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Bloodstains with Bronte

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Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike. It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike. It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper. Their boss, Jeremiah, is a disturbing presence in a different way with his obsessive, tormented piety. Soon the passions in the house grow as dark and stormy as the weather, and Emily begins to feel as if she’s living in a Brontë novel. Meanwhile, to raise money for the local clinic, Emily and Katie host a murder mystery dinner on Halloween night. All goes well until the supposed corpse turns up actually dead—with Katie standing over him, a bloody knife in her hand. Luke Richards, local sheriff and Emily’s true love, is forced to regard Katie as a suspect, but Emily refuses to accept the situation. Her loyalty to Katie crashes against her duty to Luke and to the truth as she fights to save Katie from a murder charge.


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Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike. It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' Classic novels and crime solving intertwine in Katherine Bolger Hyde's charming series. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in a series that will puzzle and please fans of mystery and masterpieces alike. It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper. Their boss, Jeremiah, is a disturbing presence in a different way with his obsessive, tormented piety. Soon the passions in the house grow as dark and stormy as the weather, and Emily begins to feel as if she’s living in a Brontë novel. Meanwhile, to raise money for the local clinic, Emily and Katie host a murder mystery dinner on Halloween night. All goes well until the supposed corpse turns up actually dead—with Katie standing over him, a bloody knife in her hand. Luke Richards, local sheriff and Emily’s true love, is forced to regard Katie as a suspect, but Emily refuses to accept the situation. Her loyalty to Katie crashes against her duty to Luke and to the truth as she fights to save Katie from a murder charge.

