Can’t Wait Wednesday: Death Comes to the Nursery by Catherine Lloyd

A great mix of romance and historical mystery

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Death Comes to the Nursery

by Catherine Lloyd

Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #7

Published by Kensington

Publishing date: January 28, 2020

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Delighted by the quiet uproar of raising their newborn, Lady Lucy and Major Sir Robert Kurland could not be more pleased at the prospect of welcoming another into their home. But their preparations are soon overshadowed by a baffling case of murder . . .

Once known to all in her village as the rector’s daughter, Lucy is now a mother herself—to a wonderful eighteen-month-old son, Ned. Upon discovering that she is expecting a second child, Lucy and Robert are delighted. In anticipation of the new arrival, Lucy is set on expanding her nursery staff. When Agnes, her current nurse, recommends her cousin, it seems like the perfect solution.

But trouble arrives along with the new nursery maid from London. Polly’s flirtations provoke fisticuffs in the servants’ hall and tumult in the village tavern, and on her afternoon off, she fails to return to the Kurland Estate. When a farmer finds her lifeless body in a drainage ditch, Lucy and Robert fear foul play.

………………………….

I’m a few books behind in this series so I need to read some books soon! The series has a great mix of romance and historical mystery.

Death Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd

death-comes-to-the-fairDeath Comes to the Fair by Catherine Lloyd
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mysteries #4
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Kurland St. Mary and Kurland St. Anne in England
Published by Kensington
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: November 29, 2016)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
304 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: It’s harvest time in the village of Kurland St. Mary as Lucy and Robert prepare to take their vows—but a murderer has taken an unseasonable vow of vengeance . . .

As Miss Lucy Harrington, daughter of the village rector, and Major Sir Robert Kurland plan their nuptials, the major is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever hear wedding bells. He’s seen complex military campaigns that involved less strategy, and he’s finding Lucy’s meddling family maddening.

When the body of Ezekiel Thurrock, the church verger, is discovered crushed by a stone gargoyle that has fallen from the bell tower, the tragic death strikes a somber note and the wedding is delayed. But the evidence suggests this was no accident, and Lucy wonders if bad blood at the village fair had anything to do with the man’s mysterious demise, since there was much bitterness over Ezekiel’s prizewinning vegetables.

As Lucy and Robert uncover long-standing village feuds, the town’s dark secrets begin to take their toll and the couple soon finds they too are in grave danger . . .

Initial impressions

  • Best book in the series so far. The mystery is more complex and the story is more than just the mystery.

Pluses

  • I like how the series moves the personal lives of the characters forward even as mysteries unfold. In this case Robert and Lucy are planning their wedding. They are frustrated that they must take into account many other people. They would like to keep things simple!
  • I like the regard and love Robert and Lucy show for each other. I also like how Robert has grown and changed throughout the series in his regard and respect for Lucy. Lucy has also come to respect Robert and realize what a good person he is.
  • I wasn’t sure how the mystery would be solved for quite some time!
  • During the fair Robert judges the area produce. He judges it without regard for who wins and loses even though Lucy tries to tell him it’s serious business to the area residents and can cause feuds. He doesn’t heed her warnings and awards most of the prizes to one person. He’s very surprised at the anger, grumbling and talk about a “rigged” system from those who didn’t win!
  • I like the different attitudes Robert and Lucy have. Robert is idealistic–he believes giving the prize to the best carrot or turnip is the right thing to do. Lucy is pragmatic–she understands the politics of the villages, that the villagers have long memories and that spreading the prizes among many people will give everyone something to brag about. Who is right?
  • The murders look like they could be accidents and no one seems to believe or care when Robert and Lucy think they could be murders. At first it’s hard to see why the murders took place.
  • The story shows the importance of knowing the history of the people and their region when those people live in an area for a long time–even when no one seems to know the origin of feuds and resentments.

Minuses

  • The book is named after the fair, but the fair is only in the first few pages of the book. However, what happens at the fair does seem to cause some of the events.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I hope there are more books in this series!

