A fun historical cozy, with a few serious moments…
I’m a big fan of historical mysteries, so I was happy to have a chance to read a review copy of Murder at Westminster. And, even though reading the second book in a series first can sometimes be a bit problematic, I really enjoyed it.
Murder in Westminster is set in between-the-wars London, during the time when women’s higher education and women’s suffrage were big societal issues. Against this background, Oxford student Margaret Worthington, currently in London for a women’s suffrage march, learns that her beau, Sebastian Dalrymple, has been arrested – accused of killing his estranged grandfather, the Duke of Wynchcombe. Luckily Margaret’s younger sister (and amateur detective), Kitty, doesn’t think Sebastian is guilty, so she investigates, using her society connections; her own maybe-possibly-someday-future beau, Inspector Crawford of Scotland Yard; and, of course, her faithful but flatulent basset hound, Sir Winston. The plot goes through a number of twists and turns – including a rather rough Suffrage March – but also a fun cameo from the real Sir Winston Churchill – before Kitty’s “investigating committee” comes up with the answers. But they eventually do, and Sebastian is freed.
All-in-all Murder at Westminster is a mostly light-hearted cozy mystery, with some nice historical background that meshes smoothly with the overall tale. I’ve read a couple of other mystery series set in the suffrage period, and I enjoyed seeing this era from yet another point of view. Murder in Westminster is a quick, fun read, and I now look forward to going back and reading the first book in the series as well. Please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-flation” a bit, and so a four-star review from me is a solid “read-this-book” review. And finally, my thanks to the publisher, Hearts Afire Publishing, and to NetGalley, for the review copy.