Sunday, February 9, 2020

A Silent Stabbing - A Review


A SILENT STABBING by Alyssa Maxwell
The Fifth Lady and Lady's Maid Mystery

Stephen Ripley is back in Little Barlow and is causing all manner of problems. Not only does he want to sell the family orchard out from his brother, he wants to sell it to an American who wants to raze the pears and build a resort for wealthy Americans! Stephen has also taken over as head gardener at Foxwood Hall, yet no one knew of the previous gardener's decision to leave. Lady Phoebe and her grandfather intend to speak to the man, but find him murdered, stabbed to death with his own hedge clippers. With suspicion immediately thrown on Stephen's brother, Lady Phoebe intends to investigate. Yet keeping her mistress out of harm's way is not Eva's only concern. Keenan may have an alibi, but Eva believes that her sister...her married sister...may be the one to provide it. Now Lady Phoebe and Eva must work together once more to see that justice is served and propriety maintained.

The relationship between siblings is at the heart of A SILENT STABBING. Certainly Stephen and Keenan Ripley could rival Cain and Abel, but there is a strain between sisters too, as we see from Eva and Alice as well as Phoebe and Julia. Despite the tension between certain relatives, I enjoy seeing the way the families gather together, and the community as well. It did my heart good to read about everyone stepping in to help pick the pears and make the perry in Keenan's absence. Of course, many of them may have had ulterior motives, after all, the perry must be saved! Be that as it may it was wonderful to see a community band together and unite against the obnoxious American who threatened their little town as well as their favorite beverage.

I loved the mystery in this fifth Lady and Lady's Maid outing. An unlikable victim, plenty of suspects, concerns over who those suspects are, as well as odd behavior by several characters all add to the suspense. I liked the addition Miss Lara Greenwood and I hope to see more of her in future books. As for the ne'er do wells, while I had my suspicions as to the murderer, I eventually thought I was wrong and was thrown for a loop at the end!

A SILENT STABBING is a great period mystery highlighting family relationships as well as class differences. I only wish that I had my own glass of perry to raise in its honor!

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