30 review for Bloodstains with Bronte

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lori Lamothe

    “For I too liked reading.” –Charlotte Bronte Emily Cavanaugh is a former literature professor who is remodeling her Victorian home on the Oregon coast into a writers’ retreat. Despite inheriting a sizable chunk of money—not to mention the house itself—from her aunt, expenses do pile up. So with the assistance of her housekeeper Katie, she arranges a murder mystery night to raise funds for a local clinic she’s pledged to help. Unfortunately, what is supposed to be a staged death turns “For I too liked reading.” –Charlotte Bronte Emily Cavanaugh is a former literature professor who is remodeling her Victorian home on the Oregon coast into a writers’ retreat. Despite inheriting a sizable chunk of money—not to mention the house itself—from her aunt, expenses do pile up. So with the assistance of her housekeeper Katie, she arranges a murder mystery night to raise funds for a local clinic she’s pledged to help. Unfortunately, what is supposed to be a staged death turns out to be all too real. Worst of all, Katie is found standing over the body, bloody knife in hand. Emily’s conviction that the single mother is innocent puts her at odds with the town sheriff, who just happens to be the love of her life. Bloodstains with Bronte is the second in Katherine Bolger Hyde’s Crime with the Classics series. As is true of Arsenic with Austen, Hyde’s second novel is full of literary references. I’m a huge fan of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, so I thoroughly enjoyed the Bronte quotes at the beginning of each chapter, as well as the other allusions in the novel. Although I somewhat disagree with Emily’s estimate of Wuthering Heights, I liked the parallels between Heathcliff and Roman, a construction worker whose love for “Katie” borders on the obsessive. Like the Bronte sisters’ books, this novel definitely broaches some darker themes, albeit with a light touch. The humor sprinkled throughout the novel can be charming and the setting is enticing. Windy Corner is a colorful coastal town, the sort of place I often daydream about living in. I also wouldn’t mind being in Emily’s predicament. Who wouldn’t want to find herself suddenly wealthy, with a gorgeous old house, a stocked library and a long-lost flame vying for her attention? There are a few drawbacks to the book, however. The characters aren’t exactly three-dimensional and they sometimes feel as if they belong to another era, not the 21st century. Though it picks up in later chapters, the plot takes its own sweet time to get underway and is a bit predictable. There is also a slight Christian undertone readers should be aware of, though I didn’t find it off-putting. Having recently read more than a few high-octane thrillers--my perpetual addiction--Bloodstains with Bronte was a refreshing change. This novel will likely appeal to niche readers of cozy mysteries, especially those who prefer a slower pace and lighter characterization. Much thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. Overall, I liked this book. I enjoyed the premise and how there was literary quotes. I have always been a fan of books that involve books in some way and fashion. I feel I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if I would have read the first one first so I could connect more to the characters. I enjoyed the characterization but found the mystery a tad too predictable for me. Even with it’s flaws I found this book intriguing and want to read the first one at I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. Overall, I liked this book. I enjoyed the premise and how there was literary quotes. I have always been a fan of books that involve books in some way and fashion. I feel I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if I would have read the first one first so I could connect more to the characters. I enjoyed the characterization but found the mystery a tad too predictable for me. Even with it’s flaws I found this book intriguing and want to read the first one at some point to see if I can get a better feel for things.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    When I decided to read this, I seemed to have been doing better with Netgalley books. I hadn't read a real failure in some time. No one- or two-star books in months. Oh well – it couldn't last. Now, this book was not the worst thing I've ever read. It was coherent, as far as it went, adequately well-written in terms of sentence structure and use of apostrophes and so on. There was an overdependence on somewhat labored simile, but it wasn't the worst I've seen. There were a few echoes – like more When I decided to read this, I seemed to have been doing better with Netgalley books. I hadn't read a real failure in some time. No one- or two-star books in months. Oh well – it couldn't last. Now, this book was not the worst thing I've ever read. It was coherent, as far as it went, adequately well-written in terms of sentence structure and use of apostrophes and so on. There was an overdependence on somewhat labored simile, but it wasn't the worst I've seen. There were a few echoes – like more than one phone ringing just as someone went to pick it up. But it was the plot failed for me, and there was something under it all that just grated on me. The setting for this book, and its series, is a mansion inherited by the heroine, which she is turning into a high-toned writers' retreat with a literary theme. (Which didn't make a lot of sense, financially… A literary-themed B&B would be fun – I'd go. I mean, the main character's money won't last forever, especially at the rate she's blowing through it.) The author and heroine got brownie points for deciding to make one of the rooms the Montgomery room, apparently after Lucy Maud Montgomery. The only negative I can possibly lay on that is that LMM is a somewhat odd bedfellow (so to speak) for the other authors chosen: Forster, Austen, Montgomery, Dostoevsky, Dickens, and of course Brontë. (Also, I can't quite stomach the idea of a murder centered around Lucy Maud. Which seems to be the author's eventual plan, based on the title conceit.) The idea of a book-lover with almost unlimited funds creating rooms to evoke her favorite authors was kind of wonderful – something I'd love to be able to do. But that's not remotely a central part of the plot, and most of the planning and purchasing and decorating happens "off-screen". In fact, quite a lot of it seems to be delegated to the local vendors. This deprived me of a lot of vicarious pleasure. Part of my disconnect with the book was probably the shadow of the first book lingering in this one. By which I mean that I didn't read that book, and references to things covered in it were meaningless. Who is this Philip in Portland? Is he dead and really a ghost, or was "ghost" another one of those labored metaphors? The events of that first book were pretty momentous for Emily, and didn't quite get enough attention in this one – or at least not early enough to make this a true standalone. Something I grumbled about was the way that the identity of the murder victim was telegraphed from almost the very beginning of the book, to the point that I thought it was surely a misdirect and that someone else would come a cropper. But no, the person I expected to die was knocked off just as expected – so then I figured the solution was going to be either equally telegraphed or wildly out of the blue. (Mild spoiler: it was the latter, but not in a good way.) Of course, the victim would never have become the victim if one other character didn't behave a little bizarrely. - "'Don't let him out of your sight,' she whispered to Luke" … "Luke was in the back bedroom looking for Jake when he heard the scream." - - Great job, Luke. Something else that didn't sit well: a few cliché characters, like the drama teacher. Especially the drama teacher. That characterization managed to be offensive. And unless I've gotten my secondary characters mixed up, she was named Cordelia Fitzgerald – which cancels out the brownie points for the Montgomery Room. Oh! And the M.E.! "Medical examiner was a part-time job around here and a murder victim a welcome diversion." Really, And how did you greet the victim's family? "Yay, a murder! I was so bored! Your son did me a solid by getting himself killed!" I was just annoyed by the heroine's semi-not-quite-is-it-or-isn't-it relationship. "For a minute she wished she and Luke were sleeping together so she could deny him her bed as punishment" – That actually made me mad. And the weird fight that they get into – or rather, that Emily gets them into – baffled me. I was going to mark it as a spoiler, but it's in the book description: "Listen, this is up to you, but I'd strongly recommend you get a professional crime-scene cleanup team in here. We can't have Katie cleaning that stairwell." "Because she's a suspect?" Emily was shocked at the waspish way that came out. Luke started and widened his eyes at her. "Because she's been traumatized." Then his eyes dropped. "Well, yeah, and because she's a