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Search tags: Murder-at-Honeychurch-Hall:-A-Mystery
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review 2014-12-12 18:00
Murder at Honeychurch Hall
Murder at Honeychurch Hall: A Mystery - Hannah Dennison

I am a huge fan of mysteries. They are so much fun to read, and a great way to exercise those "little gray cells." Whenever I find one that peaks my interest, I grab it up. This book was one of those.


The first thing that caught my eye about this book, after the title, was the cover. The author really took great care when she had this created - the detail is incredible. There's a small dog, a brick path surrounded by gardens and, in the background, you see Honeychurch Hall. (It wasn't until I was actually reading the descriptions of the house in the book that I noticed the boarded windows and scaffolding.) The cover really got my attention and made me very curious about the mystery that would come in the pages.


This was an enjoyable read. The characters were a lot of fun to get to know, especially Kat and her mom, Iris. The people that lived on the property and in the home were really interesting as well - and well written. I felt like I knew them all when I was done with the book. There were several little mysteries going on as well as the big murder, which made reading the book even more fun. The secrets everyone were keeping from each other, plus the twists and turns of the mysteries, kept me on my toes - and made it very hard to put the book down. I ended up reading the second half of the book all in one night, staying up until well after 2am wanting - no, needing - to finish and find out what happened. The end - I had little ideas about some of it, but the actual conclusion - let's just say that Ms. Dennison really had me stumped. This is the first of a series and I can't wait to be able to read book two.


My favorite character was the young boy, Harry. He was handsome - the kind of kid I would love to hang out with myself - and I really liked the bond that him and Kat had and how quickly they took a liking to each other.


My least favorite character was Kat's boyfriend, but I don't honestly think I was supposed to like him. The author did a great job writing this character.


The mother and daughter team were great - and in some ways reminded me of my relationships with my mother - but sometimes the way they treated each other really got on my nerves. They did grow, however, as the story went along and that helped me like them more.


Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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text 2014-04-18 17:43
Fill Up on these Cozy Mysteries!
Death on Eat Street - J.J. Cook
Doing It at the Dixie Dew: A Mystery - Ruth Moose
Murder at Honeychurch Hall: A Mystery - Hannah Dennison
Bloom and Doom - Beverly Allen

May 2014

Sweet treats with a side of murder

BookPage® Feature by Sheila M. Trask



Fresh settings, quirky characters and original twists abound in our favorite new cozies. Whether you prefer to sample exotic recipes, explore antique-filled English mansions, take a little break at a charming B&B or create a custom floral bouquet, a delightful adventure awaits in these books—oh, and murders, too. But don’t worry: The strong, determined and often hilarious women at the center of the action are sure to figure things out before it’s too late—if only just.


Read more here.

Source: bookpage.com/features/16525-sweet-treats-with-side-murder
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review 2014-04-13 22:20
Murder at Honeychurch Hall (Kat Stanford Mysteries, #1)
Murder at Honeychurch Hall: A Mystery - Hannah Dennison

A light, entertaining story that skirts right up to the line of farce and dances along it without ever teetering over the edge, this first in a new series reminded me a bit of Dorothy Cannel's writing style, and to anyone who has read and enjoyed those, I'd recommend giving this one a try.


Kat Stanford has just resigned as a TV personality on Fakes & Treasures and is on her way towards her dream of opening her own antiques shop with her mother.  Only to find her mother has no intention of going into business with her, and has moved out to the country and bought a carriage house on an old-family estate without telling her.  Kate, sure her mother has misplaced a few of her marbles, rushes out to Honeychurch Hall to badger some sense into her mom and get her back into London and back on The Plan.  On her arrival, she's confronted with another shock:  her mom is, in fact, a romance writer of renown; a secret she's been keeping all of Kat's life from everybody.  Oh, and the carriage house is a big hot mess with holes in the roof and the floors.


The dynamic between Kate and her mother, Iris, is so refreshing; here are two women who obviously love and respect each other but do not let the other get away with anything for one moment.  They bicker almost non-stop throughout the entire book.  Based on my own family dynamics, it's the most realistic mother-daughter relationship I've ever seen written.


The rest of the supporting cast of characters are eccentric, yet realistic - although their antics can be a bit out there.  I love Biggles!  I don't normally like kids in my mysteries, but he's just adorable!  Kat's boyfriend plays a part, but it's a small one and he's around just enough for me to wish him gone.


The murder takes place about halfway through the story; there's a lot of character setup, background information, and setting establishment taking place, so to me it felt natural.  There's also a missing woman almost right from the start, so there is some investigating going on throughout the whole book.  This wasn't a cozy where the MC decides she 'must' investigate to save someone; Kat is just trying to help out her mother, convince her to come home, and not fall through her bedroom floor.  She stumbles across everything naturally in the course of everyday events and I LOVE that!  There weren't any TSTL moments either.  


Overall the plotting was fluid, as natural as these things can be, and really well done.  I loved the way everything new and old was tied together at the end and nothing was given away before it was supposed to be.


This is a strong first in what could be a vastly entertaining series.  I deducted 1/2 star for the very subjective reason that I had difficulty really connecting with the MC; I like her, but I think I need to read the next book to get to know her better.


I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in return for an honest review.

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