When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on the Honeychurch Hall estate, suspicion as to his unusual demise naturally falls on the residents. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line and rolling stock depot built in their front yard?
News of the murder soon reaches local resident Kat Stanford's nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kat's discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing -and humiliating-Kat's mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.
As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the minister's death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mother's unusual past?
Praise for Hannah Dennison:
The perfect classic English village mystery but with the addition of charm, wit and a thoroughly modern touch. (Rhys Bowen)
Downton Abbey was yesterday. Murder at Honeychurch Hall lifts the lid on today's grand country estate in all its tarnished, scheming, inbred, deranged glory. (Catriona McPherson)
A fun read (Carola Dunn)
Sparkles like a glass of Devon cider on a summer afternoon. (Elizabeth Duncan)
In Dennison's droll second whodunit set in Devon (after 2014's Murder at Honeychurch Hall), Kat Stanford, who describes herself as a "former TV celebrity of sorts" for her stint hosting the show Fakes & Treasures, was planning to start an antique business with her mother, Iris. But Iris (who secretly writes torrid romance novels under the alias Krystalle Storm) is now preoccupied with a local campaign opposing a new high-speed rail network known as Operation Bullet. Iris still finds time and energy to play matchmaker for her daughter and thinks she's found a promising beau in Valentine Prince-Avery until she learns the man is working with Operation Bullet to assess compensation owed to those who would be displaced by the railway lines. Dennison takes her time before the first body shows up, which may try the patience of readers less than engaged in the complex and often farcical mother-daughter dynamic.