Book Review: The Castle Mystery (Jenny Starling #4) by Faith Martin

The Castle Mystery by Faith Martin
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Joffee Books

I feel that this series has hit its stride with this book. I very much enjoyed it. Most all the characters were well fleshed out. I really loved the Avonsleighs, George & Lady Vee. The pace was well done (the murder takes place by the end of the fourth chapter). Happily, there were only two mentions of Jenny's "Junoesque" figure (there are still too many people shocked by her physicality & that she's attractive, but at least the descriptors were more varied). And her prior respiratory issues that caused innumerable instances of sighing also seemed to have righted itself. Inhaler or breathing exercises, I don't know but kudos to that hurdle having been cleared. This reader greatly appreciated it.

One of the staff at Avonsleigh castle lies dead in the conservatory, the victim of a stabbing, ostensibly with a bloodied jewelled dagger. That's not the only mystery about however and it's left to DI Bishop, DS Myers and of course Jenny to solve it all. I liked the way the investigation proceeded and the personality of Bishop may be my favourite of any of the officers Jenny's yet interacted with. I did figure out what was going on and who did the killing but I very much enjoyed the details and how everything came together. There's one staff member that's regularly mentioned but never appears in the story and isn't interviewed, which made me wonder if they were connected to the goings-on. A good bit of misdirection for the reader trying to puzzle things out. By book's end, the only mystery that remained was how Henry got into all the places he did.

I thought the impetus for Jenny leaving this job was done well and with a lot of humour (actually, I found there was more wit throughout this one). I do hope though that she gets to circle back some day to cook pies and puddings for them again. As in the other books in the series, I enjoyed the menus Jenny serves. Every single time I finish one of these, I wish there were recipes in the back. There's a glossary of UK terms for those who need it instead. In random things I've learnt reading this, in the UK it's Cluedo! instead of Clue!. Keep that in your hat for your Jeopardy or crossword puzzle solutions.

I'm looking forward to where Jenny's next adventure takes her. I know it's Oxford (I already have the book) so it's another lovely setting where a dark deed goes down.


Summary: Jenny Starling has her dream job cooking for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh in a genuine castle.
Then one of the castle’s treasures, a fabulously jewelled dagger, is used to murder a staff member. The victim is found stabbed through the heart in the conservatory.

Lady Avonsleigh insists that Jenny help the police find the murderer.

But how can Jenny solve this case when the murder was committed in front of several reliable witnesses, none of whom saw a thing?

This is the fourth of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page. Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

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