Book Review and Blog Tour: Mystery at Lovelace Manor by Clare Chase

About the book:

Lovelace Manor has a famous past… but when a historian becomes history at its annual open day, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is on the case!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter flocks to Lovelace Sunday, the festival celebrating the romantic history of beautiful Lovelace Manor. This year will be even more exciting, as famous TV historian Cammie Harington is planning a spectacular stunt with a hot-air balloon for her new show.

Eve Mallow jumps at the chance to volunteer – it’s a great people-watching opportunity. But she soon realises there is no love lost between Cammie and the family who owns the manor… so why did Cammie agree to come?

When Cammie’s hot-air balloon tumbles from the sky, Eve feels sure this is no accident. Alongside dachshund Gus, she sets to work investigating the mystery, piecing together all the odd things she’s seen and heard.

Could the killer be discreet Diana, lady of the manor, who fell out with Cammie years ago? Or Diana’s dashing brother Sebastian, whose dark secret Cammie knew? Why was the loyal gardener following Cammie around? And had Cammie uncovered something explosive about the manor’s past, as she claimed?

When someone breaks into Cammie’s cottage and a priceless Lovelace heirloom goes missing, Eve is sure she’s on the right track… but can she solve the case, before the killer brings her crashing down?

A completely gripping English cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Frances Evesham, J.R. Ellis and Betty Rowlands.

My review:

Eve Mallow jumps at the opportunity to volunteer for Lovelace Sunday, a big to-do held each year at Lovelace Manor. The manor has quite the history and romantic legend, and this year popular historian Cammie Harrington will be there as well, so Eve figures it will be worth taking part. What she didn’t expect was that she’d be writing Cammie’s obituary and working to solve her murder, too.

Clare Chase writes a delightful mystery! It’s full of people like you’d expect to find in a small English town, and some you might not expect. Eve’s love interest, Robin, is actually in the witness protection program. That tidbit makes their relationship a bit more complicated than most, as they can’t do anything that will risk his true identity being revealed.

Eve is one of my favorite kinds of protagonists – intelligent, keenly observant, and just a bit quirky. I mean, she’s a professional obituary writer. That’s not your everyday kind of job. And she’s got a dachshund. That automatically makes her good people as far as I’m concerned.

Eve’s job drafting Cammie’s obituary gives her an opportunity to ask all sorts of questions to plenty of suspects. It seems like there are any number of people who might have had reason to want Cammie out of the way. Could it be Ralph Roscoe, her university ex-boyfriend, who tried to jump into the hot air balloon at the last minute? What about Diana Pickford-Jones, the owner of Lovelace Manor, who had once been so close to Cammie? Or Diana’s drop-dead gorgeous model brother, Sebastian, and the deep dark secret Cammie said she knew? The taciturn gardener, Josh Standish? And what about the mysterious storyteller, Raven, who may or may not be who she seems to be?

The story is also full of twists and surprises, and even more than one death. Some I saw coming, some I didn’t, and one or two I suspected.

Is there anything really new and unexpected about the story? No. But it’s an enjoyable cozy mystery in a British setting, which I always like. It’s set in a small town, full of characters that I feel like I’d like to know. It’s a quick, easy read, perfect for unwinding after a hard day at work or relaxing in a comfy chair by the pool. If you like a mystery heavy on cozy and light on gory details, with just a touch of romance, I highly recommend Mystery at Lovelace Manor!

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy from Bookouture and NetGalley. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

About the author:

Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for Novelicious’s Undiscovered Award, as well as an EPIC award post-publication, and was chosen as a Debut of the Month by LoveReading. Murder on the Marshes (Tara Thorpe 1) was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award.

Like her heroines, Clare is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.You can find Clare’s website and blog at www.clarechase.com.

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2 Responses to Book Review and Blog Tour: Mystery at Lovelace Manor by Clare Chase

  1. Clare Chase says:

    Thanks so much for this lovely review, and for taking part in the tour!

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