyndy Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 95,272
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Clara McKenna has a B.A. in Biology from Wells College and a M.L.I.S in Library and Information Studies from McGill University.  She is the founding member of Sleuths in Time, a cooperative group of historical mystery writers who encourage and promote each other’s work. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Murder at Morrington Hall 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous 7 hours ago
Clara McKenna left me guessing to the end! The story and characters were wonderfully written. Lyndy and Stella work so well together and I am very excited to go on more adventures with them.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Pattistep 10 days ago
I thought this was a fun cozy mystery that kept me guessing who the murderer was until the end. I liked the main characters of Lyndy and Stella, and thought they made a good couple. I had great sympathy for Stella and the unexpected dilemma she was facing due to the cruelty and uncaring of her father. It took me a little bit longer to warm up to Lyndy, but by the end of the book I had decided he would make a good husband for Stella. For some reason, I had problems smoothly shifting back and forth from the point of view of Lyndy or Stella. I also got tired of Stella’s dad being so obnoxious, but it did serve its purpose in the storyline. These are just minor things, and I’m looking forward to reading more of their story in the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
CozyUpWithKathy 11 days ago
a smashing start to a new series MURDER AT MORRINGTON HALL by Clara McKenna The First Stella and Lyndy Mystery American heiress Stella Kendrick is happy to accompany her father to bring some of their thoroughbred racehorses to England and attend the wedding of Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst. What Stella doesn’t know is that she is the intended bride! Angry, embarrassed, and hurt, Stella vows she will not wed a man she doesn’t even know. Although forced to marry Stella to save the family home Lyndy is pleasantly surprised when he meets the forthright American. While giving his intended bride a tour of Morrington Hall the pair discover the vicar dead in the library. The startling discovery brings the two closer together as they team up to help solve the murder. Could they truly make a match, or will a murderer put an end to it all? With racehorses, romance, dastardly characters, and a murder set in a sublime English country setting this Edwardian mystery ticks all the right boxes. Stella is charming while being an intelligent free spirit. You can't help but sympathize with this fish out of water as she faces the scorn of her hostess while managing the abuses her father places on her. While Lyndy could be seen as a bit of a wastrel, we see his goodness and strength of character as he becomes enchanted with Stella whilst becoming disillusioned by his best friend. Written in the third person, there is a changing point of view as well. It can be a bit disconcerting viewing things from Stella's perspective and then switching to Lyndy's. I did, however, really enjoy seeing both of their reactions and thoughts which created a more well rounded story. MURDER AT MORRINGTON HALL is a smashing start to a new series. I was intrigued by the mystery, enthralled by the growing relationship between Stella and Lyndy, and impressed with Stella's fortitude. I look forward to watching their romance, as well as their investigative skills, blossom. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the hopes I would review it.
Anonymous 16 days ago
3.5 stars This promising debut novel introduces American heiress Stella Kendrick. Her father, wealthy but uncouth, has taken her to England and arranged (without Stella's knowledge) for her to wed a British aristocrat who needs an infusion of cash. Stella and Lord Lyndy get off to a rough start. Lyndy is a smug, entitled rich boy who smirks a lot and Stella is put off. Then a murder occurs, some jewels are stolen and an expensive racehorse goes missing. Stella and her fiance are thrown together as they try to figure out who the murderer is. Stella does not get a warm welcome. British society is aghast at her forthright unconventional manners. Lyndy however begins to be captivated and realizes he genuinely cares for his bride to be, Stella can't figure out what course she wants to pursue or what her true feelings are. Stella is an original and appealing character. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
DanieleK 18 days ago
An American heiress “fish-out-of-water” in England, romance, horses, the Edwardian era, and murder – all of these elements caught my eye and come together to make a marvelous first book in the Stella and Lyndy Mystery series by Clara McKenna. Stella, daughter of a self made Kentucky horseman, finds herself on the auctioning block when she and her odious father travel to England under the guise of selling some prize horses to Lord Atherly. Stella is stunned to find out that she is part of the bargain, betrothed to the Atherly’s son Lyndy. When the local vicar, who was supposed to perform the wedding, is found murdered, the prize stallion stolen, and a houseguest attacked, Stella and Lyndy combine forces to get to the bottom of it all…and they might fall in love along the way. I really like no-nonsense Stella. She is smart, independent (especially given the era), and spunky, all qualities that make her a wonderful amateur sleuth. At first, I did not like Lyndy much, but he grew on me, morphing from a stuck up, entitled heir to worthy fiancé. The pair has good chemistry from the start, and I look forward to seeing how they progress in future installments, both romantically and as investigative partners. The supporting characters are varied and interesting, if unlikable at times, and I enjoyed getting to know them all. I do hope that Lady Atherly eases up on Stella. The mystery is complex with enough red herrings to keep me guessing until the very end. I truthfully did not know the killer’s identity. The pace of the tale is nice and steady, and there is plenty of period detail to ring true. MURDER AT MORRINGTON HALL is thoughtful and entertaining. Highly recommended. Thanks to Kensington Publishers’ generosity, I received an ARC of this title through NetGalley and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
Anonymous 19 days ago
I am always on the lookout for a great new series to read, and Murder at Morrington Hall is a great first book that will leave you wanting to read the next one right away. The book is set in pre WWI England, in a period when many American heiresses were wed to land rich/money poor British Aristocracy. Our heroine Stella has been brought to Morrington Hall by her father under false pretenses. She thinks they are selling one of her favorite horses to Lord Lyndhurst. What she doesn’t know is that it is she who has been “sold” in that her father has arranged her marriage to the Lord. This premise could be very dark, in the wrong hands, but the author treats Stella's situation with a deft hand, addressing all her fears and misgivings, as well as issues from having a father like this (!) in compelling fashion. The tension between American and British attitudes and manners feels very authentic. And the mystery itself is very satisfying, as is the relationship between Stella and Lyndy, as they work to solve it. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, you will certainly enjoy the ins and outs of this story with characters from all the various classes represented. If you aren’t familiar with Downton, but enjoy compelling historical mysteries, this book will definitely fit the bill.
