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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Miss Morton and the English House Party Murder by Catherine Lloyd

1837 and English society was very hard in their judgements. The penniless daughter of an Earl should have had some standing but with a series of bad debts and a suicide both daughters are ostracized by society which befriended them earlier, and Miss Morton's friends now give her the cut direct and talk behind her back. To add to the disgrace, rather than be under the protection of her Aunt Caroline has sought employment with the amiable and kind Mrs. Frogton whose origins in trade add to Caroline's disgrace. Now invited for Mabel's birthday party (Caroline's young cousin) the invitation is extended to Mrs Frogton and her daughter Dot as well. Caroline knows that the path to the party is not going to be smooth but she did not envisage murder being part of the events leading upto the birthday. With her aunt and uncle both ignoring the fact that their long standing butler and their elderly Aunt have been murdered, not wanting to bring the police into the investigation and ignoring the Doctor who keeps saying that both were murdered the event of the birthday continues regardless with a callous regard for both employee and relation. Unraveling a story that has to be kept hidden at any cost - involving white slave trade, abducted children being sent to homes the whole family seems to be holding on to secrets that they do not want told. So many strands of the story had to be woven into the whole, it got a bit distracting towards the end but it was a good indication of society at the time and how aristocracy closed ranks and everything sordid was hidden. Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

1 comment:

Dorothy Borders said...

It sounds like this writer wanted to cover the whole of English society during this period. Perhaps a tighter focus would have served her better.