suspect, too. At least until she remembers what happened." Why was this a fight? Would Emily really make this girl – who, yes, has been traumatized – mop up the large pool of blood that came from the man who died at her feet, and if that's not enough, (view spoiler)[the man who previously raped her? (hide spoiler)] And why is she so utterly outraged that a girl found standing over the body of a man, holding the murder weapon (because of course she picked it up and stood there clutching it) is kept in the suspect pool immediately after the murder? …"But she would not kiss a man who thought her Katie capable of murder." What that should be is "Luke would not kiss a woman who was such an idiot, and at any rate it would be conflict of interest to hang out with her until Katie was cleared…" Luke, the local sheriff and Emily's maybe-sorta-boyfriend, is frankly crap at his job. Not only does he blow it at the very moment of the murder (you had one job, man), he lets Emily run roughshod over him in a way that even most other cozy mystery cops wouldn't allow. Emily talks to a witness and gets her to admit something, then calls him – and then lets said witness go off to work before Luke gets there. Overall I was singularly unimpressed with his sheriffing. I was taken aback toward the end when Katie, who is boarding with Emily, makes a major decision without saying anything to the woman who, though a friend, is also her employer and owner of the house. Spoiler: (view spoiler)[ Her new love: "No problem. I can move in here." Really. (hide spoiler)] Theirs is a kind of odd relationship, Katie and Emily's, half servant/master and half daughter/mother. Emily thinks nothing of having Katie go and fetch her tea – although then she might have Katie sit and share it with her. And then Katie can wash the dishes. Katie is allowed to decorate her rooms any way she likes – but the impression I was left with was of Emily in splendor in the best of all the bedrooms with no expense spared in décor and furniture, while Katie and her child occupy basically cramped servants' quarters furnished from the Salvation Army. Finally, though there is a gay couple featured in the story, who are written pretty well and (almost surprisingly) pretty free of cliché, and though Emily and the rest of the main characters fight against (or at least frown at) the bigotry they experience … still, there came this bit: "She herself was not a hundred percent comfortable with having a gay couple as tenants, but whatever her private feelings about their lifestyle might be, they had a right to live unmolested like anyone else. But where her own faith taught love for all sinners—including herself—she knew there were others who twisted the same scriptures to teach only judgment." Huh. The usual disclaimer: I received this book via Netgalley for review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    In what seems to be an ever-increasing trend, what has the elements of a wonderful cozy (love the quotes, references, and allusions to the books by the Bronte sisters...love the references to other books, such as Anne of Green Gables, as well...love the house, the town, and the cats...etc, etc) was completely ruined by the book's obnoxious “heroine”! She bumped a 4-star rating down to a 1!!! The abbreviated version is that Emily is self-righteous and childish hypocrite. Though she jud In what seems to be an ever-increasing trend, what has the elements of a wonderful cozy (love the quotes, references, and allusions to the books by the Bronte sisters...love the references to other books, such as Anne of Green Gables, as well...love the house, the town, and the cats...etc, etc) was completely ruined by the book's obnoxious “heroine”! She bumped a 4-star rating down to a 1!!! The abbreviated version is that Emily is self-righteous and childish hypocrite. Though she judges everyone else for the smallest things, she herself treats the man she supposedly loves like a piece of crap for simply doing his job, lies and points fingers at others as suspects to divert attention from those she has decided are innocent, and in general acts like a spoiled brat who will only be nice when everyone does it the way SHE wants it done. The long version: There are so many snarky observations from Emily about nearly everyone she encounters--doctors, waiters, contractors, drama teachers, a man from a crime scene cleaning service, etc--anything they say, do, or think that doesn't match with how Emily thinks they should be acting is worthy of a snide remark or judgmental thought from her. (I genuinely wonder if the author was trying to make the other characters appear "unlikeable" to distract the reader from how odious Emily is; if so, the plan back-fired big time!) However, despite her high expectations of others, Emily herself, despite being in her 50s, acts childish, petulant, and downright manipulative. Because she loves Katie, she absolutely refuses to admit that Katie could be the murderer. Consequently, she treats her detective boyfriend, Luke, a man she supposedly "loves" like a complete piece of crap for DOING HIS JOB AS A DETECTIVE (and thus suspecting Katie). Katie has means, motive, and opportunity, so OF COURSE Luke has to consider her; he’d be remiss in his job if he didn’t! But Emily is enraged over it, and thus delights in punishing Luke for not clearing Katie immediately (she "wishes they were sleeping together" so she could "deny him her bed", refuses to kiss or hug him, and rejoices that he got no sleep as it "serves him right for not exonerating Katie on the spot.") What a great way to treat the man she supposedly "loves"! (But then again, I don't think she DOES actually love him, as at one point she says a statement to Luke that she freely admits has the underlying meaning of "I won't let you rest secure in my love" until till you do what I want (ie, cross Katie off the list). So clearly her "love" depends on him doing what she wants...and that isn't love at all! Then in one of her many tirades against Luke, Emily tells him "Isn't it innocent until proven guilty? You seem to have it backwards!" What's great about that particular little tantrum is that Emily herself is very quick to assume others are guilty and point the finger at them (as long as they aren't Katie, of course). Initially Emily is certain that Roman is guilty simply on the basis of not liking him (and at that point in the story all he has done is "look" at Katie a way she doesn't like ::eyeroll::). Then later, after Katie's sister reveals some information to Emily that could possibly implicate herself and Katie, Emily completely twists the story when she re-tells it to Luke; she does this to not only make the two beloved sisters look innocent, but to make _someone else_ look guilty! It's a manipulative and extremely un-Christ like thing to do (which I mention since Emily is supposedly a Christian). But, nevertheless, she has no reservations about accusing others as long as it gets who she, Emily, cares about off the hook. In fact, when her priest tells her that the wrong person could be arrested because of her twisting the truth to Luke she says, verbatim "I don't care as long as it isn't Katie!"...So she doesn't care if someone is wrongly accused as long as Katie (who could ACTUALLY be guilty) isn't? How on earth am I supposed to like and root for this "heroine" if she is okay with innocent people potentially getting arrested (and because of her own falsehood)? Also, why is she okay lying to the man she "loves" so much? Oh yeah, because her love for Luke is actually a "conditional love." I was looking forward to this book, and really wanted to like it, but Emily is downright awful. I don't know how others could get past this spiteful, petty, manipulative shrew of a "heroine" to actually enjoy the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Bloodstains with Bronte is the second book in the series by Katherine Bolger Hyde. I was intrigued with the first in the series, so I was excited when this new one was offered for review. Windy Corner, Emily;s inherited home is in the process of renovations which will be open to writes as a quiet haven to pen their thoughts. It's during a stormy party that a body is found, triggering a who dunnit classic and sending Emily in search of the answers. It is her fear that he Bloodstains with Bronte is the second book in the series by Katherine Bolger Hyde. I was intrigued with the first in the series, so I was excited when this new one was offered for review. Windy Corner, Emily;s inherited home is in the process of renovations which will be open to writes as a quiet haven to pen their thoughts. It's during a stormy party that a body is found, triggering a who dunnit classic and sending Emily in search of the answers. It is her fear that her near adopted daughter Katie is in trouble, but Katie hides the truth causing insurmountable troubles. I did enjoy this story, but it was missing some of the flair that was in the first book. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book offered by the publisher and NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carissa Smith

    I wanted an easy and fun summer read. I just got about 2/3 of the way through the book “Bloodstains with Brontë”. I had to stop reading and will be returning the book due to the author’s lead character (who is represented as good and wholesome) admitting that she was “uncomfortable” around gay couples and felt that being gay was a “sin”. I was already aware of Katherine’s subtle racism against the lone Hispanic character in the book. I don’t care who the culprit is at this point. I won’t be buyi I wanted an easy and fun summer read. I just got about 2/3 of the way through the book “Bloodstains with Brontë”. I had to stop reading and will be returning the book due to the author’s lead character (who is represented as good and wholesome) admitting that she was “uncomfortable” around gay couples and felt that being gay was a “sin”. I was already aware of Katherine’s subtle racism against the lone Hispanic character in the book. I don’t care who the culprit is at this point. I won’t be buying another of her books. Intolerance should not be supported in any form. It’s simply shameful and unacceptable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary (Biblophile)

    This is the second in the Crime with the Classics series. Although I liked the book, I found the main character Emily to be self-righteous and overly judgmental. The way she treated her detective boyfriend for doing his job and questioning her housekeeper Katie is disgusting. Her childish behavior took away enjoyment of the story. The mystery was interesting enough to keep me guessing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wit & Wonder Books

    ** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ** In the second installment of the Crime with the Classics, Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bloger Hyde you get exactly that, a classic case of who-done-it (I know but I’m not telling) mixed with the classic story novel, Bronte. This story gives you the sit by the fire mystery. The descriptions of the surroundings has you grabbing your blanket to get cozy and keep reading to find out who done it, why and what will happen next. When reading thi ** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ** In the second installment of the Crime with the Classics, Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bloger Hyde you get exactly that, a classic case of who-done-it (I know but I’m not telling) mixed with the classic story novel, Bronte. This story gives you the sit by the fire mystery. The descriptions of the surroundings has you grabbing your blanket to get cozy and keep reading to find out who done it, why and what will happen next. When reading this you don't have that high stress reading that sometimes you get when reading a thriller/mystery, this one is just enough to give you that little bit of heart pumping till the end. Ms. Hyde does not disappoint with all the literary reference and quotes throughout the book that brings the current situations and the Austen novel together. Her knowledge and ability to link these new stories to classics gives you that little something extra when you read this, making the story and the feelings evoked a little more outstanding. One of the things that troubled me reading this was the flipping instantly between each character. One sentence and /or paragraph was one character then suddenly it flips to the next character and it became a little frustrating at times. Emily has now moved into her late Aunt’s house and has started her renovations to turn Windy Corner into a writer's retreat. During the stormy autumn season in Oregon, Emily is helping to raise money for a local clinic by hosting a murder mystery dinner in her home. What better setting than a house with a secret passage to host a murder mystery!! All is great until the corpse turns out to be real and the things are not looking good for her housekeeper Katie. Now Luke, the local sheriff and Emily's love, has to prove that Katie did not do it. But things are not adding up and this causes uncertainty and a split between him and Emily. So that leads us to who actually did it? You will have to read it to find out!!!! I enjoyed this book and the undercurrents that go along with it. Four Stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Conley

    The second of these mysteries was every bit as well done as the first. Yea, new series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Well, the second book in this series will definitely be my last. I do not pick up what is marketed as a cozy mystery expecting an abundance of religious lecturing, which this book was excessively including. I like the setting of this series, and the literary connections with two of my favourite books [Pride and Prejudice in the first book and Jane Eyre here] was well done and interesting. Unfortunately, the religious bible thumping was a complete turn-off for this reader, and it was e Well, the second book in this series will definitely be my last. I do not pick up what is marketed as a cozy mystery expecting an abundance of religious lecturing, which this book was excessively including. I like the setting of this series, and the literary connections with two of my favourite books [Pride and Prejudice in the first book and Jane Eyre here] was well done and interesting. Unfortunately, the religious bible thumping was a complete turn-off for this reader, and it was even more frequent in this book than in the previous. If the book had been marketed as a "Christian" focused story, then it would have been my bad to read it anyway. However I saw no indications that this was a major focus for the author, and that smacks of bait-and-switch to me, which took away any cutting the author slack. I do not care about the author's opinions of same-sex couples lifestyles, or their opinions on consenting adults having sex with each other. That is NOT what a reader expects in picking up a cozy, so I am being more forceful in my review because this feels sneaky and disingenuous on the part of whoever decided on the marketing approach. Shame on them! I also found both Emily and Katie annoyingly clueless in this book. Emily blames her sheriff boyfriend for doing his job because she doesn't like that her "like-a-daughter" Katie is being considered a suspect. Okay, seriously? Katie was found standing over the body, with the murder weapon in her hand and COVERED IN BLOOD!!! What the hell do you expect the guy to do? Pretend he never saw her? Geez, give me a break! Blaming the guy for doing his job is ridiculous. And Katie is beyond sheltered, in fact, she should be staying in someone's basement and never interacting with the world she is so naive and incapable of handling the real world and it's unpleasantness. I rolled my eyes so hard every time she opened her mouth I'm surprised I didn't see the inside of my skull. For pete's sake - this is a woman who has a baby and has been holding a job - albeit at Emily's house as her cook but still - and she actually believes that some evil force has put a curse on her that means she can never get involved with a man or he will die. Oh brother! It's really too bad this author feels compelled to foist her personal opinions on religion on readers through her books, because she is a creative writer, who has good stories and interesting settings, but the almost constant religious insertions into the story is a very annoying aspect that turned me completely off.

