Cecelia knows there s something wrong at Danby Paintings and other knock knacks have gone missing but no one is kicking up a fuss Plus, it s just expensive to be in the upper classes of England these days Her parents are trying to get her married off lovingly, but there is still pressure and they ve invited am American heiress to a house party in the hopes that she will fall in love with Cecelia s brother, Patrick.There is a brief moment of horror when the ship the heiress is on sinks but she does show up with her maid, Jane, in tow The party begins but almost comes to an abrupt halt when one of the guests, a famous explorer, dies at dinner The heiress is convinced the poison he drank was meant for her There are obvious reasons to kill the explorer but when there s another attack, it seems like she may be right.Jane and Cecelia hit it off, bonding over the cat, Jack, that Jane rescued from the ship And it is their work that helps them solve the case, but not before they are in some danger.Some world building since this is the first book in the series and the ending was a little overdramatic but overall an enjoyable read. As soon as this book appeared on my desk I was eager to read it I thought the cover was pretty and I love lady detective novels so basically this book was a must read for me.I was looking for something light and just fun since I had come off reading a few heaver read, it sounded perfect.This book boasts a well known romance writer writing under a pseudonym, though we are never told who the well known writer is I was curious to see how that translated into a mystery novel, and I was admittedly even curious about who said writer was.This book had a lot of things that I enjoy great time period, non conventional ladies, budding romances, and cross class friendships But something about this book fell a little short of my expectations I thought Cecilia was a great heroine and fit the lady detective role well and I also enjoyed Jane, but I felt like their friendship was a little reaching when it came to how close they got and how fast.I also thought it was interesting that the mystery series was named after the cat, but the cat didn t really have much to do with the mystery itself so I wondered if it was really necessary to include the cat in the series title or even at all in the story.The mystery itself was not overly complex or twisty which was fine It was clear that some of the characters were misrepresenting themselves which left enough doubt for the reader to question their motives and what they were hiding But I was able to work out the mystery for the most part which was fine I went into this one knowing that it was going to be of a light read and I thought it met those expectations, but I was honestly expecting a little from this one.Maybe a little romance considering the author writes romance or maybe a little red herrings.I am not sure but I finished it feeling as though I wanted over all but I also felt like I was eager to read the next mystery So where did that leave me with this one Considering I was satisfied with the ending and looking forward to the next one, I decided to go with a 3 star review for this new mystery It was good but not outstanding.See my full review here The first book in the Manor Cat series and a new author for me The story is easy to read and very formulaic of a gothic novel I realize the major turn early but there are several other turns I did enjoyed the book and look forward to the next book.It is 1912 England is in period where the economy has slack off The Bates family is in trouble and might loose the Estate The answer the heir must wed a wealthy heiress and an American Annabelle Clarke heiress and her maid Jane arrive at the Manor for a house party Jane adopted a black and white cat on the ship He is intelligent cat and quickly becomes a favorite with Lady Cecilia and is allowed the run of the Manor Patrick, the heir to the Estate is a botanist growing poisonous plants to learn about them.At the ball to welcome Annabelle to the Manor a guest collapses, and he was poison by an herb making Patrick a suspect in the murder Lady Cecilia and Jane set out to clear Patrick s name Are they successful The ending is unique I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.Disclosure Thanks to Berkley for a copy through NetGalley The opinions expressed are my own.Lady Cecilia Bates 3.5 stars This was so much fun I was recovering from surgery and this book was the PERFECT read during this time It s a historical mystery that takes place at a manor house in England There s the upstairs downstairs drama, some romance, a murder, dinner parties, and If you like Downton Abbey, you will enjoy this one Full review to come. 3.5 stars out of 5 ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. Lady Takes the Case is a charming, but formulaic cozy mystery set in England in 1912 Set in the ancestral home of the aristocratic Bates family, the Bates family has fallen on harder times as of late, and are in danger of losing their home if they do not wed either Cecilia, or her brother, Patrick, to someone with money During a dinner party held in honour of Annabel Clark, a young, rich, American heiress, one of the party guests suddenly falls dead, murdered by poison Cecilia, incredibly inquisitive, and horribly bored by her predicament in life, decides to try and solve the mystery, along with the help of Ms Clark s lady s maid, Jane, and her cat, Jack.The mystery itself isn t