Death Comes to the Nursery is the seventh book in Kurland St. Mary Mystery series and can be read as a standalone.
Lady Lucy and her husband Major Robert Kurland are going to have a new addition to the family by Christmas. A new nursery maid is brought in to help – Polly, and she’s Agnes’ (another nursery maid) cousin. Polly is vivacious and men seem to be mesmerized by her beauty. The current staff (men) at the Kurland estate are head over heels in love with Polly and this results in a fisticuff or two. Polly has an afternoon off and she decides to take a stroll. The next day, a terrified Agnes comes to Lucy saying Polly hasn’t returned home. The husband-wife pair search high and low. The next morning, a farmer finds the lifeless body of Polly in a ditch.
Agnes then reveals that the woman who claimed to be Polly was an impersonation of her cousin. Lucy and Robert reach London in search of clues, unaware that the real threat is back home.
Of all the ‘meh’ reads I have been having from the beginning of this year, this is one of them. The story starts on a high note, falls flat in the middle and ends well. The plot’s really good. A nursery maid who is mesmerizing all the men of Kurland estate is found dead in a ditch. Did one of her ‘suitors’ kill her?
Soon after the murder, Lucy and Robert leave for London in search of clues. Dejected for not having found much, they return to Kurland estate. But things change when they reach home and the Kurlands are in danger. Lucy and Robert go sleuthing separately and then discuss their findings. Their recollections become ‘repetitive’ and I wish this could have been avoided. I didn’t want to read the same thing twice.
The characters are so-so. At one point in time, Robert comments on how ‘women change their mind in a jiffy’. Say what, now? Penelope, Robert’s ex-fiance` is still friends with the family. She keeps pestering and ‘warning’ Lucy about how men stray from their wives – this was irritating at times and I wish Lucy had cut contacts with Penelope. They even have this thought process running in their minds – why Robert and Penelope weren’t made for each other. Why can’t bygones be bygones????
There were so many things happening in the story that I felt lost at times. There isn’t much of mystery either. Just talk, repeat. Also, Lucy and Robert conclude certain things without proper proof, and as the story ends, one can see how wrong the husband-wife pair were. Bert is one of the suspects but halfway through the story, I knew he was wrongly accused – one of the characters mentions something in London but Robert ignores it! In other words, they were searching for clues to prove Bert guilty – they didn’t want to have any more suspects! Not my kinda sleuthing, if you ask me!
The ending was good but seemed abrupt – mainly because the husband-wife pair were ignorant! I wouldn’t call Death Comes to the Nursery a disappointing read, but it wasn’t a captivating read either.
Writing Style: 3/5
Character Development: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 3/5
Title: Death Comes to the Nursery (Kurland St. Mary Mystery #7)
Author: Catherine Llyod
Published on: 28th January 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Featured Image Credits: NetGalley
Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.