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Death Plays a Part (Cornish Castle Mystery #1)
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Death Plays a Part

(Cornish Castle Mystery #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  39 reviews
With high tide comes murder…

When her beloved London theatre closes for renovations, costume maker Guinevere is excited to start a job at Cornisea castle, a centuries-old keep on a small tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. Imagine a whole summer full of stories of hidden treasures, fab food and long walks with her perky dachshund Dolly.

But when a reenactment of a medi

Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published July 7th 2017 by HQ Digital
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Dash fan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
5☆ Full of Mystery, suspense, Drama & the best super sleuth Pup star of the book.... Dolly!!!

Death plays a part is the first book I have read by Viv and I'm very excited to discover more of her books.

I was thoroughly enthralled by the mystery and secrets surrounding the murder of Haydock and the island of Cornisea.
Viv created a very magical, mystical feel to the Island.

When Guinevere and Dolly embark on a summer adventure to help Lord Bolingbrooke catalogue books at he's  castle. Whilst her belo
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Check out all of my reviews at:

DEATH PLAYS A PART (Cornish Castle Mystery Book 1) by Vivian Conroy is the first of a new cozy mystery series featuring Guinevere Evans and her adorable dachshund, Dolly. It is a clever locked room cozy set in an old castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall.

Guinevere is a costume designer for a London theater that has to close for renovations over the summer. She receives an offer to work and live at Cornisea castle catal
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, netgalley
Finally, another great cozy mystery from Vivian Conroy! This will likely be my 2nd favorite series of hers, right behind the Lady Alkmene books. (Which the 4th book comes out soon!!)

This introduces Guinevere, who is a costume designer for the stage, and when her job entails her to take a hiatus for the summer she accepts a position on the Cornish coast. Her job will find her working for a Lord who is quite volatile at times. However, on her first day there a murder happens! Since she's an outsi
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purchased, mystery
This book is a mystery on many levels. The first one is why I decided to purchase it. I did apparently 12 days ago but I don't know what inspired this choice. Don't get me wrong it is not a bad book in any way shape or form. I just can't figure out what made me click buy now?

This is a fairly cute, clean little story about a young woman Guinevere and her little dog Dolly who end up on the Cornish coast at a castle for the summer. Guinevere has been hired by the Lord of the castle to help catalog
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good, quick, easy read. Love the setting. Very likable mc.
What a brilliant closed door murder mystery this proved to be - I loved it! The Cornish Castle is on the island of Cornisea, linked to the mainland by a causeway during low tides and it is to this castle that Guinevere is going to work for the summer. She usually works as a theatrical costume maker but the theatre where she works is closed for renovations and one of the crew encouraged her to apply for this summer post cataloguing books in the castle library. She arrives to discover there’s a re ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This weekend while I was away finished Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy. This British Cozy was a breath of fresh air, a fun and light. A great start to this first in the Cornish Castle Mystery Series. A main character who has accepted what some would think is a very boring job cataloging books, at a castle away from everyone and everything, however Guinevere is perfectly at peace and she and her dog look forward to the summer ahead. That ideal summer is foiled by a murder during a reenactment ...more
Mystereity Reviews
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With her theater closed for renovations, Guinevere lands a summer job cataloging books at a castle on Cornisea, a small island off the coast of England. Together with her little dachshund Dolly, she sets off, expecting an idyllic summer exploring the tiny island. When she arrives, she's delighted to learn that the castle is hosting a re-enactment of a historic trial, but when a man is found murdered in the dungeon and her new employer is accused, Guinevere jumps into action to find the real kill ...more
Joanne Robertson
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do love a cosy mystery and I found this one rather better than some others I have read recently mainly due to the fabulous main character Guinevere and her adorable little dachshund Dolly who goes elsewhere with her. When they head off to Cornwall to work at the castle on the island of Cornisea they have no idea that they are about to become involved in a murder enquiry.

