cover image Death Comes to the Rectory

Death Comes to the Rectory

Catherine Lloyd. Kensington, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2325-3

In Lloyd’s sprightly eighth mystery featuring tactful but shrewdly observant Lady Lucy Kurland and her husband, Robert, Lord Kurland (after 2020’s Death Comes to the Nursery), their families descend in the winter of 1826 on the English village of Kurland St. Mary, where the happy couple are about to celebrate the christening of their baby daughter. The families have become further entwined by the marriage of Lucy’s father, Ambrose, to Robert’s aunt Rose. Trouble blossoms when the vile Lord Northam and his imperious wife, Henrietta, who’s Rose’s daughter from her first marriage, arrive uninvited. After Northam is stabbed to death with Ambrose’s letter opener, Robert, as the local magistrate, is duty bound to investigate the crime. With Ambrose the chief suspect, Lucy makes inquiries of her own to prove her father’s innocence. The tension rises as a snow storm isolates the christening party. Wonderfully loathsome characters and all manner of unsavory behavior enhance the puzzling plot. Lloyd is sure to win new fans. Agent: Deirdre Knight, Knight Agency. (Feb.)