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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Paint by Murder (Manor House Mystery #5)

Paint by Murder - Kate Kingsbury

Another light, quick visit to Sitting Marsh during WWII.  Rumors of a German spy in the village abound.  The Housewives League is determined to be the ones to unmask the spy and become heroes.  Well, some of them are.  The rest would rather stay inside where it's warm and dry.


A new tenant of Lady Elizabeth's has been found murdered in his cottage; an artist who seemed not to have an enemy.  Lady Elizabeth's housekeeper shows up to clean the cottage only to find it already cleared out and spotless, but with the artist's canvasses all in the bin.  After rescuing one and presenting to the Lady of the Manor, Lady Liz (Elizabeth is just too long to type) starts seeing secrets in the painting - her imagination, or was the artist trying to get a message across?


As she investigates, her "friendship" with Major Monroe heats up - still all very proper and aboveboard, but really, things are slowly coming to a boil.  Polly is struggling with her love life and we see the eternal optimism of adolescence hit the wall of reality.


As this series progresses, the author starts to write more and more from multiple POV's.  I usually can't stand this type of writing, but by the time Ms. Kingsbury starts employing it in the books, I'm well acquainted with the characters and it feels more natural.  It also helps to bulk up what might be a rather anaemic story line; we hear from the POV of Rita Crumm and her Housewives League and really, they offer nothing to the furtherance of the plot beyond a bit of comic relief.  But discoveries are made by Violet that are helpful, and Polly's POV helps flesh out a bit what life was like for a girl during the war, living in a village housing an American Air Force Base.  


Nobody will ever accuse these books of being deep or open to the interpretation of themes, etc. but they offer a reader looking to escape into another time and be entertained a light, lovely way to do so.