Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dig Deep for Murder by Kate Kingsbury

I'm positive Sitting Marsh is the British version of Cabot Cove. Bodies keep turning up all over the small village and it's up to Lady Elizabeth to find the killer. Forget World War II, don't move to Sitting Marsh, it's akin to signing a death warrant. But no one listens to the warning bells, in fact, a new worker has moved into the manor (more on that later).

In order to keep spirits soaring, Lady Elizabeth assigns the most recently available plot to Edna, Polly's mother, at Polly's insistence. While they are getting the plot ready, they discover it really is a plot for an unidentified body. When the blood curdling screams have let up, they try to identify the body, though it's a little difficult with his head being smashed in and all that. Where's the CSI team when needed? They identify him as Reggie Stewart, but when they tell his wife, Betty, the tragic news, she seems less than broken up. Meanwhile, Polly and Sam go on a date, where Sam learns Polly lied about her age and they get into an accident. However, I'm tending to get a little miffed with the Polly Hour and will probably gloss over those sections in subsequent books. On the bright side, Lady Elizabeth finally hired a new maid, Sadie Buttons. She's decided the bombings in London are so bad that a potentially haunted manor with a village on a murdering crime spree is better. Who can figure out the youngun's nowadays? Speaking of youngun's, apparently someone's been stealing food and clothes, three little someones to be exact. Sadie proves her worth by capturing the poor creatures, while Lady Elizabeth is up to her neck in suspects and danger. Needless to say, Lady Elizabeth figures everything out and the story wraps up.

I zipped through this book. I picked it up and a day or two I was done. I figured it out rather quickly, but I don't think it's because I'm so clever, but because the clues were so obvious. It really is like watching Murder, She Wrote where the big CLUE sign flashes in red when the perpetrator makes the obvious mistake of talking to Mrs. Fletcher and revealing that all important factor in his or her capture. I do like the addition of Sadie Buttons. She seems like a hard-working, no nonsense girl, complete opposite of head-in-the-sky Polly who dreams of being whisked away by Sam and living in beautiful Hollywood mansions with pools in America. As I mentioned before, I think I'll skip those parts from now on.


Amanda said...

I checked, and this is the fifth Kingsbury book you've reviewed on here. Do you think the clues were obvious to you because you're used to her style? Would someone new to the author maybe find it a little more difficult to figure out the mystery?

Christina said...

That might be it. I think that happened several years ago with a couple of series I liked. I don't know anyone else who reads Kingsbury to comment on whether I'm getting used to her style or if she makes it more obvious.

Amanda said...

I think that often happens with writers we get very familiar with. I know by the time HP7 came out, I picked up clues much faster and figured things out before the characters did, too.