By Kate Parker
The Deadly Series #2
JDP Press, 2016
Why murder a dying man?
Olivia Denis is hesitant to help an old family friend get ready for her wedding outside London. The so-called friend is a master at using people. As a young widow trying to find her way through a new romantic relationship, Olivia would rather avoid the large party.
She definitely didn’t plan to find the bride’s grandfather stabbed to death. The cruel, enormously rich aristocrat had changed his will only the day before, angering all his children.
As Olivia is forced to investigate the murder, she’s called away by her employer, the owner of an influential London daily newspaper. She must carry out another secret assignment, one that will take her to Vienna, now part of Nazi Germany.
With war on the horizon and attacks on the old man’s family increasing, can Olivia find a way to save lives in two countries?
A family patriarch changes his will, World War II setting, step-by-step investigation without the aid of modern technologies, and nothing is quite like what it seems. Deadly Wedding is an excellent cozy mystery and I enjoyed every minute spent in the world of Olivia Denis. British mysteries are a favorite of mine and I was delighted to discover the writing of Kate Parker in this story that spans from outside London to Vienna in 1938. Deadly Wedding is #2 in this series, but can stand alone.
Characters are well drawn; some are likeable and some, not so much. There’s lots of tension – from within a really dysfunctional aristocratic family, and then from a nation on the brink of war. Not only does the author know history, but she conveys it in a way that pulled me right into that era.
Olivia is a strong young woman, an appealing protagonist, and I hope to see more of her in future stories. From the backstory provided, we learn that her husband was murdered in the previous book, which led to her combining natural intelligence with journalistic skills in investigation. The mystery storyline is well developed, with lots of red herrings and a conclusion that surprised me.
I especially appreciated that this story is a clean read with no language or graphic scenes. I recommend Deadly Wedding to all who enjoy cozy mysteries.
I received this book free of charge through Great Escapes Tours.
Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.
The first story in the series is Deadly Scandal, released January 14, 2016.
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