I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for the latest book in ‘The Lady Evelyn Mysteries’ series by Malia Zaidi, The Golden Hour.
Thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to participate in the tour and for my review copy.
About the Book
London, 1927. Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil.
To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder?
A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
Format: Paperback, ebook (pp.) Publisher:
Published: 26th March 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime
Find The Golden Hour (The Lady Evelyn Mysteries #4) on Goodreads
I can reassure readers who, like me, have not read any of the previous books in the series that The Golden Hour works perfectly well as a standalone read although there are a few references to events (some significant) in earlier books. However, there are some surprises of a personal nature awaiting even Lady Evelyn in The Golden Hour.
Evelyn makes a spirited heroine with instincts naturally attuned to detection. She’s observant, perceptive, and inquisitive, not to mention determined, independent-minded and fearless. It turns out she’s going to need all those qualities when a murder takes place in the grounds of a country house, Elderbrooke Park, near to Malmo Manor where members of Evelyn’s extended family have gathered ahead of the wedding of her cousin, Gemma.
Like all good mysteries, there is an extensive cast of possible suspects including the residents of Elderbrooke Park (many of whom bear the physical and psychological scars of war), the inhabitants of the nearby village of Falkland (not all of whom are keen on their new neighbours), servants and even members of Evelyn’s own family. There are a range of potential motives as well: blackmail, unrequited love, jealousy and family feuds, to name but a few.
The story moves along at fairly leisurely speed with plenty of time for philosophical musings, lush descriptions of landscape and weather, and for Evelyn to share the results of her investigations with other characters. The pace of the book is therefore best suited to those who enjoy a gentle country stroll rather than a headlong gallop.
Personally, I could have done with more of the delicious Daniel, Evelyn’s romantic interest, who frankly sounds like quite a catch. Her concern that the future of their relationship might mean giving up her cherished independence reminded me a little of the courtship between Dorothy L Sayers’ Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey in Gaudy Night.
The Golden Hour is an engaging historical mystery which doesn’t however shy away from tackling more serious subjects such as the legacy of war – in this case, the First World War – on those involved even nearly twenty years later.
I received a review copy courtesy of damppebbles Blog Tours and the author.
In three words: Engaging, gentle, mystery
Try something similar…Lady Helena Investigates (Scott-De Quincy Mysteries #1) by Jane Steen (read my review here)
About the Author
Malia Zaidi is the author of the ‘Lady Evelyn Mysteries’. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.
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