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Death at the Manor (The Asharton Manor Mysteries #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,002 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
This is a novella-length piece of fiction (about 20 thousand words)

It is 1929. Asharton Manor stands alone in the middle of a pine forest, once the place where ancient pagan ceremonies were undertaken in honour of the goddess Astarte. The Manor is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the West Country and seems like a palace to Joan Hart, newly arrived from London to
Kindle Edition, 89 pages
Published May 29th 2014 (first published May 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Having recently read, “Murder at Merisham Lodge,” the first in the Miss Hart and Miss Hunter mystery series, I was surprised to find that the two main characters apparently appeared in a previous book – this, novella length story, set in 1929. Joan Hart is the new head kitchen maid at Asharton Manor and is impressed by the enormous house, but does not feel it is a happy place. The Master, Mr Denford, is usually away working, leaving the Mistress, Delphine Denford at home with her brother, John M ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the shortest story I’ve read for some time but it was a well written and very enjoyable one. Written in the first person, the main character Joan’s tale is told with an economy of words – what’s needed is used to further the description and the plot with no unnecessary details. The story quickly unfolds, the murder mystery revealed in an interesting way, which contrarily is the only part of the story I find a little implausible. Though why shouldn’t a kitchen maid be able to present the ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic, mystery, ku
This short story is a prequel to the Miss Hart & Miss Hunter Investigate series. And with the amount of build up in the three 'sequels' I expected there to be much more suspense and intrigue.

Here Joan is starting a new job as a kitchen maid at a county house, Asharton Manor. The above the stairs residents are rather uninteresting. The wife is weak and flightly, her brother returned from Africa stalks the estate with a gun but never seems to bag anything. The man of the house seems to actual
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved, LOVED, LOVED Death at the Manor by Celina Grace.

I was only recently introduced to Celina Grace's writing, and Death at the Manor came as a delightful surprise. Quite how the author manages to make such multi-dimensional characters spring from the page in such a short novel is incredible, and I really enjoyed the cozy-bordering-on-sinister mystery plot.

Really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone who fancies a quick, satisfying read. I can't wait to read more from Asharton Manor!
Jenn C
Started off well, but as another reviewer pointed out, the hint about the motive was planted early and wasn't exactly subtle. (Actually, I was expecting something a bit more, which never materialized.) I tend to read novellas, anthologies and graphic novel adaptions to get a feel for an author's work (so I'm familiar with the built-in limitations of these formats), but this one just didn't capture my interest.
Cheryl Cooper
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great read

I don't usually read the novellas but a friend told me how good this author is so I gave it a try. Really enjoyed this story and can't wait to read a full book by Ms Grace. This was a fast paced read with the expected twist at the end.
Nancy Hammons
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a nice little murder mystery. It was a complete stand alone book with a proper ending. "They were wrong. It turns out you can shock a policeman." That was a great line just at that time. There was no swearing and no bare body parts, it was just a good clean read..
Catherine Leggitt
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first in The Asharton Manor Mysteries set in 1929 when the world was changing very quickly. Very enjoyable period mystery told in the traditional first person by the unlikeliest of sleuths, Joan Hart a new kitchen maid. Asharton Manor is an imposing edifice, packed with the requisite secrets and history. Grand but somber. Author Celina Grace paints a gratifying picture of the vast difference between upstairs and downstairs life we've become enamored with through shows like Downton Abbey. I t ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Pretty straight forward mystery Novella. I can't say it was great, but wasn't bad. It could be that I need a little more meat on the bones of a story to truly enjoy it, not sure. Especially an English cozy Mystery. Part of the fun is playing along with the characters. Basically Death at the Manor is a simple little mystery tied up in a tidy little package without allowing the reader to do much sleuthing.

For fans of shorter stories this one isn't bad, just not my thing.
Doina Condrea
Apr 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-04-april
I like the setting...I stopped caring much about the whole mystery or the main character after the 54th "I have a bad feeling" though. I only finished it just to see how it was wrapped up.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2016
a good quick read.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Death at the Manor

This is the first of Celina Grace novellas I have read. I was entertained an look forward to reading subsequent stories.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I know this is a short novel, but it could have been a lot better, I guess the main characters will be fleshed out as the series continues. Also finished at 75%.
Bonnie Keck
Jan 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
kindle unlimited, sounded as if slightly different type of cozy, but the years passing connections or probably connections didn't really click half the time, wanted to like it more than did, had potential, but....Read this as 4 set, but the only one that really got my attention was the first one, would have liked to have continuing story of that one, her adventures/writing. {VERY SORRY looked in to Death at the Manor as series Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate.} Same slew of errors, grammati ...more
Valorie Hunter
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Deadly when a wife finds out a secret!!!!!

I give this book 20 stars!!!!
My first time reading this author and I love it. The characters in this book are remarkable and some are likeable more than others. They remind me of a show I would watch on PBS " Upstairs Downstairs" with British actors. I loved that show.
With Joan Hart having arrived from London where she used to live and work, she has gotten this job as a head kitchen maid. Then strange things start to happen with the people who owned the
Judith Rich
The concept of the investigator being "downstairs" rather than "upstairs" I thought was a clever one, but I didn't feel in the end it was entirely successful. Joan seems to get away with rather a lot - convenient days off, smuggling in her friend, who can also get the same day off, etc. Perhaps I'd have been more convinced if all the action had taken place in London, so at least they weren't geographically separated. I liked Joan and Verity as characters though.

Also it's REALLY short. Joan and V
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
DEATH AT THE MANOR is billed as a novella, but it has enough content to feel like a short novel. Asharton Manor is convincingly created, complete with its woodlands, and most of the inhabitants receive a good build-up. Joan and Verity, while they do the detecting, are convincing and enjoyable as maids. I paid higher than sale price in order to continue with the characters in their second full-length novel DEATH AT THE THEATRE.
Tony Hisgett
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I started ‘Murder at Merisham Lodge’ by this author and realised that there must have been a book before this, as Joan kept referring to a previous ‘adventure’ with Verity at Asharton Manor. Which is why I am reading this novella.

This book starts by introducing the main characters and setting the scene for what turns out to a murder. The problem is it is all a bit dry and I didn’t feel any real attachment for Joan. Fortunately once Joan begins to suspect murder and involves Verity it is a bit mo
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice period mystery with excellent characterization. We get to know the protagonist quite well, and care about her life and how the murder impacts her. Great historical detail for the period (1929 English manor house), with an accuracy rarely seen in the interactions between individuals of different classes in current movies and television series.
I rate this 2 1/2 stars. The book has quality writing and I liked the main character. The ending is a bit disappointing because information is not provided to allow the reader to figure out who was the killer but the investigator was privy to it.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read all the Asharton Manor novels and really enjoyed this one, once you read all four it is wonderful how the author bobs back in time to include things from the past into her current novel. Love the heroine and her sidekick and enjoyed reading about them before and after this took place, a great read - even if short.
Emily Ford
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable Read

Enjoyed the development of the characters Joan and Verify. I am of English background so I liked th setting in historical setting in England. Celina Grace provided a surprising twist at the end.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a parallel series to Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigates series. This book starts before the other series.

Joan Hart is a kitchen maid at Asharton Manor when the Mistress dies. Something does not seem right to Joan. She gathers clues and eventually takes the information to the police.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Well written & edited short cozy.
Michael C.  Benson
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Death at the Manor

This a great cozy mystery that gives you guys and pieces of clues without being obvious about what the solution will be. Looking forward to more.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I desperately wanted to read a period murder mystery. I found this one on Amazon Kindle store for free. It was eh.........
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable, and immediately warmed to the characters. Short story being a good forerunner for what I hope will be a good series
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the story. I'll be reading the next in this series.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a nice story. A little dry for my taste but I enjoyed it just the same
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good read with interesting plot, characters & environment.
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I’ve been trying to get published as a writer since…. um… er…um…see, it was that long ago I can’t remember. A long time. I make it fifteen years and counting….

I’ve also been writing for as long as I can really remember. I wrote my first story, The Blue Ruby, when I was about seven (if I can find that deathless prose scribbled in an exercise book somewhere, I might upload it here for a bit of light
More about Celina Grace

Other books in the series

The Asharton Manor Mysteries (4 books)
  • A Prescription for Death (The Asharton Manor Mysteries, #2)
  • The Rhythm of Murder (The Asharton Manor Mysteries, #3)
  • Number Thirteen, Manor Close (The Asharton Manor Mysteries, #4)

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