SarahM-M 23 days ago
Clara McKenna's debut novel, Murder at Morrington Hall, is the first in a promising new mystery series. Stella Kendrick is an American heiress from Kentucky, who is under the impression that she is accompanying her father for business to deliver some of their racehorses to be presented as a wedding gift. She is horrified to discover after her arrival, that she is part of the buisness deal as well. Her father has arranged a marriage for her to a member of the British arisotcracy and the racehorses are being offered to sweeten the deal. Stella discovers the deception the very day of her arrival and is determined that she will not be managed by her father, won't be married off to this stranger. Her intended groom is the Viscount Lyndhurst, or Lyndy, only son and heir to the Earl of Atherly. The estate is failing and so saving it rests on thier ability to marry their son to a young woman from a wealthy family, while thowing in a few race horses for good measure. The book starts of being about this marriage arrangement and Stella and Lyndy's feelings about the arrangement, but it soon takes a turn towards mystery as the pair stumble across a dead body in the library. The murder is only the start of strange things happening around the estate. Stella and Lyndy learn to work together as they seek to find the responsible party. A lovely little cozy mystery and a quick read, it's engaging and entertaining. There are red herrings and plot twists to that keep the story going and the mystery fresh, well worth the read. There were several subplots, which would normally weigh down a mystery and detract from the story, but the author balanced them all so perfectly. I'm very excited about this author and will be looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how things develop between Stella and Lyndy and to jump into a new mystery! I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a new author and is a fan of the cozy or historical mystery genres.  I received a copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley. This is my honest review.
Nichole Carrier 27 days ago
After traveling to England for what she thinks will be a holiday, American heiress Stella quickly discovers she will not return to America but instead is to be married to the viscount of Morrington Hall, Lord Lyndy. Much to her surprise she is also embroiled in a murder, assault, and theft. Even an old scandal that rocked the aristocrats years ago is brought back to life. The novel was a wonderful, light read for those evenings when you need to take your mind of the day to day 21st century life. I enjoyed the various points of view but also found it a bit confusing when chapters abruptly went from what the inspector was doing, to Stella to Lord Lyndy. I felt connected to the characters and enjoyed Stella's American personality and how the English aristocrats reacted to her actions and words. I found this a great first novel in what I hope will be a series. I'd love to check in on Lyndy and Stella in the future to see if the wedding goes off without a hitch or if another murder will postpone the day.
BeagleGirl123 27 days ago
Clara McKenna's Murder at Morrington Hall is a lovely English cozy mystery with the addition of a little romance between the two main characters, Stella and Lyndy. Set in Hampshire in 1905, Stella has traveled from Kentucky with her father and, unbeknownst to her, it's been arranged that she wed Lyndy (Viscount Lyndhurst), As if the initial shock of her impending nuptials wasn't enough, Stella stumbles across the murdered body of the vicar who was to marry the couple which sets this spunky American heiress on the path to discovering who had it in for the man of the cloth, and why! Nice start to a new series by author Clara McKenna, and I quite enjoyed it!
Bedford_Bookshelf_1 27 days ago
Murder at Morrington Hall, is such a delightful new Edwardian mystery! American heiress Stella Kendrick is being unknowingly bartered in marriage to Viscount (Lyndy) Lyndhurst by her cold, selfish father. An English title in return for thoroughbred horses. The spirited Stella’s initial rejection is complicated when she and Lyndy discover the body of the vicar who was to marry them. Everyone becomes a suspect. When Orson, a valuable thoroughbred brought from America as part of the marriage bargain, is stolen the stakes are raised. Stella and Lyndy work together to solve the mystery, resulting in a partnership and tentative relationship. I really enjoyed Stella from the very beginning. She is feisty, yet warm and kind, trying to be true to herself while coming to grips with her situation. Lyndy evolved from mildly shallow aristocrat to an appealing, warm character with depth. The historical period is well researched, and I enjoyed the introduction to American “dollar princesses” and their impact on the British aristocracy. The mystery was well plotted, and I found myself unsure of the outcome…almost until the end. This was a very enjoyable and fun read. I’m really looking forward to the next in this series, and more adventures with Stella and Lyndy! Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for the advance reader copy made available for my review.
casey710 28 days ago
This was an incredibly delightful historical mystery.....the first in what I hope will be a long series involving Stella Kendrick. This takes place in 1905 England when women were still sold off to the highest bidder as a wife among the wealthy and titled of the era. But Stella will not be bartered like this...or will she? She and her possibly future spouse join forces to solve a very well crafted mystery. It's a lot of fun and is full of interesting tidbits of life during this pre-war era. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reader copy for review.
