Title: Murder at the Mansion
Author: Sheila Connolly
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Page Count: 328
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
The first in a brand-new series from New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly!
Katherine Hamilton’s goal in high school was to escape from her dead-end hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Fifteen years later she’s got a degree in hospitality management and a great job at a high-end boutique hotel in Baltimore. Until, that is, the hotel is acquired by a chain, and she’s laid off. When Kate’s high school best friend calls with a mysterious invitation to come talk with the town leaders of Asheboro, she agrees to make the trip, curious about where this new opportunity might lead.
Once Kate arrives, the town council members reveal that their town is on the verge of going bankrupt, and they’ve decided that Kate’s skills and knowledge make her the perfect person to cure all their ills. The town has used its last available funds to buy the huge Victorian mansion just outside of town, hoping to use it to attract some of the tourists who travel to visit the nearby Civil War battle sites. Kate has less-than-fond memories of the mansion, for personal reasons, but to make matters worse, the only person who has presented a possible alternate plan is Cordelia Walker—Kate’s high school nemesis.
But a few days later, while touring the mansion, Kate stumbles over a body—and it’s none other than Cordelia. Kate finds herself juggling the murder investigation and her growing fascination with the old house, which itself is full of long-hidden mysteries. Kate must clear her name and save her town—before she ends up in hot water.
Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly is the first book of the new cozy Victorian Village Mysteries series. Sheila Connolly is an established author with multiple ongoing series but I have never had the chance to try her work so seeing this was the beginning to a new series I knew I had to try it out for myself.
Katherine Hamilton had left her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland and headed off to college without looking back, until now fifteen years later. Kate had been working in the hospitality field at a high end hotel in Baltimore when seemingly at the same time she finds she is out of a job due to a takeover and she receives a call from an old friend asking for help in Asheboro.
With nothing to hold her back in Baltimore Kate heads to Asheboro to hear the town council out with their dilemma in revamping the town to gain more tourism. Kate isn’t even deterred from helping when she finds her old nemesis, the high school queen bee/bully Cordelia, is going to be the competition for ideas. But when Cordelia’s body turns up Kate finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.
Going into this series knowing that the book was by an established author I was not at all surprised to find very good writing in the book and had really expected it. The story being in a small struggling town drew me right into the story and I also loved the added look into history that it revolved around. The one thing I would have liked more of is of course the one that I say quite often is more quirkiness to the characters/story being a cozy mystery so I gave this opener 3.5 stars but it was enjoyable enough that I would definitely continue on.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Sheila Connolly is the New York Times bestselling, Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated author of the Orchard Mysteries, the Museum Mysteries, and the County Cork Mysteries, in addition to several stand-alone titles. She is married and has one daughter and three cats. Visit her online at sheilaconnolly.com.