anything too over the top, and it was clear to me that certain people were not who they said they were from very early on However, there were a couple of small twists that kept the story interesting Also, even though the series is being Manor Cat Mystery s, the cat is luckily not that prevalent He acts like a cat, and does not possess super sleuthing abilities rivaling that of a human person Cecilia and Jane are the ones who do all the grunt work It is clear that there is going to be a sequel based upon potential romances for our main heroines, and the fact that the epilogue left us with a cliffhanger Honestly, poor Patrick All in all, this was a lovely, quick read, great for those rainy days you just want to stay inside and curl up with a book. LADY TAKES THE CASE is the splendid debut of the Manor Cat Mystery series, taking place in England 1912, by Eliza Casey Historical mysteries are my favorite sub genre, and there is much to love between these pages.The aristocratic Bates family faces a dire future if Lord and Lady Avebury do not find a way to infuse their land rich yet monetarily poor estate with funds The quickest way to do this appears to be marrying their son Patrick off to American heiress Annabel Clarke even though they know little about her or her family When house party guest and infamous explorer Richard Hayes suddenly dies at a dinner honoring Annabel, Patrick becomes the prime suspect Patrick s sister Lady Cecilia, with the help of Annabel s plucky maid Jane, dedicates herself to unmasking the killer among her parents guests.I am a big fan of the author s historical mysteries and romances written under various nom de plumes so I was thrilled to read LADY TAKES THE CASE I was not disappointed Casey takes a generous amount of time setting the stage for the murder by presenting quite a few characters, describing Danby Hall, and introducing readers to the local village Personally, I enjoy all of this lead up, and I felt immersed in both the English countryside and pre World War I era Once the murder occurs, the story moves along at a quick pace all the way to its exciting conclusion The plot provides plenty of clues, misdirection, and suspects without becoming overwhelming or unchallenging There were some elements I figured out early on but others that kept me guessing There is a nice balance between the mystery and the historical.Lady Cecelia makes a wonderful amateur sleuth She is obviously intelligent and naturally curious Faced with the task of mapping out her future in a changing world, she is relatable and compelling The supporting cast of characters is varied and engaging Aside from Lady Cecilia, I find ladies maid Jane particularly captivating and look forward to seeing how, as a relatively inexperienced American, forges her way through life in the English Manor And, of course, I would be remiss to not mention Jack, THE cat of the series title I was not sure what to expect from the feline i.e human attributes or magical powers , but he a relatively normal cat and delightful sidekick.LADY TAKES THE CASE is one of my best reads of 2019, and I cannot wait to spend time with Lady Cecilia, Jane, and Jack Highly recommended.I received an ARC of this title from the author and voluntarily shared my thoughts here. Lady Takes the Case is a historical mystery set in 1912 in England I enjoyed the main characters, but there were so many loose ends and vague explanations that I was left baffled and unsatisfied by the end For example, they found several suspicious bottles and other apparent clues that were never explained The woman that showed up at the very end never explained where she had been A character who was drunk in one scene managed to shoot an arrow with superb accuracy just minutes later A room that was at the opposite end of the hallway suddenly was described as across the hallway at the end of the book And even the characters were confused by whodunit s reasoning and motive for the crime.Lady Cecilia and the servant Jane were kind, engaging characters The cat started out acting like a dog, but it did act catlike by the end The cat hardly played a role until the very end Cecilia and Jane asked questions about potential motives Since whodunit was pretty obvious from the very start, the middle of the story involved descriptions of clothing and party activities than of the investigation There were a number of historical errors, like the police leaving their critical evidence behind in room being used during a party, where anyone could meddle with it I don t recall any bad language There was no sex.I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. 3.5 starsThis likable debut of a historical cozy series is set in pre World War I England Lady Cecilia Bates and her brother Patrick and parents live in a grand but fading estate called Danby Cecilia and Patrick need to marry well to insure the survival of their home.An acquaintance has suggested Annabel Clarke, a rich American heiress, might be the answer Patrick is a botanist and neither he nor Cecilia is terribly interested in society and the London season Soon Annabel and her new maid Jane and Jane s cat Jack are headed out for a week of parties and events to meet the family.Annabel is nearly scuttled enroute when her ship sinks, but she and Jane survive and soon she arrives She is beautiful, spoiled, sometimes charming and sometimes difficult The second night of her stay at dinner, a fellow guest dies at the table and the police say it s