Review of Murder in the Belltower by Helena Dixon

An enjoyable classic English cozy…

Murder in the Belltower is the fifth title in Helena Dixon’s Miss Underhay series.  I’m a fan of historical mysteries, and have had my eye on this series, for a while.  So I was happy to receive an advance copy of this newest book in the series from the publisher to review.

This is a classic cozy mystery, set in England, in the years between the two World Wars, at a Christmas house party, held at an appropriately aristocratic manor and nearby village.   Of course, although her grandmother has told her not to stumble into any more murders (!!!), our heroine, Kitty Underhay, and her beau, Matthew Bryant, do just that.   So the tale unfolds.  The cast of minor aristocrats, dithering companions, captains of industry, village worthies (or not so worthies), globe-trotting adventurers, and (possibly) a spy or two keeps things moving along.   And a couple of different story arcs kept me guessing up to the end.   (Note:  one of the story arcs, concerning the disappearance of Kitty’s mother, has apparently continued over several books, and will continue into the next book, at least, per the blurb at the end.)

Since this is the fifth in the series, I was a little confused at first with all of the different characters, but author Helena Dixon does a good job of providing background information, so after a short while I was able to figure out who was whom, and who was related to whom.  That helped a lot!   The writing is also enjoyable, and I chuckled from time to time, such as when, towards the end, Matt asks one of the more enigmatic characters who he’s working for, and the character replies, with delightful ambiguity and a wink, “I’m always on the side of the angels”.  I suspect we may see more of him in the future…

All-in-all, I enjoyed Murder in the Belltower, and look forward to reading other books in this series.   Please note that four stars is my “normal” rating, since I reserve five stars for maybe one in thirty or forty books that I read.   As a result, four stars is a solid “read” recommendation from me.  And my thanks once more to the publisher, Bookouture, and NetGalley for the advance review copy. 

Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada

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