Debbie's Reviews > Herald of Death

Herald of Death by Kate Kingsbury
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Nov 11, 11

bookshelves: mystery, historical
Read in November, 2011

"Herald of Death" is a historical mystery with a side plot involving romances between several minor characters. The story was set somewhere between 1902 to 1905 in England. This is the thirteenth novel in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I don't think this is a good book to introduce a new reader to the series.

While this novel didn't spoil any of the previous mysteries, the character development has clearly been going on and carrying forward since the first book. I felt like I stepped into a party where everyone already knew each other, but I didn't know anyone. I didn't really understand the dynamics of some of the character's relationships.

Also, we're told how clever Cecily is about solving mysteries, but she didn't follow up on obvious clues, didn't dig deeper for the truth, asked simple questions that got her the same information that the police told her, and when the connection between the murders was finally obvious, she still didn't catch on. But I think this was on purpose since Cecily wonders at the end if she's losing her touch since she didn't do those things.

This might be interesting to those who know the brilliant Cecily, but I was...less than impressed. Especially since she acted like a spoiled brat with her husband and deliberately set up her friend to be killed in order to "prove" who the murderer was since she had no actual evidence. She didn't even manage to save her friend, either--a rather impossible event occurred that saved their lives while causing unrealistically minor damage to the whodunit.

The two side romances were clearly ongoing from the previous book and were supposed to add interest, but again it probably was more interesting if you already knew the characters. Only one of the romances was resolved by the end.

The historical setting was very vague with very few historical details given in the story. It wasn't until the end that one detail was given that actually pinned down the time period.

The story has a witch as the friend of Cecily. There was a fair amount of explicit British bad language, and a very minor amount of explicit bad language that would also potentially offend Americans. There was no sex. Overall, fans of the series will probably enjoy another outing with the character's they enjoy, but I'd recommend anyone else start with the first book in the series if the series sounds interesting.

I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kristi I have read all the Pennyfoot mysteries. This one really felt like it was just going through the motions. The earlier Christmas novels are much better, as is the original series. I will say however, that I don't feel Cecily is a brilliant detective. Thinking back on the books she seems to stumble onto the answer by mistake or a lucky guess at the end quite often.


Debbie Thanks for sharing your perspective on the series and the book with me.


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