Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd

death-comes-to-the-villageDeath Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #1
Genre: Historical Mystery (cozy)
Setting: Rural England, 1816
Published by Kensington, 2013
E-book, Kindle Unlimited
282 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: A wounded soldier and a rector’s daughter discover strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Kurland St. Mary in Catherine Lloyd’s charming Regency-set mystery debut.

Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . .

Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion–but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . .

As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again…

As a child she’d asked her father why the church sat so much lower than the surrounding graveyard–had it sunk? He’d told her that, on the contrary, the church remained the same, but that over the centuries, all the burials had raised the level of the land around it. She’d thanked him for the information and had nightmares for weeks afterward.


“Do you not think we have a responsibility to discover what happened to poor Mary? She was a foundling. As far as we know, she has no other family to care about what has become of her.”

“The Bible has much to say about ingratitude, Lucy, of nourishing a viper in one’s bosom.” He stood up and looked down his nose at her. “Perhaps you might reflect on that before you presume to lecture me about my Christian duty to one who has sinned by leaving a perfectly good home provided to her by a loving, spiritual family.”

Initial impressions

  • The characters are interesting and varied, the time period is one I like and the mystery kept me guessing.


  • There are several mysteries in this book and as a reader I wondered if they’re all linked or not. The author does a good job creating questions and mystery.
  • I like the slow build-up where we don’t know exactly what’s going on and we get to know the characters and get to wonder about them and whether this one or that one is the culprit.
  • Lucy is the oldest daughter so she has stayed with her family after her mother died to run the household for her father.
  • Now that things are changing with the household–her two younger brothers heading off to school, her older brother getting ready for Cambridge and her sister ready for a season in London–Lucy would like her own season. She’d like a family of her own. Her father thinks she should continue to take care of him. I like that there is more than just the mystery, but that the mystery doesn’t get lost either in the other details.
  • Major Robert Kurland is unable to walk very far without help when the book opens and is mostly bedridden. Lucy–as the vicar’s daughter–visits him to read and converse with him. She doesn’t like him very well since he’s always so grumpy.
  • However, when he sees something out his window one night he feels she’s the only one he can ask about it. He feels his servants think he’s not too stable…that he might have taken too much laudanum and thus imagined the whole thing.
  • When Lucy begins asking around the village she discovers that two village women are missing (including one of the vicarage’s servants) and that someone is stealing small items from houses in the area.
  • There is a bit of a regency romance feel to the book though there aren’t really any romances.
  • I like the details in the book–such as Lucy finding an article about a wheelchair and giving that to Robert.


  • I thought at the end of the book Robert acts a little like a jerk!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • There are two more books in the series (so far) and I’m looking forward to reading them soon.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • (from Goodreads): “Catherine Lloyd was born just outside London, England, into a large family of dreamers, artists, and history lovers. She completed her education with a master’s degree in history at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and uses the skills she gained there to research and write her historical mysteries. Catherine currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and youngest daughter.. ”

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog