Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finished Off by Rebecca Kent

This is the second book I finished for the Mystery Read-a-Thon.

Meredith Llewellyn is recovering from solving her Kathleen's murder (first book, High Marks for Murder), when she has to deal with the small package Kathleen left for her: another ghost. After debating and wondering how to investigate this, she becomes determined, finds an orphanage (Chest - from the girl pointing at Meredith's chest of drawers) and discovers Emma Lewis, the poor dead girl. Turns out Emma's family died in a fire while Emma managed to escape on a nearby tree branch. The trauma left Emma mute, then she became sick, got pneumonia and died as a result. Later, Meredith finds out George Lewis, Emma's father, was accused of embezzling funds, however, people who knew George can't believe it as he appeared to be an upstanding, devoted family man. Meredith figures it's up to her to clear Emma's family's name so Emma can join them, especially when Emma indicates the fire was not an accident. She does this with the help of her friends, Felicity and Esmeralda. As if running a school wasn't complicated enough without trying to solve a murder, Sylvia, Kathleen's replacement, is giving Meredith more difficulties forcing Meredith to ask Stuart Hamilton for an assistant. The man Hamilton brings in, Mr. Platt, doesn't please her as he young, unskilled, and handsome - a clear threat to her school. To complicate matters even further, it appears both Hamilton and Inspector Dawson have both tipped their hats to Meredith.

The mystery was pretty good. Kent managed to throw enough suspects and clues to hold my interest. Yet, she failed to hold my interest with the minor characters. There are two maids (can't recall their names) who sneak around trying to win one for the suffrage movement without thinking of the consequences. I also think Meredith is giving Mr. Platt too many second chances every time he's caught with a girl. Hopefully, there'll be a third book and more so these relationships have a chance to develop.

3 comments:

hamilcar barca said...

"Turns out Emma's family died in a fire while Emma managed to escape on a nearby tree branch. The trauma left Emma mute, then she became sick, got pneumonia and died as a result".

and this is a "cozy"?! if i ever do a "Thursday Next literary jump", remind me not to choose an English cozy as my destination.

Christina said...

As well polished and civilized as the Brits are supposed to be, there does appear to be quite a few murders there. It's "cozy" because it takes place "off stage" so the reader doesn't have to deal with the gore. However, The term a cozy murder does sound like an oxymoron...

Julie said...

It is quite thought-provoking, for a writer, what you said here:
"Yet, she failed to hold my interest with the minor characters. There are two maids (can't recall their names) who sneak around trying to win one for the suffrage movement without thinking of the consequences."
It is interesting and definitely something to consider about how minor characters do have an impact. :) Well said.