The second book in the Victorian Village Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly!
After fifteen years away, Kate Hamilton never expected to end up back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland full time. And she definitely didn’t expect to be leading the charge of recreating the town as a Victorian village and tourist attraction. But as unexpected as the circumstances are, Kate is ready to tackle them.
The town, on the other hand, is going to take some convincing. Ever since Henry Barton’s shovel factory closed down, it’s started to seem like there are more tumbleweeds than tourists rolling down Main Street. Kate’s ideas are good, but ambitious—and her friends and neighbors are worried that finding the money for them would push the town even further into debt.
Luckily, Kate and the handsome historian Joshua Wainwright are two very determined people who may have come up with a solution. The Barton mansion, meant to be the centerpiece of the Victorian village, has proven to be a veritable goldmine of documents about the town’s nineteenth-century history, and Kate is convinced the papers hide something of value. When a dead body turns up in the town library—mere hours before the documents were meant to arrive there themselves—Kate begins to worry that the papers spell danger instead of dollars. It seems that someone doesn’t want these forgotten secrets coming to light, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kate quiet…
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Second book in series
Killer in the Carriage House is the second book in A Victorian Village Mystery series. It can be read alone for those who are new to this series. Kate Hamilton lost her job when a big conglomerate took over the hotel where she worked. Her friend, Lisbeth Scott asks her to return to Asheboro and come up with a plan to save the dying town. Kate’s idea is to turn the town into a Victorian village after seeing the Henry Barton mansion. However, it will take a massive amount of planning, money and help to pull it off. Money is something that is in short supply after the banker embezzled the town funds. Kate is hoping Henry Barton’s papers will be a help and gets assistance from Josh Wainwright and Carroll Peterson. I like that we are introduced to some of the townspeople like Mayor Skip Bentley, Frances who owns the newspaper, Ted the diner owner, and Mr. MacDonald with his hardware store. Killer in the Carriage House is a slow starter with a sluggish pace. I thought the mystery was light. The dead body is found after I was a quarter of the way through the book and is barely addressed after that point. Identifying the killer is a piece of cake and the resolution was lacking. Kate has great ideas for the town with no idea on how to execute them. She is also a procrastinator. Kate keeps putting off things she needs to accomplish (even going to the grocery store). She should be looking into funding, building codes, talking to towns people and doing research. Instead, Kate devotes her time to the Barton papers. Henry Barton does sound like a fascinating man and I am sure there is more to discover about him. I like the inclusion of Nell Pratt in the story from A Museum Mystery series. A Victorian Village Mystery series is a concept that I think is charming and I enjoyed Murder at the Mansion. Killer in the Carriage House, though, was lacking which is unusual for Sheila Connolly. I am curious to see what Kate and her friends uncover in the next A Victorian Village Mystery.