Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 288pp
(Received for a honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Julie Hyzy on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Civil War re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and into the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachery Kincade is found stabbed to death.
Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he's linked to the death of Zachary's brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of "general" is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer... and for the sweet tuxedo kitten, Bootsie, found on her doorstep. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger's way?
Grace Interrupted is the second book in the Manor House Mystery series by Julie Hyzy, following Grace Under Pressure. This Southern cozy mystery will keep readers on their toes as they try to sort out a killer from a group of Civil-War re-enacters. Fans of the series will enjoy learning more about Grace's love interest, Jack and the other inhabitants of Marshfield Manor. This cozy packs a punch with it's engaging plot and intriguing characters. Julie Hyzy's snappy dialogue and witty writing style will capture the readers imagination in this great summer mystery.
Grace Wheaton has become the curator of Marshfield Manor, a great southern tourist attraction. When she rents out part of the estate to a group of Civil-War re-enacters she doesn't have a clue that another mystery is in the making. When Zachery Kincade, one of the actors ends up dead, it's up to Grace to figure out whodunit. Kincade and Grace's landscape architect Jack Embers have a sorted past. Jack was once accused of murdering Kincades brother and becomes the prime suspect in the crime. But Kincade had other enemies as well. He was a womanizer and his role as "general" was highly sought after. With a list of suspects a mile long, Grace must prove Jack's innocence even as her feelings for him become more clear.
Julie Hyzy does a fantastic job with the latest book in the Manor House Mystery series. Grace Interrupted is definitely what I would call a southern cozy. It's set in the south and Hyzy's descriptions of the area and the people are very well done. In this second book in the series fans will learn a lot more about the characters they came to love from the first book. Grace the intelligent and feisty new curator of Marshfield Manor. Bennett the lonely owner of Marshfield Manor. Grace's not so nice but efficient assistant Francis and Grace's love interest Jack. Hyzy has created a cast of complex characters that have issues all their own. Jack has a tragic past and readers learn in this book, that he has been living under a suspicion of murder for over 13 years. I think character develop is essential to good cozy and Hyzy does it with style in this book.
The victim in this cozy is an actor with a bad reputation. Zachery Kincade is known for womanizing and arrogance. After leaving one woman at the altar her friends try to give Kincade a dose of his own medicine while the re-enacters are at Marshfield Manor. Though Grace nips it in the bud, and the women are escorted off the property Kincade isn't through causing trouble. He picks a fight with Jack's brother David thinking he is the man who killed his sister 13 years ago. Kincade realizes that is Jack and not David that he should be fighting with. There are other people who have interest in Zachery Kincade ending up dead as well. There are several actors who would love to have his role as "general" for the re-enactment, but do they want it enough to kill for it? When Kincade ends up dead, Jack becomes the prime suspect due to his past and Grace is sure he couldn't have done it, but does she really know him as well as she thinks she does? Hyzy creates a lot of different options for suspects and for the killer. It will keep readers guessing all the way to end. When the killer is finally revealed readers may not have guessed it right, but I think they'll be highly satisfied.
I liked the whole southern theme of the book from the re-enactment all the way to the food and the setting in this book. I thought Hyzy showed a lot of appreciation and respect for the area and the people and the overall plot of the book was interesting and kept the reader motivated to read on. It's a fast paced book that can be read in a few sittings and I am looking forward to more books in this series. I recommend it to all my cozy readers and to those who want to try something different from mainstream mysteries and thrillers.
Grace Interrupted is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Julie Hyzy is the national bestselling author of the White House Chef Mysteries and the Manor House Mysteries. She won the Barry and Anthony Awards for Best Paperback Original for State of the Onion in 2009, and several other awards for her novels and short stories. Her first Manor House Mystery, Grace Under Pressure, earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Julie loves to read, eat out, and watch old movies and TV shows with her husband and three daughters. They live near Chicago with two rambunctious cats, Kitka and Violet.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway of one copy of Grace Interrupted to one winner from Debbie's Book Bag!
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