Murder at Hatfield House

Written by Amanda Carmack
Review by Susan McDuffie

Kate Haywood, a young musician in the employ of Princess Elizabeth, becomes embroiled in murder when Lord Braceton, Queen Mary’s henchman, descends upon her mistress’s home and Kate’s own father is arrested. Able to go where the princess cannot, Kate acts as Elizabeth’s eyes and ears, helping investigate the murder of Braceton’s servant and other mysterious happenings in the environs of Hatfield House while also attempting to gain enough information to free her father from prison.

Kate is aided in her investigations by Anthony, a young lawyer, and Rob Cartman, a player. The competing attentions of the two young men set up a pleasant subplot, as Kate attempts to unravel the coil. Kate is an engaging and likeable sleuth, and the author’s portrayal of the young Princess Elizabeth realistic and plausible.

Amanda Carmack writes beautifully and obviously greatly enjoys the Tudor period. I did wish there was a map, or that Carmack had included more specific information about distances between Hatfield House, the village, and other manor houses in the story. This lack of information had me wondering about time and distance when Kate suddenly appears in a different location, jarring me out of the story just a tad.

Despite that complaint, I enjoyed Murder at Hatfield House and recommend it; it is a cozy excursion into Tudor times with a lively heroine. I look forward to reading more books in this series and apparently a sequel is already in the works, so I shall not be disappointed