Amateur detectives Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith seem to have nothing more taxing on their plate than locating a missing wooden cat and solving the dilemma of seating thirteen for dinner. But one of the guests brings a conundrum: a young woman has been found dead, and her boyfriend is convinced she was murdered. The trouble is, nobody else agrees.
Investigation reveals that several young people in the local area have died in strange circumstances, and rumours abound of poisonings at the hands of Lord Toothill, a local mysterious recluse. Toothill’s angry, gun-toting gamekeeper isn’t doing anything to quell suspicions, either.
But even with a gun to his head, Jonty can tell there’s more going on in this surprisingly treacherous village than meets the eye. And even Orlando’s vaunted logic is stymied by the baffling inconsistencies they uncover. Together, the Cambridge Fellows must pick their way through gossip and misdirection to discover the truth.
So this is book 11 in the series, and no I’ve not read any prior, and I could follow along mostly.
My problem was, with this being so far into a well established series all the bonds, connections, friendships, courtships I enjoy seeing built are already in place which lead to another issue I had, because everyone knew each other, the little banters and inside jokes were lost on me.
The opening chapters of the book were quiet entertaining, not allowing 13 at the table, and proceeding to borrow a cat. Fun. Of course as the story unfolds the real danger and mystery comes to light
And while the book itself was a murder mystery with only a touch of MM romance, I liked how both main charaters played off each other to get the job done. The secondary cast was well placed, to keep this from being completely doom and gloom.