  11. 4 out of 5

    serena

    ...Where do I start? Bloodstains with Brontë certainly had some charm, interweaving old literature references with the newer setting of modern day Oregon, but the plot was easy to figure out. For a mystery thriller, it's typically the twists and surprises that keeps the reader engaged, but this novel was pretty predictable. I can't say I'm very fond of the main character, Emily. During her initial appearance I envisioned her as being put-together, with an air of unspoken authority, but that imagery diss/>Bloodstains ...Where do I start? Bloodstains with Brontë certainly had some charm, interweaving old literature references with the newer setting of modern day Oregon, but the plot was easy to figure out. For a mystery thriller, it's typically the twists and surprises that keeps the reader engaged, but this novel was pretty predictable. I can't say I'm very fond of the main character, Emily. During her initial appearance I envisioned her as being put-together, with an air of unspoken authority, but that imagery dissolved quickly as I read on. Despite being in a position where she is able to make decisions and commands, she instead chooses to be passive. In the scenario with Sam—Emily should've told Sam to figure out her fundraiser or at least organize it on her own. None of it was Emily's responsibility at all nor should she have felt like it was her burden to carry, especially when the mistake in funding was entirely on Sam's negligence. Same with Cordelia—if Emily was so wary of Cordelia doing whatever she pleased in Windy Corner, Emily should've spoken up seeing as it was her home. Even after the incident occurred, Emily proved to be quite insensible to the situation going on around her. I'm not saying I don't understand how she felt—of course, no one would ever wish a loved one was responsible for a murder—but Emily had a very clear bias for Katie, and even used Luke's feelings for her against him. Withholding her love and rejecting him unless he took Katie off his suspect list was completely unreasonable. Luke was just trying to do his job as a sheriff, objectively as possible, and Emily didn't want to understand that. She tried to pin the blame on someone else simply because he didn't sit well with her, and her constant insistence was annoying because she didn't have any solid proof and it hindered Luke's investigation. All in all it was an aggravating read, simply because the main character was just being so difficult.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    The idea of a murder mystery inspired by the Gothic elements in the Bronte sisters book is a great one. Every chapter of Bloodstains with Bronte begins with a quote from of the sister’s books, and the quote colors what happens next. The mystery stands on it’s own, with the literary connection a nice aspect to the story. This is the second book in the Crime with the Classics series featuring Emily Cavanaugh. I haven’t read the first one so I’m not sure if I’m missing out on character development, The idea of a murder mystery inspired by the Gothic elements in the Bronte sisters book is a great one. Every chapter of Bloodstains with Bronte begins with a quote from of the sister’s books, and the quote colors what happens next. The mystery stands on it’s own, with the literary connection a nice aspect to the story. This is the second book in the Crime with the Classics series featuring Emily Cavanaugh. I haven’t read the first one so I’m not sure if I’m missing out on character development, but I think the plot is pretty solid without needing to know what happened in the first book. My reservations about the character development though come from the romance between Emily and Luke which didn’t quite draw me in because I felt like their connection was more explained than shown. But perhaps it is built up better in the previous book. The book had interesting parts to it - I enjoyed the very human issues and conflicts it presented, with the character of Katie dealing with sexual harassment and worse from multiple male characters, and with the side plot of a religious intolerance. I also enjoyed the warmth and quirkiness of Emily and a some of her friends in the story. The murder mystery itself didn’t have as smooth as a flow to me - there were a few times when Emily’s feelings got in the way of the investigation, and I felt like it complicated the plot in a way that didn’t feel as believable and made me frustrated with her. I also didn’t feel the urgency of the story as much, even when it got to the end. The literary connection and the thoughtful way in which the story was presented, made this a good light read and if you are interested in the concept, it might be a good idea to start with the first Austen related book in the series. (I received a copy of this novel from the author or publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sunsettowers

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. When the large home Emily has inherited is being renovated, she turns to Wuthering Heights to distract her from the noise and mess. Drawn into the story, Emily can't help but see a doomed love triangle playing out before her eyes involving her beloved housekeeper, Katie. When a murder mystery party brings matters to a head, Emily will do w I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. When the large home Emily has inherited is being renovated, she turns to Wuthering Heights to distract her from the noise and mess. Drawn into the story, Emily can't help but see a doomed love triangle playing out before her eyes involving her beloved housekeeper, Katie. When a murder mystery party brings matters to a head, Emily will do whatever it takes to protect Katie, including solving the mystery herself. I liked this cozy mystery, but did not love it. The murder mystery party was a clever device, and I enjoyed the weaving in of a classic novel such as Wuthering Heights. But the plot device of every man who came into contact with Katie becoming obsessed with her wore thin very quickly, as did the choice to insert Katie's diary entries in first person into the chapters. The religious aspects of the story also seemed to come out of nowhere and were not integrated in well enough to justify their prominent position in the tale. This was an okay read, but I don't think I will be rushing to pick up any more of the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary Hawkes

    I began this series with book 3, and enjoyed it, with a few reservations. I didn't care for Luke, for example. Then I read book 1 and had a better understanding of Luke, but had more problems with Emily. I'm liking the series less as I am reading more books. Emily feels that Luke, the local sheriff, should not even consider her friend as a suspect, even though she was found with the body and with the apparent murder weapon in her hand. Emily has decided who the murderer is, and theref I began this series with book 3, and enjoyed it, with a few reservations. I didn't care for Luke, for example. Then I read book 1 and had a better understanding of Luke, but had more problems with Emily. I'm liking the series less as I am reading more books. Emily feels that Luke, the local sheriff, should not even consider her friend as a suspect, even though she was found with the body and with the apparent murder weapon in her hand. Emily has decided who the murderer is, and therefore Luke should arrest him. Several characters don't like pronouns apparently. One suspect, asked about his movements, replies "don't wear a watch. Knock off when boss lets me go....went to check on the roof, tarp had blown off...went downstairs...." Maybe I'm being too picky, but it happened a lot, and it annoyed me. All this being said, I plan to read the next book when it comes out.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Emily is restoring a Victorian mansion to make it a writer’s retreat. Two of the men working on it Roman and Jake are showing too much interest in her single mother housekeeper, Katie, and the foreman is odd with an obsessive piety. They decide to hold a murder mystery event and all is going well until a man is found dead and Katie has the knife in her hand. Emily is determined to clear Katie’s name which is causing trouble with her boyfriend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janet Martin

