The Killing at Kaldaire House by Kate Parker
I really enjoyed Kate Parker’s Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, so I had high hopes for this new series. This one is set in Edwardian London and features Emily Gates, a milliner with a… unique… way of getting her aristocratic (and sometimes deadbeat) clients to pay their bills.
Emily finds a mortally wounded man in an apparent robbery-gone-wrong while pursuing a debt, and soon finds herself sleuthing for the dead man’s widow – a determined society matron who always gets what she wants – and what she wants is to find out who murdered her husband.
Emily’s life and livelihood are soon in danger – from villains who want to keep her quiet and from a distracting detective who thinks she’s up to no good. Can Emily find the killer before it’s too late?
This is a light, entertaining mystery without many surprises. I enjoyed it thoroughly – I read it in one sitting on a cross-country plane trip. I particularly liked Emily’s interactions with her paternal family – I hope there’s more of that in the next installment. The romance is a little predictable and not very compelling so far, but I’m willing to wait and see – these things sometimes need a little percolating. The only real objection I had when reading this book (and Parker’s other books) was the inclusion of modern language (wow!) that felt really jarring sometimes. I suspect that it’s actually an artistic choice, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me.
All in all, this novel was a fun read, and I’ll certainly read the next book. Three stars.