Thursday, May 30, 2024

Murder at the Grand Hotel by Isabella Bassett (Lady Caroline Mysteries Book One)


Publication Date: 
July 1, 2022


214 pages


Lady Caroline is used to the finer things in life. When she misbehaves and is sent to spend her days with her Uncle Albert on the French Riviera, she is sure being his personal secretary will be a total bore. But she is determined to make the best of things and when her eccentric Uncle, member of the Royal Society for Natural History Appreciation, shares he is in a contest with the other members to win an odd prize for finding an obscure flower, she cheerfully agrees to step in and do the work to find it. 

Little does she know that her mission will change to dead bodies instead of plants and when a woman is poisoned and dies she is determined to find out why and who did it. With help from her growing love interest, James, another secretary, and the clues she can gather while observing the other members of the hotel, she begins to piece together a more complicated scheme than she thought. When a well known architect falls from a cliff's edge Lady Caroline believes the two deaths are connected. The background cast of characters include a Polish Count and a society woman wishing to marry Caroline off to her son. Also, she has to deal with being a suspect herself at one point. She is amazed at her Uncle's total lack of interest in the murders and his laser focus on his flower gathering mission. She presses on to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt.

My Thoughts:

Having enjoyed the other Isabella Bassett book, Secret of the Scarab, I wanted to read the first book in the series. It was a cute, cozy mystery and has a better, well written style and plot than some I've come across. I enjoy these books as an escape between heavier ones but appreciate them if they have some semblance of time and place. Bassett is great with this. I found the mystery engaging, her Uncle endearing, and Lady Caroline plucky without being annoying. The background of the characters and the location and storyline were detailed and the plot moved along nicely. Some of my favorite parts were the ones about the Society and its members because I already knew they factor into subsequent books. The clues were misleading and guess worthy too and I did not figure out the ending or who committed the crimes. It was well hidden inside a lot of other clues that I didn't see coming. Lady Caroline also has a friend, Poppy, an uber society girl who is funny and adds to the humorous side of the story. I will be reading Bassett's other books for sure. This is a great cozy mystery series so far. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge