Clara's Reviews > A Matter of Loyalty

A Matter of Loyalty by Anselm Audley
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really liked it

The first book in this series intrigued me, and this, the third, cemented my appreciation. Sadly, the author, Elizabeth Edmonson died in 2016 (her son completed the book based on her notes), so it seems we'll have no more of these appealing "Very English Mysteries." The series is set a small, quaint, English village--always a good sign for an English cozy whodunit--in the period directly after World War II. In large and small ways, Edmondson reminds us that the war's emotional and physical shock waves are still being felt throughout the country.

The series' protagonist, Hugh Hawksworth is a former military intelligence officer whose war wounds keep him from resuming field work. Instead, he's been sent to an intelligence research unit in the village, where he lodges in the dilapidated castle home of the Selchesters, scions of the aristocratic family from whom the village took its name. Edmonson fills out the cast with various returning characters from the first novel and adds promising new ones.

I found Hugh a particularly engaging protagonist: a principled, melancholy sort who's clearly good at his current job but misses the work through which he felt he made a difference. His discernment on the job contrasts with his inexpertness in personal matters, including in his long-standing relationship with a social-climbing girlfriend in London. This time, he's trying to get at the real story behind the murder of a scientist. Hugh's superiors--and a supercilious investigator from the London office--have built a case for a suspect and a motive that hides company secrets.

A Matter of Loyalty did for me what a good cozy mystery should do: provide a provocative plot, an evocative setting, and characters we care for and want to meet again.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a digital advance reading copy of this book. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Reading Progress

October 1, 2017 – Started Reading
October 5, 2017 – Finished Reading
October 7, 2017 – Shelved

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