In the English village of Kurland St. Mary, few things are worse than having one’s reputation besmirched. A struggling marriage is one. Murder is another . . .
Three years have passed since Major Sir Robert Kurland and Lucy Harrington, the rector's daughter, became husband and wife. Having established a measure of contentment among the local gentry, the couple lately have found an unsettling distance grown between them. But when the small-village peace is disrupted by an anonymous letter accusing Lucy of witchcraft, her as yet unfulfilled desire to be a mother becomes the least of her worries, especially after she learns she is not the only one to have received such a malicious letter.
Speculation only escalates when the village schoolteacher, Miss Broomfield, is discovered murdered at her classroom desk. Was the unlikeable teacher the letter writer, and if so, who killed her and why? Despite her husband’s objections, Lucy offers to help out at the school until a replacement can be found, hoping the children might inadvertently reveal a clue, but by doing so she may be putting her own life at risk . . .
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Fifth book in A Kurland St. Mary Mystery series!
Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd is the fifth book in A Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. Christmas is quickly approaching in 1820. Lady Lucy Harrison and her husband, Major Sir Robert Kurland are having issues in their relationship since her last miscarriage. Robert hopes to improve Lucy’s spirits by bringing Aunt Rose Armitage to town who dives in to help Lucy plan the Christmas ball. Then Lucy receives an anonymous threatening note and she is not the only lady to receive one. Who is sending them out and why? Robert goes to the schoolhouse to speak with the schoolteacher, Miss Broomfield about her teaching methods and discovers her dead in her chair with a quill through one eye (someone making a point). Did Miss Broomfield write the threatening notes? Over her husband’s objections, Lucy starts asking questions and nosing around. Will the killer be apprehended before the Christmas festivities commence?
Death Comes to the School can be a standalone. However, you will miss out on the early years of Lucy and Robert’s relationship. I found the story to be nicely written and have a good flow. I did, though, tire of the miscommunication and bickering between the couple. I missed the easy rapport we normally experience between the couple (who are usually open with each other and very frank). It was present throughout the whole book and took away from an otherwise enjoyable story. It was odd and did not fit with the characters. I found the mystery to have several layers, and it was appealing. The killer’s identity can be discerned long before the reveal (which was disappointing to me) despite the author’s attempt at misdirection. I always enjoy visiting A Kurland St. Mary Mystery characters. They are well thought out and developed. It was nice to see how Christmas was celebrated in Kurland St. Mary and that time-period. The author certainly captured the era in this series with the events, how they communicated, method of travel, clothing, and language. My rating for Death Comes to the School is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).