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

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Waiting on Wednesday: August 3

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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death-comes-to-the-fair-by-catherine-lloydDeath Comes to the Fair

by Catherine Lloyd

Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #4

Genre: Historical Mystery

Publication date: November 29

Synopsis: It’s harvest time in the village of Kurland St. Mary as Lucy and Robert prepare to take their vows—but a murderer has taken an unseasonable vow of vengeance . . .

As Miss Lucy Harrington, daughter of the village rector, and Major Sir Robert Kurland plan their nuptials, the major is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever hear wedding bells. He’s seen complex military campaigns that involved less strategy, and he’s finding Lucy’s meddling family maddening.

When the body of Ezekiel Thurrock, the church verger, is discovered crushed by a stone gargoyle that has fallen from the bell tower, the tragic death strikes a somber note and the wedding is delayed. But the evidence suggests this was no accident, and Lucy wonders if bad blood at the village fair had anything to do with the man’s mysterious demise, since there was much bitterness over Ezekiel’s prizewinning vegetables.

As Lucy and Robert uncover long-standing village feuds, the town’s dark secrets begin to take their toll and the couple soon finds they too are in grave danger . . .

…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • I’ve read the previous three mysteries in this series and really enjoyed them.
  • Lucy and Robert are finally getting married and I want to see that!
  • Prizes at a fair causing feuds? Sounds interesting!

Death Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd

death-comes-to-kurland-hallDeath Comes to Kurland Hall by Catherine Lloyd
Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery series #3
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Kurland St. Mary in rural England, 1817
Published by Kensington, 2015
Library book
281 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: As wedding bells chime in Kurland St. Mary, a motley group of visitors descends on the village—and with a murderer on the prowl, some of them may not be returning home…

Lucy Harrington has returned to Kurland St. Mary to help with her friend Sophia Giffin’s wedding. But her homecoming is made disagreeable by the presence of Major Robert Kurland, whose bungled proposal has ruffled Lucy’s composure, and a meddling widow who has designs on her father, the village rector.

Wary of the cloying Mrs. Chingsford from the start, Lucy has doubts about the busybody’s intentions with her father. But everyone else seems to think they make an ideal match—until the courtship is curtailed when Mrs. Chingsford is found dead at the bottom of a staircase. It’s clear that it wasn’t an accident, and in hopes of finding the culprit, Lucy and Robert call a truce and begin scrutinizing the wedding guests.

But the widow left behind plenty of enemies, and when one of them is the next to turn up dead, Lucy and Robert discover that the truth is far more scandalous than anyone could have imagined…

How was she supposed to deal with someone who asked the most outrageous questions with a smile on her face? She could only pray her father wouldn’t be taken in by the sweetness for too long before he discovered the sour underneath. But then men often seemed incapable of seeing much at all. . . .

and

There was a bitter sound to her words, but Lucy couldn’t blame her. Unwanted or unwed female relatives had very few options if their menfolk died.

Initial impressions

  • I love the characters in these books. The mysteries are good, too!

The story

  • Lucy returns to Kurland St. Mary to help her friend Sophia with her wedding. Sophia found someone to love in London, but Lucy didn’t have any proposals that suited her.
  • Guests begin to arrive for the wedding and since it’s a small village some guests stay at the vicarage.
  • It turns out the guests at the vicarage are Mrs. Chingford and her daughters. Lucy’s father knew Mrs. Chingford when they were both younger and he is pleased to see her again. Lucy hopes he’s not taken in by her.
  • Mrs. Chingford seems to know lots of gossip about the wedding guests and enjoys confronting people. However, Lucy’s father is enamored and announces his engagement to Mrs. Chingford.
  • When Mrs. Chingford falls down a staircase Lucy and Robert declare a truce and try to discover if this was an accident or a murder.

