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review 2014-01-04 06:44
An Unmentionable Murder (Manor House Mystery #9)
An Unmentionable Murder - Kate Kingsbury

This is the last book in the Manor House Mystery series and I have to believe that Ms. Kingsbury meant for it to be, as it ends with a bit of a bow tied around it.  She commented in a group I'm in that while she has no plans to write another, she's not discounted it either.  Still, if another book was never written, a reader could be satisfied with things as they stand at the end of An Unmentionable Murder.  


Allied forces have invaded Europe and are beginning their assault against Germany.  That means Major Earl Monroe is scarce on the ground and Lady Elizabeth's fretting is at an all time high.  She does a lot of thinking about 'living for the moment' but it results in nothing more than possible headaches.


Enter the mystery, or rather, the mysteries.  There's a lot going on in this small book.  Knickers are disappearing off the drying lines of homes all over the village.  Only the women's knickers of course - who'd want the men's?  Also in the disappearing department:  Martin, the very ancient, only-somewhat-senile butler, has taken to disappearing and refuses to explain where he goes when he does.  Perhaps Violet does him a disservice by claiming he's batty?


Oh, and there's the murder.  During the demolition of the ammunitions factory that exploded in a previous book, a body is found.  It's the rag-and-bone man, shot in an apparent suicide.  Only he's left-handed and the gun's in his right.  What is the Lady of the Manor to do with this information?  While everyone seems happy to let it be, Lady E starts digging and comes up with some very surprising answers.  In the midst of everything, the almost-unthinkable happens to the Major.


He survives but there will be no more fighting for him.  He's being sent home and this gives him the perfect opportunity to 1. inform Lady E that his divorce is final and 2. propose to Lady E and convince her to sign over her estate to the British trust.

(spoiler show)


These aren't deep books that delve into the inner psyche of anyone, but this plot line was probably the most wrenching and "real".  It was the only one of the 9 very enjoyable books whose ending engaged my empathy, and for that, it get's that extra star.  That and the disappearing knickers.

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