Marjorie McClelland is a mildly successful mystery novelist trying to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Creighton Ashcroft is a wealthy Englishman who has recently purchased the grandest estate in Marjorie’s town. Though they come from two different worlds, Creighton is immediately attracted to the author and offers to help her with her latest book. Marjorie accepts his help, and they soon settle into a daily routine, which is shockingly interrupted by the discovery of a skeleton on Creighton’s property. Creighton and Marjorie call the police immediately, but Creighton regrets this action when the extremely handsome lead detective appears on the scene and competes for Marjorie’s attention. Can this trio of detectives discover what happened to the dead person? And will Creighton be able to win Marjorie’s heart away from his attractive rival?
Being a fan of the classic country house mystery, I was excited to read this book, which is first in a series set in 1930s New England. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t impressed by the writing style. The dialogue was awkward and clumsy, and there was too much “showing” rather than “telling.” I was also annoyed by the rapid shift in Creighton and Marjorie’s relationship; at first, he seems to be merely attracted to her, but about halfway through the book he suddenly feels deep and lasting love. I found the change very abrupt, and I couldn’t figure out why he was so interested in her after a few superficial conversations. I do think the setup of the series is interesting and unique — it’s not every day you have three sleuths embroiled in a love triangle while they attempt to solve crimes! However, the execution just wasn’t good enough for me to continue with the series.