Wild-hearted Kentuckian Stella Kendrick cautiously navigates the strict demands of British high society as the future Lady of Morrington Hall. But when petty scandals lead to bloody murder, her outspoken nature could be all that keeps her alive . . .
Following a whirlwind engagement to Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst, Stella is finding her footing within an elite social circle in picturesque rural England. Except teatime with refined friends can be more dangerous than etiquette faux pas—especially in the company of Lady Philippa, the woman Lyndy was once set to marry, and her husband, the ostentatious Lord Fairbrother . . .
Outrage erupts and accusations fly after Lord Fairbrother’s pony wins best in breed for the seventh consecutive year. The man has his share of secrets and adversaries, but Stella and Lyndy are in for a brutal shock when they discover his body floating in the river during a quiet morning fishing trip. Suddenly unwelcome around hardly-grieving Lady Philippa and Lyndy’s endlessly critical mother, Stella faces the bitter reality that she may always be an outsider—and one of her trusted new acquaintances may be a calculating killer. Now, Stella and her fiancé must fight against the current to catch the culprit, before they’re the next couple torn apart by tragedy.
Too much is going on in McKenna's uneven sequel to 2019's Murder at Morrington Hall, again set in 1905 Hampshire. Viscount Lyndy Lyndhurst is teaching his American fianc e, Stella Kendrick, to fly-fish when her line snags the body of corrupt peer Lord Fairbrother, who's been stabbed. One suspect is George Parley, who was enraged when Fairbrother bested his entry in a pony competition for the seventh year in a row. Another is Stella's friend Harvey Milkham, the village snake catcher, who accused Fairbrother of burning down his cottage the day before the murder. Stella wants to clear Milkham, but the challenge of hosting her first large English party proves distracting. Meanwhile, Lyndy's mother conspires to break his engagement to Stella and force him to marry Fairbrother's widow, the socially impeccable Lady Philippa, now that she's available again. The subplots overwhelm the sleuthing, though McKenna manages to pull the many story lines together toward the satisfying conclusion. The author's fans will hope for a return to form next time.