ArizonaJo 28 days ago
Murder at Morrington Hall by Clara McKenna is the first in a new historical cozy mystery. I found the pace of the plot to be slow at first; but after the introductions of the characters and the detailed description of Morrington Hall and the surrounding English countryside, the pace picked up quickly. Stella is a lovely American heiress who has a strong and distinctive personality. Being raised by an abusive and arrogant father she finds she prefers horses over people for the most part. Once Stella and Lord Lyndhurst decide to work together to resolve the murder, the story flew as the red herrings, plot twists and viable suspects became more the center of attention. It was an enjoyable afternoon read and a good beginning for this new series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
chefdt 28 days ago
Murder At Morrington Hall is the first book in the A Stella And Lyndy Mystery series. The Earl of Atherly bank account is in a severe problem due to financing his birding expeditions and to help his finances, he has been in touch with Elijah Kendrick, a millionaire horse breeder from Kentucky. It’s 1905 and arranged marriages among the elite is still practiced and he has arranged a marriage between his son, Viscount Lyndhurst(Lyndy) and Kendrick’s daughter Stella. Kendrick has also agreed to give the Earl three valuable racehorses. One of the horses is the sire to the favored horse at the upcoming Epsom Downs race and if it should win, the Earl’s money problems will be solved. Lyndy is handsome enough, but Stella is upset that this arrangement has been made without her consent and is ready to back out. Later, the body of Reverend Bullmore, the vicar that is to perform the marriage is found dead in the library. It is soon learned that the victim had a large sum of money on his person, which is now gone. Even though neither is looking forward to marriage, they do agree to search out the killer of the Reverend Bullmore. This new series has the potential to become a very interesting series. This book is well-written and plotted. The characters are well developed and quite interesting. I found the two families and their interactions with each other particularly interesting. Lady Atherly is a bit of snob and tends to look down on the “hayseeds” from the states and Stella finds them standoffish and overbearing. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see if there is a chance that Stella and Lyndy will be able to set aside their difference and find romance. Also looking forward to what new adventures they will find.
Ginger_Smith 28 days ago
This debut installment in a new mystery series by Clara McKenna will engage the reader right away and keep the reader guessing until the murder is solved. Author Clara McKenna uses her extensive historical research to excellent advantage in drawing the reader into the story, the characters, and the setting. The author describes the early twentieth century horse-racing culture in the United States and England, weaves in intriguing descriptions of the history and scenery of the New Forest region in southern England, and captures the societal stresses of an arranged marriage between the daughter of a wealthy Kentucky horse breeder and the son of an English aristocracy who is land rich but cash poor. You will find yourself liking the resourceful and independent-minded Stella Kendrick from the moment you meet her as she brashly drives her father’s hired car through the English countryside and peers ahead toward Morrington Hall. Soon after her arrival and her horrified realization that the wedding she is to attend is her own, a murder throws the host aristocrats, their guests, their servants, and members of the local constabulary into great distress and confusion. Stella and her fiancé, Viscount Lyndhurst, known as “Lyndy”, find themselves working together to puzzle through clues and enjoying each other’s company more and more. The action moves through the stately manor house and its stables, across its grounds, and into the mythical and mysterious New Forest. Detours to the neighboring village of Rosehurst and to Epsom Downs Racecourse for the running of the Derby provide more opportunities to learn about Stella and Lyndy and to encounter possible suspects and motives. The murder is solved at last, Stella agrees to a real engagement to Lyndy, and we readers are left to anticipate the next installment in this series. I found this to be a well-researched and well-written story and a satisfyingly complex mystery with interesting characters and an appealing setting. Readers who like historical mysteries will enjoy this debut volume, and indeed it should interest readers of all types of mysteries. Note that I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion about the book and I did not read other reviews prior to writing my own.
MKF 29 days ago
A fun start to a new series! Set in 1905 England, it features two people- Stella and Viscount Lyndhurst (Lyndy) who find themselves investigating the murder of the vicar who was supposed to marry them. That marriage, btw, was a surprise to Stella. Her rotten father set up the marriage without her knowledge. There's a fair amount of cross cultural stuff (American country woman versus UK upper classes), some of which is chuckle worthy and other bits of which are cringe worthy. Once you get past the idea that women were married off in this fashion (they really were) and get into the mystery, this one takes off. It's well plotted and the characters are fun-good banter. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. For fans of light historical mysteries.
AMGiacomasso 29 days ago
A good historical mystery that I truly enjoyed and found both engaging and entertaining. I liked the well researched historical background, the well written and likable characters, and the mystery that kept me guessing till the end. I look forward to reading other books in this series. Recommended! Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.