The Hour of Death and The Shadow of Death
I read fewer cozy mysteries than I once did so they have to look interesting if I am to pick them up. Having read last year’s novel by this author, I was eager to read her sophomore effort. I enjoyed The Hour of Death very much.
The series is set in small village Wales and many of the characters are in religious life. I found the descriptions of the Sisters’ daily life to be endearing and appealing. Pryderi feels like the perfect community, even though there are developers encroaching and murders taking place.
Protagonist, Sister Agatha, is a librarian, cheese maker and would be author of detective fiction. Her heroes are Inspector Barnaby and Armand Gamache, among others. The insertion of these and other loved mystery authors seems to fit right in. Sister Agatha’s main partner in crime is Father Selwyn. The two have known each other since childhood and together follow the clues, often while drinking Welsh teas.
In this new book by the author, an important member of the WI is killed. Of course, the question is “who did it?” Around this, there are other female characters, most especially Lucy, whose story unfolds over the course of the novel. Returning characters, including the female Bishop and Sister Gwennyd, add to the book’s pleasure.
This is not the hardest mystery to solve but the story is very enjoyable. Highly recommended if you like cozy mysteries.
Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Press for this relaxing and seasonal read that takes place in the buildup to Christmas.
My review of the first book in the series:
The Shadow of Death is a cozy mystery by an author who is new to me. The novel’s protagonist, Sister Agatha, is a Jessica Fletcher like amateur detective. In the book the reader finds murder, financial shenanigans and characters who have troubled pasts. The delights in the novel are the setting, the insights into modern (un-stuffy) religious life and the warmth of the characters. My guess is that we will be reading a sequel this time next year!