    With her project to turn her great aunt's mansion into a writers' retreat well underway, and the clinic for her small town underfunded and stalled, Emily is talked into hosting a mystery dinner fundraiser. Disaster ensues and this second mystery in the new cozy series is nicely plotted, if a bit predictable. Good setting, well developed ongoing characters, and literary tie ins should make this series popular over time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I thought I had reviewed this one. Oh well! A good cozy mystery with darker undertones, based on the lead character's love of literature, particularly Bronte. I can't blame her, I love Bronte as well. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine. http://affairedecoeur.com.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Helped me remember more about Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Good mystery they were trying to solve.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nieca

    I gave this series another chance, this time reading it for myself rather than listening to the audiobook. While I liked Luke a lot better this time, I felt that Emily was acting like a 50+ teenager. She was still very annoying. I’ll stop with this book, now that I know.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Una

    This is the second of the series and the plot was great even though I figured out the culprit pretty early, I hadn't figured out the reasoning. The story moves along at a good pace and most of the characters were either great or nasty--just what you want in a cozy. My only problem was with the MC. She acted so childish and conceited most of the time that I got extremely irritated with her and almost put the book down a couple of times. I'm glad I stuck it out because the story was really good--e This is the second of the series and the plot was great even though I figured out the culprit pretty early, I hadn't figured out the reasoning. The story moves along at a good pace and most of the characters were either great or nasty--just what you want in a cozy. My only problem was with the MC. She acted so childish and conceited most of the time that I got extremely irritated with her and almost put the book down a couple of times. I'm glad I stuck it out because the story was really good--except for that MC.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Beeman

    I couldn’t stand the main character. I thought Katie wasn’t too bright either.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    I was really disappointed with Katie's character in this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    Bloodstains with Bronte is a well-crafted cozy mystery that kept my interest from beginning to end. To begin with, I very much like the heroine, Emily, a former professor who has inherited a Victorian mansion in her home town on the Oregon coast. At a guess, she’s in her 40s or perhaps early 50s—not so far from my own age. Imaginative but practical, caring but no pushover, Emily has taken under her wing (and into her heart) a young single mother barely out of high school, whom she hired as a live-in h Bloodstains with Bronte is a well-crafted cozy mystery that kept my interest from beginning to end. To begin with, I very much like the heroine, Emily, a former professor who has inherited a Victorian mansion in her home town on the Oregon coast. At a guess, she’s in her 40s or perhaps early 50s—not so far from my own age. Imaginative but practical, caring but no pushover, Emily has taken under her wing (and into her heart) a young single mother barely out of high school, whom she hired as a live-in housekeeper. Emily is also involved with her high school sweetheart, Luke, now a police detective. Her loyalties come into conflict when a young man is killed during a murder-mystery fundraising dinner in Emily’s house, and Katie becomes the chief suspect. Emily is convinced Katie is innocent, but her motive is strong and her story doesn’t entirely hold up. Torn between her feelings for Luke, her love for the girl she thinks of as a daughter, and her innate honesty, she decides to protect Katie and discover the real murderer. Luke doesn’t want to believe Katie did it, but he’s absolutely committed to finding the truth, no matter where it leads. Luke and Katie are secondary characters, but not by much—particularly in Luke’s case. A number of scenes are told from Luke’s perspective, and Katie’s diary entries give the reader insight into her thoughts. I appreciated the way the narrative moves from character to character; it helps to develop the plot and gave me access to information each character had that the others did not, as well as deepening the character development of all three. I mentioned that Emily and I are both in our middle years. There are too few heroines of that age, though admittedly more of them in cozy mysteries than almost any other genre. There are also too few of that age who get a romantic relationship , so I really appreciated the growing love between Emily and Luke (despite the tensions caused by this case), and will look forward to seeing where it goes in future books. The author inserts a number of references to and quotes from both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, as Emily (former English professor that she is!) draws parallels between characters and situations in both books and the people around her. The allusions are skillfully woven in, and never felt contrived. Hyde also employs a delicate touch when it comes to Emily’s Orthodox Christian faith; it’s a part of her personality and something that matters to her, but it’s only one facet of her character. Moreover, it’s Emily’s faith and not the narrator’s; there’s nothing “preachy” about the book. A well-constructed plot, nuanced characters I can relate to, and a touch of middle-aged romance add up to a very promising series. In short, I’ve discovered a new cozy author I will not only happily read again, but will follow with interest! Review originally published at The Bookwyrm's Hoard. FTC disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I don't like Emily so it's hard to get invested in the story. But if desperate I might try and read #1.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde is the second book in the Crime with the Classics series. I enjoyed the literary references to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, along with the quotes from both classics that opened each chapter. Emily, the main character in Bloodstains with Bronte, is renovating the Oregon home she inherited from her aunt. She plans to offer the mansion as a writers’ retreat. One night she hosts a mystery dinner while a storm rages outside. The guests g Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde is the second book in the Crime with the Classics series. I enjoyed the literary references to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, along with the quotes from both classics that opened each chapter. Emily, the main character in Bloodstains with Bronte, is renovating the Oregon home she inherited from her aunt. She plans to offer the mansion as a writers’ retreat. One night she hosts a mystery dinner while a storm rages outside. The guests get more than they paid for when the body of the town’s bad boy is found in a secret passageway. The hunt is on for the killer---a second body ups the ante. This tale is well-plotted with cleverly-placed clues. The setting on the Oregon coast is atmospheric and a character in itself. The characters are well-drawn and the author does not attempt to make them perfect. In the end, they show that they’ve grown through their ordeals. I do hope that Emily and Luke will move forward in their relationship. I read an ARC of this book offered by the publisher and NetGalley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa H.S.

