Length: 286 pages
Lady Eleanor and the gang go to Scotland! I have enjoyed this series so much and love that I'm ending the year with this review.
I had intended to do so much more on my blog in December but man it has been a heck of a month! Between teaching at an elementary school (where Christmas is intense!), to being sick twice with colds and sinus infections, to all the family obligations and celebrations I just haven't had much time to blog or read. But that's okay. I read when I could and read what I loved. And that's the point, right? So I'm happy to share my thoughts on this delightful cozy mystery.
Lady Eleanor and her butler Clifford travel to Castle Ranburgh in the Scottish highlands to celebrate Christmas with friends, Baron and Baroness Ashley. And when extra staff is needed, the whole group gets to tag along: Mrs. Trotman, the cook, Mrs. Butters, the housekeeper, and Polly, the kitchen maid. Even Gladstone the bulldog gets to go as another guest of honor. Though the castle is a bit primitive and the festivities a bit hampered by infighting among the guests, Eleanor is determined to enjoy herself. When an obnoxious American, Eugene Randall ends up murdered during a party game, she realizes she is smack in the middle of another crime to solve. Everyone has motive, including the footman and the hosts.
When Baron Ashley is arrested for the murder, Eleanor knows she must try to help clear his name. But is she absolutely sure he's innocent? His wife seems to be adamant that he is and just for good measure she enlists her love interest, Inspector Hugh Seldon to help her with some of the evidence. She will have to work fast to find the real killer and all while trying not to be too distracted by her feelings for Seldon and her desire to honor his request that she stay safe and quit putting herself in harm's way.
Being partial to all things Scottish this was one of my favorites of the series so far. I loved everything about it. From the location, to the colorful characters, to the incorporation of Christmas traditions, and the new hints into Eleanor's background and her mysterious absent parents.
The murder mystery was well done too and I only figured out half of the answer. The last couple of chapters with an intense chase scene were fun and exciting and I learned some things about sailing and the topography of the area they are in.
The next in the series looks fun as it centers around the murder of a visiting member of the royal family. Looking forward to more adventures in 2024 with Eleanor, Clifford, and Gladstone.