Lullyweb's Reviews > The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton

The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller
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May 06, 2012

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bookshelves: library, 1920s, british-authors, crime, england, families, first-world-war, fiction, grief-and-loss, historical-fiction, loss, mystery, post-war, read-in-2012, veterans
Read from May 06 to 16, 2012

First World War veteran Laurence Bartram made his first appearance in The Return of Captain John Emmett, when he was asked to look into the mysterious suicide of his former classmate. The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton is set shortly afterwards, on a country estate in Wiltshire, where Bartram's friend William Bolitho has been commissioned to create a memorial for the village's war dead. William wants Laurence to investigate the history of the small church on the estate, but before long Laurence has been drawn into the Easton family's tragic past, revolving around the mysterious disappearance of five-year old Kitty from the manor house over a decade earlier. A series of events in the present cause him to start his own investigations into what really happened to Kitty, proving that every family has its secrets to hide.

This book was a slow starter and I was tempted to give up after a hundred pages or so, but am glad I didn't since the first major event happened shortly after, and the pace didn't let up until the end, with plenty of revelations and discoveries. Speller's style is very easy to read, this is a good mystery and I loved the setting of postwar England, mostly village life, with trips to London thrown in. I also enjoyed her characters and how they developed. My only problem with it - other than the slow start - was Laurence, who didn't really come alive or ever show any real oomph. I hope there's a third book in which he can.

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