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Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison
Cover Artist: Mary Ann Lasher / Beinstein & Audriulli
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover / eBook  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250065490
Date: 02 May 2017 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Kat Stanford, famous television personality and antique appraiser, lives in Jane's Cottage, which is part of the humongous, neglected estate of Honeychurch Hall. Honeychurch Hall is located in the bucolic hamlet of Little Dipperton, England. The skeletal remains of a woman who lived in the 1600s are found buried in Cromwell Meadows. Who was she? Was she a member of the Honeychurch family? Who plunged the dagger into her rib cage?

Also, someone is purloining personal belongings from the citizens of Little Dipperton; one of the items is an unpublished manuscript belonging to Kat's mother, Iris. The police aren't especially concerned about the rash of thefts until one of Kat's friends is murdered. Ghosts add a supernatural element; they are seen haunting the cemetery at St. Mary's church. At Jane's Cottage, an apparition begins frightening Kat.

Hannah Dennison's fourth Honeychurch Hall novel, Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall, is the most complex, most intriguing mystery in this delightful British cozy series. This novel has numerous characters and subplots that are all interconnected. There are two murders. The first one is a cold case occurring in the sixteen-hundreds. (This isn't the first time that the corpse of a murder victim has been found hidden on the grounds of the enormous estate.) Readers must exercise patience; the present-day murder occurs about two-thirds through the novel.

More by Hannah Dennison:
Honeychurch Hall Mysteries:
* Murder at Honeychurch Hall
* Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall
* A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall
* Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall
Vicki Hill Mysteries:
* A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
* Scoop!
* Exposť!
* Thieves!

Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall is a departure from the other installments in that there is an actual ghost that haunts the property at Honeychurch Hall. Iris' brother, Alfred Bushman, is a type of medium. He may have served as the conduit that allowed the ghost to pass from their spiritual world into our physical one. Will there be other supernatural phenomena at Honeychurch Hall? Having grown up watching the ghosts, witches, vampires, and werewolves of the popular gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows, I hope to read about other ghosts.

Rupert Honeychurch is the heir of the Honeychurch estate. Readers will learn more about his adulterous affairs. His wife, Lavinia, is a member of the wealthy Carew family. Lavinia's brother, the dashing playboy, Piers, hates Rupert. There is a type of family feud that exists between the Honeychurches and the Carews. Piers searches for opportunities to destroy his brother-in-law. Meanwhile, Lavinia's dad, Aubrey, is a magistrate who has recently married the beautiful, much younger, Jess. She is a mysterious woman who is suspected of being a gold digger.

Honeychurch's youngest family member, Harry, has found a friend in Max Carmichael. His mom, Pippa, has recently moved to Little Dipperton. She is causing quite a stir by opening up a tea room next door to the one owned by Violet Green. Together, Max and Harry are getting into all types of childish mischief. They've been looking for ghosts in the church's graveyard. Harry's adorable Jack Russell terrier, Mr. Chips, has been making shocking discoveries while digging near the graves of the recently deceased.

Despite living in a secluded country hamlet, Kat has two men vying for her affections. There is Detective Inspector Shawn Cropper who remains in love with her. It is one of those on-again off-again romances. This time, Shawn is working on a secret case; he is unable to discuss it with Kat. This puts a strain on their relationship. In the meantime, Kat is being chased by Lavinia's handsome playboy brother, Piers, whose lies and games causes her national embarrassment in the newspapers.

Perfectly framing the plot and its numerous subplots is the Skirmish, a reenactment of the English Civil War; it is being held on Honeychurch Hall's estate. The entire Hamlet is busy making preparations. Strangers from all over the country are flocking to it.

Lovers of cozy mysteries will also be flocking to Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall when they learn it is teeming with its usual ingredients of unique characters, slapstick humor, tender romance, family drama, and bizarre murders. Now a generous helping of ghostly suspense has been added to ensnare a greater number of fans. Will other supernatural creatures will visit Honeychurch Hall? Witches? Vampires? Werewolves?

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