Title: The Case at Barton Manor (Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates #1)
Author: Emily Queen
Published on: 9th April 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery (Historical)
The Case at Barton Manor is the first book in Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates historical cozy mystery series by Emily Queen.
Rosemary Lillywhite had no intention of carrying forward her late husband’s private investigation services. Things change when a young woman comes knocking at Lillywhite Investigations’ door, asking for help. The woman is Grace Barton and lives in the same village as Rosemary’s parents. Grace’s father has received a threatening letter and Grace is afraid her father might be murdered soon.
Rosemary, along with her best friend Vera, visit the Barton manor as guests – the Bartons are celebrating their wedding anniversary and there’s a party going on. Grace and Rosemary come across a dead body – one of the close associates of the Bartons is shot dead. Rosemary’s family makes their way into the list of suspects and it is up to Rosemary to catch the real culprit.
I have mixed opinion about this book. As much as I liked the mystery and the characters, I cannot say the same about the setting – this story did not have a ‘historical’ feel to it. Seemed more like a Victorian mystery set in modern times. Um…
Rosemary and Vera form quite a pair. Vera is an actress and so is her mother – this was the time when women weren’t encouraged to work. Irrespective of their career choices, they are respected by many – men mostly; the husbands are wooed while the wives are envious.
We have a romance angle too. Rose is just 25 and her mother wants her to find love once again, marry and settle down. As a first in the series, I was expecting some background on Rose’s husband Andrew. He’s mentioned quite a few times in the story and I was curious to know what killed him/how did he die?
Overall, The Case at Barton Manor was an okay read. Impressive character portrayal and mystery. The identity of the perp was unexpected and surprising. The ending was really good. However, the story fell flat on the ‘historical’ aspect.