poison.Cecilia and Jane begin asking questions because they know something is not right Everyone has secrets, and obviously some of them are deadly.Fun, light and entertaining Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Series Manor Cat Mystery 1Publication Date 11 26 19Number of Pages 304 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 This book covers a lot of firsts I believe it is the first book by the author, it is the first book in this series and it is my first read by this author I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to request this book because I wasn t sure if I was going to get a talking, magical cat or well something else Happily, it turns out it is just a normal cat doing normal cat things and the sleuthing is left up to the two ladies.The mystery itself isn t too challenging to figure out, but it was interesting to see how the resolution unfolded Historical mysteries are my favorite sub genre and this fit right into that mold although 1912 is a bit later than my normal reading period I enjoyed the setting a period when young ladies are trying to figure out what to do with themselves the beginnings of the suffragette movement, etc Given that, I think it will be fun to see Lady Cecilia work her way through what she wants for herself and her life while solving mysteries, of course In order to satisfy my reading requirements though, I ll need a love interest for Cecilia and I didn t see that I did see one potential, though inappropriate, possibility in a private investigator who makes a brief appearance We ll just have to see what happens in the romance department before I decide whether to continue, long term, with the series.The Blake family, like many others of the time, are titled and rich in properties, but poor in the money to actually support those properties or the lifestyles that go with them If they don t come up with a solution soon, they will be forced to sell their beautiful estate, Danby Hall The family, Lady Cecilia, Lord Patrick Viscount Bellham , and Lord Avebury are going along with Lady Avebury s plan to marry Patrick off to an American heiress Patrick is one of those lovely, sweet, befuddled people who is always lost in his own world of scientific botany experiments He s a very handsome young man, just oblivious to the world around him.The Blake s are hosting a house party with the American heiress, Annabel Clarke, as the guest of honor It turns out the lady is quite a demanding, temperamental diva and is quite full of herself Yet, she charms Patrick and he seems totally smitten Cecilia notices some strange undercurrents among the guests, but they are a varied lot and some have old enmities Most of the guests, however, don t even know each other That makes it really hard to figure out what is going on when a guest suddenly dies in the middle of dinner one evening It seems he was poisoned and the heiress is sure that it was meant for her.Lady Cecilia has always been curious about what was going on, but when it seems Patrick is the prime suspect, she is determined to solve the mystery I love that Cecilia and Jane become instant friends and both have an insatiable curiosity They work well together one covers the upstairs folks and the other covers the belowstairs folks.There was a lovely epilogue that sets up the next book, Lady Rights a Wrong, and that will be interesting to see I ll certainly read that addition to the series to see if a romance is added in and then I ll decide whether to continue with the series or not.This was a fun read and I think the author did a nice job of creating an interesting mystery with red herrings and distractions I believe that Eliza Casey is a pseudonym for a multi published author, but I don t know which one.I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book All thoughts and opinions are my own. When A Dinner Party Turns Deadly, The Feisty Lady Cecilia Bates And Intuitive Cat Jack Are On The Case, In This First Entry To An Exciting New Historical Mystery Series England Danby Hall Is The Only Home Lady Cecilia Bates Has Ever Known Despite The Rigid Rules Of Etiquette And Her Mother The Countess Of Avebury S Fervent Desire To See Her Married Off, Lady Cecilia Can T Imagine Life Anywhere Else But Now, With An Agricultural Depression Sweeping The Countryside, The Bates Family S Possession Of The Hall Is Suddenly In PerilA Possible Solution Arrives In The Form Of The Imperious American Heiress Annabel Clarke The Earl And Countess Of Avebury Are Determined That Cecilia S Brother, Patrick, Will Win Annabel S Hand In Marriage And Her Fortune Along With It To Help The Lackluster Patrick In This Pursuit, The Bates And Their Staff Arrange A Grand House Party Upon The Heiress S ArrivalWhen A Guest Dies After Sipping From A Glass Meant For Annabel, It S Clear The Bates Have A Poisonous Problem On Their Hands Than A Lack Of Chemistry As The Scandal Seizes Danby, Cecilia Sets Out To Find The Culprit, With Help From Annabel S Maid, Jane, And Jane S Curiously Intelligent Cat, JackAfter The Poison That Someone Had Stashed Away Inside The Manor Is Discovered, Cecilia Is Left With Two Possibilities Either A Resident Of Danby Snapped And Tried To Kill The Arrogant Heiress, Or The Threat Is Coming From One Of Their Guests, Who Would Love To See The Bates Family S Decline Become Permanent
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- 304 pages
- Lady Takes the Case (Manor Cat Mystery #1)
- Eliza Casey
- 27 July 2017 Eliza Casey