I loved Guinevere and the setting here on Cornisea island. Vivian Conroy has created a visual feast where I found it comparat
Rachel Gilbey
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
An incredibly tightly written closed door mystery that I didn't have the first clue how to solve. Luckily for the detective on the island of Cornisea, Guinevere happened to be working in the castle for the summer, but is normally found in a theatre, often working on murder mysteries, so has a good idea how to try to solve them.

Of course when Guinevere accepted the job in the castle the last thing she was expecting was a dead body on the first night, during a rehearsal for a historical reenactme
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on

Every once in awhile I like to change things up and pick up a cozy mystery, there’s something comforting about these light mysteries that make for a nice change of pace. Death Plays a Part is the first book in a new series with an adorable and sweet lead character named Guinevere. Fans of this genre will adore her, she’s just a lovely character with that perfect combination of curiosity and charm that’s so appealing.

This was a quick read with
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Guinevere is a costume designer for a London theater company. When the theater closes for renovations, a friend helps her secure a temporary position on Cornisea Island on the Cornish coast cataloging the book collection of Lord Bolingbrooke. When she arrives, she discovers the local historical society is preparing for a re-enactment of an old island legend. Arthur Haydock, who is playing Branok the Cold-Hearted in the re-enactment, is also leading a push to take the castle and surrounding lands ...more
Karen Mace
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first time I've read anything from this author, and it won't be the last! Have had a blast being entertained by Guinevere, Dolly and crew and cannot wait for more!

Guinevere is part of a theatre group and they've become her family. She gets the opportunity to head to Cornwall for the Summer to work at a castle and help catalogue the book collection there - sounds like my idea of heaven!! So off she sets with her faithful companion, Dolly the Dachsund, for a new adventure!

Soon her adve
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
DEATH PLAYS A PART by Vivian Conroy is the first book in this utterly captivating, new cozy mystery series, and I am eagerly awaiting the second instalment.

When the London theatre where Guinevere works as a costume designer, closes for the summer, she is delighted to have secured a position as a book cataloguer in Cornisea Castle off the coast of Cornwall, to while away her days. Along with her four-legged companion, Dolly, Guinevere is delighted to spend time in such a historical treasure trove
Linda Hill
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
With the theatre where she works closed for renovations, Guinevere has no idea a simple summer job cataloguing books for Lord Bolingbrooke will quite so dramatic.

I’m going to get a negative out of the way before I really get into my review. I absolutely loathed the use of ‘doggy’ to refer to Dolly the dacshund, because she is quite a strong and determined character in her own right and I felt this undermined her.

Doggies aside, I thought Death Plays a Part was a fun read – which seems a peculiar
Laura Noakes
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored our main character, Guinevere. I warmed to her the moment I started reading, although that may be something to do with her adorable dachshund, Dolly. (Seriously, fluffy animals make EVERY story a 1000% more cute). Guinevere was a smart, capable protagonist, but she was also fully fleshed out–much more than *just* a amateur detective.
The setting. The reason I was SO excited for this book was Cornwall. I’ve been going to the West Country most years since I can remember, and I w
Leith Devine
I liked Death Plays a Part, but it wasn't as good as Vivian Conroy's other books. I felt it was a little too predictable, although I enjoyed the setting and the identity of the murderer was well hidden. This is the first in the Cornish Castle Mysteries, and I hope the subsequent books will be better.

Guinevere works in a theater company in London, but needs a summer job while the theater is being renovated. She, along with her dog Dolly, gets a job cataloging a library on a quaint island called C
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Guinevere arrives at Cornisea castle in Cornwall to take up a summer job cataloging the treasured books of Lord Bolingbrooke. The theatre where she works has closed for refurbishment and Guinevere jumps at the chance to work on the beautiful Cornish island, with its ancient legends and folklore. Guinevere is accompanied by her trusty little Dachshund, Dolly, and will be residing at the castle for the Summer. On arrival, she finds an ancient trial re-enactment taking place by residents, but the a ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, cozy-mysteries
Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy is the first book in the new series A Cornish Castle Mystery. Guinevere Evans and her dog, Dolly are heading to Cornisea Island on the Cornish coast. Guinevere is a costume designer at a theater in London. The theater is closing for the summer to do renovations and Guinevere would be at loose ends. Mr. Betts, theater director, helped her acquire a job cataloguing books for Lord Bolingbrooke at Cornisea Castle. Guinevere arrives to a little kerfuffle between Lo ...more
Shelby Marie
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Guinevere is a costume designer for a London Theatre, that unfortunately has to shut down due to renovations, leaving Guinevere in a little slump of what to do next over the Summer. She is kindly offered a job to work and live at Cornisea Castle, cataloguing their library. Guinevere jumps up at the opportunity, excited to see what adventures she and her partner in crime, Dolly, can get up too.