Pluses

  • Before I read the second book I saw that this book is about a wedding and, of course, I thought it would be Lucy and Robert’s wedding!
  • Lucy is happy to be back in her village. She didn’t like London very much, but she’s also sad she didn’t find a suitor in London.
  • Lucy and Robert declare a truce to their annoyance with each other to try to figure out how Mrs. Chingford died.
  • I like the mystery in this book as well as the wedding preparations.
  • We get to know more about several characters from earlier books and see more about their lives and motivations.
  • I do like the bits of romance in these books. I also like that these are more than the romance and that I like the characters a lot.
  • I like Lucy who is outspoken and a “managing” female. Robert is often impatient and always seems to say the wrong thing to Lucy. However, there’s some chemistry there and I hope they discover it soon!

Minuses

  • Sometimes the banter and insults between Lucy and Robert goes on too long. However, I do enjoy them and the story so I don’t let that bother me too much.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • The fourth book in the series–Death Comes to the Fair–comes out in November 2016. I’m looking forward to reading it.

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

Death Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd

death-comes-to-londonDeath Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd
Series: Kurland St.Mary series #2
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: London and Kurland St. Mary in England, 1817
Published by Kensington, 2014
Library book
259 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: A season in London promises a welcome change of pace for two friends from the village of Kurland St. Mary until murder makes a debut. With the reluctant blessings of their father, the rector of Kurland St. Mary, Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave home for a social season in London. At the same time, Lucy’s special friend Major Robert Kurland is summoned to the city to accept a baronetcy for his wartime heroism.

Amidst the dizzying whirl of balls and formal dinners, the focus shifts from mixing and matchmaking to murder when the dowager Countess of Broughton, the mother of an old army friend of Robert, drops dead. When it’s revealed she’s been poisoned, Robert’s former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is accused, and she in turn points a finger at Anna. To protect her sister, Lucy enlists Robert’s aid in drawing out the true culprit.

But with suspects ranging from resentful rivals and embittered family members to the toast of the ton, it will take all their sleuthing skills to unmask the poisoner before more trouble is stirred up.

London was far more tiring and intimidating than Lucy had expected. As the Hathaways had engaged an extremely competent staff, she also had very little to do, which was disconcerting in itself. Apparently, living like a young lady at home was remarkably boring.

and

His assumption that the accumulated wisdom of generations of women was untrustworthy was slightly annoying, but not uncommon in this age of new science. Apparently, in order to be considered worthy, everything had to be proved anew. It seemed ridiculous to her. If willow bark cured a headache, and had done so for centuries, then why would one suddenly doubt it? It was typical of men to rewrite something just for the sake of it.

Initial impressions

  • The second book in this series continued to make me laugh sometimes and read quickly through the suspenseful parts.

The story

  • This book begins a few months after the end of the first book.
  • Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave for London for the season in hopes of finding husbands.
  • Much to his dismay Major Robert Kurland is summoned to London to receive a baronetcy for his heroism in the war.
  • They are all at Almack’s when a dowager Countess suddenly collapses and dies. It looks like poison and Major Kurland and Lucy Harrington again work together to solve the mystery.

Pluses

  • I read the first book in this series late last year and enjoyed the story and characters a lot.
  • The London setting is well done and though Lucy would like to find someone to marry she isn’t very happy to be in London. She finds it boring–at least until a murder happens–and she misses the countryside.
  • I like the characters in this series–Lucy, Robert, Anna, Sophia (Lucy’s friend)–even Robert’s former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is interesting and irritating at the same time.
  • There’s some romance in the book since Lucy, Anna and Sophia are in London all trying to find husbands. Of course, after the first book I expected Lucy and Robert to finally wake up and discover each other, but though they make some progress I wondered when or if it  would happen!

Minuses

  • Major Kurland comes across as curmudgeonly and ill-mannered sometimes in this book–especially in his interactions with Lucy. He doesn’t understand that spending so much time with her might ruin her chances of finding a husband.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I had the third book in the series and I’ve already read it, too. I hope she writes a fourth book very 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