    Judgemental main character, all the young women in this small seaside town are very innocent virgins, and the book took a strange out of nowhere churchy turn towards the end that was a bit cheesy. This book doesn't live in the real world, and I think that it's a good thing that the real world isn't like this. So many lines, inner dialog thoughts, etc. that gave me an icky feeling. I do not recommend this book, there are lots of free mysteries from emerging self published authors on kindle etc. t Judgemental main character, all the young women in this small seaside town are very innocent virgins, and the book took a strange out of nowhere churchy turn towards the end that was a bit cheesy. This book doesn't live in the real world, and I think that it's a good thing that the real world isn't like this. So many lines, inner dialog thoughts, etc. that gave me an icky feeling. I do not recommend this book, there are lots of free mysteries from emerging self published authors on kindle etc. that are so much better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Summary from Goodreads: "It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper. Their boss, Jeremiah, is a disturbing presence in a different way with his obsessive, tormented piety. Soon the passions in the house grow Summary from Goodreads: "It’s a dark and stormy autumn on the Oregon coast. Windy Corner, the Victorian mansion Emily Cavanaugh inherited in Arsenic with Austen, is being remodeled into a writers' retreat. Two of the young workers, Jake and Roman, are showing too much of the wrong kind of interest in Katie, Emily's young single-mother housekeeper. Their boss, Jeremiah, is a disturbing presence in a different way with his obsessive, tormented piety. Soon the passions in the house grow as dark and stormy as the weather, and Emily begins to feel as if she’s living in a Brontë novel. Meanwhile, to raise money for the local clinic, Emily and Katie host a murder mystery dinner on Halloween night. All goes well until the supposed corpse turns up actually dead—with Katie standing over him, a bloody knife in her hand. Luke Richards, local sheriff and Emily’s true love, is forced to regard Katie as a suspect, but Emily refuses to accept the situation. Her loyalty to Katie crashes against her duty to Luke and to the truth as she fights to save Katie from a murder charge." My Thoughts: Bloodstains with Bronte was a fun follow-up and second book in this cozy mystery series. Also, how great are these titles? I was really looking forward to jumping back into this series as I enjoyed the first book so much. In this book, Emily is working on converting her house into a writer's retreat. As I absolutely love her house and the descriptions of it, I couldn't get enough of this part of the story. I find it so fun to imagine inheriting a big rambling house like this filled with secret passageways and other fun stuff. It is just one of those things that makes these books such a pleasure to read! Then she is talked into hosting a murder mystery dinner at her house and that is when the real trouble begins. I've got to be honest and say that the premise is what made want to read this book (and ultimately got my reading this series) in the first place. Such a fun idea! This book had my attention from the very beginning thanks to all of this. I just couldn't stop reading and really didn't want to. That's really what I am loving about this series - how easily I fall into the books and the fact that I just can't seem to stop reading. It makes for a really great reading experience. All of those positives being said, I did not care for Emily's choices in this book and found her to be quite frustrating at times. She basically punished Luke for doing his job and I just couldn't get behind that. I did appreciate though that the story wasn't told just from her viewpoint or I don't think that I would have enjoyed this one as much. Instead we also got to see Luke's point of view and even Katie's at times. I adore her as a character so much so that was really a delightful surprise! I really appreciated that we got to see more of her history in this book even if it wasn't always easy to read about. I've been curious as to who her daughter's father was and now we know (although I won't spoil anything by saying who). The mystery portion of this book was fun although I was able to pick out the killer myself. I definitely didn't figure out the why's behind it all until the very end which helped to make this still a suspenseful read. Overall, I enjoyed this book and thought that it was a solid follow-up to book one. I'm really looking forward to continuing on with this series whenever the next book is released. I have added this series to my must read cozy series list because I have enjoyed the books so much. This book was a fun read and a great change of pace from some of the darker reads that I have finished lately. And while I had a few complaints with it, I still really enjoyed my time with this book. That should tell you everything that you need to know! I don't think that you necessarily "have" to read this series in order but with only two books, why wouldn't you? Recommended to fans of cozy mystery series and also those who enjoy classics. The author does a great job of really including pieces here and there from books by the authors that she includes in her titles (and I've actually read Wuthering Heights so that's a win for me). Bottom Line: An enjoyable read! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. *This book is released on December 12th if you want to check it out!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bev Cooke

