Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Review: To Dust You Shall Return by Donna Fletcher Crow

To Dust You Shall Return by Donna Fletcher Crow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Lord Danvers series, but the first one I’ve read. Reading the first wasn’t necessary to enjoy this title.

Lord Danvers and his wife, Antonia, are visiting his Aunt Elfrida. There is a request for him to be on the architectural committee to restore Canterbury and also a request from one sister to stop the younger sister from dating an artist, who is also on the architectural committee and at odds with Danvers on how the restoration should be done.

To form his own opinion of the artist, he and Antonia head to his studio to sit for a portrait of them. Turns out, maybe he’s not a bad guy. While there, the elderly neighbor lady is murdered and the her maid is also attacked. The mystery begins. And, it rambles around a bit, but not so that it detracted from anything. In fact, I’d guess for the time period, that’s about it went.

The mystery wasn’t front and center. It was mixed in with Danvers role on the committee and then his being nominated to lead a boys choir for a church event. Thrown in is odd behavior by Antonia that not even, we the reader, know what the cause for Antoina’s extreme concern and her worries that Danvers will want to leave. You learn who the murderer is before you learn what Antonia’s problem is.

Parts of the end seemed rushed and the fight scene a bit drawn out as is the revelation of Antonia’s concern. Overall, though, the mystery was well done, even if the ending was unsatisfactory. Turns out, the murder is based on history and the actual outcome. And, really, not every murder or crime is neatly wrapped up or has an outcome that we like.

I did somewhat figure out what Antonia’s probem was, but didn't quite get it all. The revelation was a little of a let down and left me with a few questions. But, let’s say, all’s well that ends well. And, this ended well. Which I like.

While parts of the story were drawn out, I enjoyed it and am giving serious consideration to reading the first book in this series. Recommended if you like historical mysteries.

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