When she arrives at Cornisea Castle, she finds herself helping out with a re-enactment of the medieval t
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

With it's beautiful setting on the Cornish coast and its charming lead, Death Plays a Part makes for an enjoyable reading experience.  It is a cozy mystery that will appeal to a wide range of ages.

Guinevere is a costume maker, but as the London theater she works for is being remodeled, she has taken a job cataloging the library of Cornisea Castle.  Her arrival coincides with the rehearsal of the trial of a historic villain from the area.  The intention is to draw tourists, but police are d
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is the first mystery novel I’ve read and also the first book by Vivian Conroy so two firsts. It’s so good to open your eyes to new genres and new authors.

I loved the premise of this story; Theatre Costume Designer Guinevere and her cute Daschund companion Dolly were off to spend the summer in Cornwall working for the owner of an ancient castle on the fictional island of Cornisea, off the coast of Cornwall. Sounds like a perfect summer working vacation to me as Guinevere was to help catalogu
Ella (The Story Collector)
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, mystery
With her London theatre closed for renovations. Guinevere takes on a summer job at the castle on the Cornish island of Cornisea. What she doesn’t expect is to be witness to a murder with her new boss, Lord Bolingbrook, as the prime suspect. Determined to clear her employer’s name, Guinevere teams up with his son, Oliver, to find the true culprit.

Death Plays a Part is a fun and traditional murder mystery. Guinevere interviews everyone on the island and follows all the clues until she can work out
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Agatha Christie will enjoy this ...

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, so when I discovered one of the influences of this author was Agatha Christie too, I looked forward to a good read of a Cornish pace of life, with good characters and a murder thrown into the mix early and I wasn't disappointed. All the clues were there for those intent on finding the killer before the last few pages, but I enjoyed the story telling and allowed the plot to unfold with a few' ah, yes' moments as bits of
Sheryl Kirby
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
It was the cover that sold me on this cozy mystery — Dolly the Dachshund features on both Death Play a Part and the second novel in this series. This is a cute mystery, and Conroy does a good job of keeping the murderer a secret until the end, but I found the protagonist Guinevere's move into the role of detective a bit awkward (she's a newly-arrived employee, and suddenly the detective has put her in charge of gathering evidence), and found that she speculated (correctly) a lot more than was re ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Conroy has a nice light touch with her cozies- and this is no exception. Guinevere is a wonderful new character (as is Dolly the dog!). She's smart, intrepid, and has a unique background as a costume designer. I especially enjoyed this one because of the Cornisea setting (I'm always a sucker for books set in Cornwall.). Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC>. Try this one if you've liked Conroy before, or if you haven't and you're looking for an entertaining and easy read. ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How did he die?

Stunning contrived plot. A really brilliantly thought up closed room murder. Who killed him? How did someone manage to get into a closed room and kill the most hated man on the village? Unless she can answer that it is very possible that an innocent man will be convicted of murder. A really well written book. If you like a really good mystery on a par with Christie then this is for you.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Theater girl heads to a mysterious keep to catalog books. Great setting & well crafted mystery. The characters are still a bit one dimensional, but I think that's just because there are so many to get to know. Diving into book 2 right away. ...more
Marie Andrews
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to come shortly...
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh. Not a bad book, just not good enough, so it seemed a waste of good reading time when I could be enjoying a wonderful book instead.
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