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 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.

and

“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.

Cheers

  • 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.

Jeers

  • 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