A Bicycle Built For Murder

Written by Kate Kingsbury
Review by Suzanne Sprague

This first book in a new series by the author of the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries introduces Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh, the impoverished owner of an estate located in Sitting Marsh, England, during World War II. When a local teenager is found murdered, the spunky Lady Elizabeth pledges to find the killers. Suspects are plentiful and include the American soldiers from a nearby base. Like a true sleuth, Lady Elizabeth finds that clues, logic, and a little help from the handsome Major Monroe lead to the truth.

Well-researched historical details such as aircraft, furnishings, and war-time behaviors help support a well-developed plot. However, the quantity of characters and sometimes grating banter, intended as comic relief, distracts from the clever storyline. Romantic subplots are also quite intriguing, but since they are never fully developed, we will need to wait for future novels for the resolutions.

Due to the charming Lady Elizabeth and the promise of future shenanigans, the Manor House Mystery series has the potential to become popular with those who enjoy a good whodunit.