    Bloodstains with Bronte is Katherine’s second book in the series that began with Arsenic with Austen. Emily Worth is back as the recipient of her murdered aunt’s considerable estate and property holdings in the fictional town of Stony Beach on the Oregon coast, as are Luke, her rediscovered love, Katie and Lizzie, housekeeper and baby extraordinaire, as well as Bustopher, Kitty and Levine, the cats, and Marguerite, Emily’s professor friend from Reid College in the nearby city of Portland. Emily Bloodstains with Bronte is Katherine’s second book in the series that began with Arsenic with Austen. Emily Worth is back as the recipient of her murdered aunt’s considerable estate and property holdings in the fictional town of Stony Beach on the Oregon coast, as are Luke, her rediscovered love, Katie and Lizzie, housekeeper and baby extraordinaire, as well as Bustopher, Kitty and Levine, the cats, and Marguerite, Emily’s professor friend from Reid College in the nearby city of Portland. Emily feels somewhat guilty about her new socioeconomic status, and decides that she needs to turn her large and comfortable house into a writer’s retreat in order to share the wealth, which entails a fair amount of costly renovation. Additionally, her aunt’s bequest to the town’s medical clinic for needed expansion and upgrading encounters significant budget over-runs, which Emily can’t cover. She decides to hold a fundraiser, in spite of the renovations, and since Hallowe’en is close, for the cost of a ticket, attendees get to have dinner and then participate in solving a “murder” on the premises. It’s as much the chance to get a close up look at the fabled house as it is to have a delicious meal and the thrill of a “live action” murder show that sells it out. But everyone gets far more than they bargained for when Jake, the actor and handyman employee, who plays the murder victim, ends up actually dead – stabbed to death with a pocket knife and the housekeeper, Katie, standing over him, clutching the knife and covered in his blood. By the time of the murder, we already know most of the suspects and their motives: Katie, who’s history with Jake gives her more than enough reason to want him dead; Roman, Jake’s unstable co-worker and Katie’s stalker; the high school drama teacher, who wrote and directed the fund-raiser play, and who fancied a fling with Jake, not to mention one or two other individuals with more than enough reason for killing a thoroughly nasty character. The revelation of the killer is surprising, but the subtle hints are well laid out through the book. Bloodstains with Bronte is just as gripping and hard to put down as the previous book, and not just because the characters and the town are so lively and real. Fans of the Bronte sisters’ books will thoroughly enjoy the connections between Bloodstains and the classic novels, while those who, like me, aren’t as familiar with them won’t notice the more subtle nuances but will still have a solid, good read. But more than that, Katherine’s story addresses two major issues in today’s world. One of the characters is a hardline evangelical preacher – Jeremiah Edwards, the contractor on the house renovations. The beauty in Kate’s contrast between Jeremiah’s faith with Emily’s own deep seated beliefs, show both how distorted and shallow the common perception of Christians is, and what, for the Orthodox is the true message – tend to the beam in your own eye before you busy yourself pointing out everybody else’s splinters and show mercy, even if it hurts. Additionally, the plot addresses the very current issue of rape culture in its exploration of the motives for Jake’s murder. He’s the overly privileged son of the local, massively successful lawyer, both of whom wield their entitlement with such relish and abandon that they’d leave any Bronte-era aristocrat gaping. Without preaching, Katherine shows us just how devastating, widespread and pernicious that attitude is, and why it needs to stop. While Jake isn’t on the page enough to become a fully three dimensional character, that minor lack is more than made up for by how real his father is, and how well Kate shows the harvest of entitlement and abuse on its perpetrators as well as its victims. If you like cozy mysteries, and the first book, you’re going to like this one even more. A great read, from first page to last.

  29. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    Full disclosure, I decided to review this book because of the catchy title. I am a huge Bronte lover and I am easily swayed by all things Bronte. But, after the initial excitement over the title evaporated, I was left with a book that I wasn’t sure I was going to love. So it sat on my review calendar for a few weeks and I was not looking forward to reviewing it but I knew the time was coming. So I picked it up to start on a cold rainy morning (which suites anything Bronte r Full disclosure, I decided to review this book because of the catchy title. I am a huge Bronte lover and I am easily swayed by all things Bronte. But, after the initial excitement over the title evaporated, I was left with a book that I wasn’t sure I was going to love. So it sat on my review calendar for a few weeks and I was not looking forward to reviewing it but I knew the time was coming. So I picked it up to start on a cold rainy morning (which suites anything Bronte related) and went to town. After about 3 pages I had a renewed excitement to read this book…it is set in Oregon (my state!). And if I am being honest, I haven’t found a lot of Oregon writers that I love….let a lone books that are set here. It rains too much and people just aren’t chomping at the bit to write about anything in Oregon Basically it’s rare to find a mainstream book that is set in Oregon so I was thrilled to have something familiar to read! The town of Stony Beach is fictional but I know the area that inspired the fictional town well, Rockaway Beach. My family and I spend Christmas up there every few years so I know this area well. Not to mention it’s about an forty minutes north of Lincoln City where I spend a ton of time throughout the year relaxing and eating amazing sea food! So yes, this is a great setting for a murder mystery Bronte related. The setting added a lot to the story and I loved how the Oregon coast was portrayed and used as an element all its own. However that said, because I know the area so well, I had a hard time loving Stony Beach itself. Stony Beach was nothing like Rockaway Beach or any of the other towns in the area. There is no awesome book shop or quaint antique shop that I can recall. I read that the author create Stony Beach so that she could ‘have her way’ with the town and yes if I am an outsider looking in on Stony Beach, it sounds like an awesome beach retreat on the sea with quirky characters….almost like an English costal town. So yes if I didn’t know the area then I think the setting would have worked better for me, but as it happens I did know the area and I struggled buying into this fictional town. The other thing that I struggled with was connecting with the heroine. On one hand I liked her and thought she was intelligent with spunk and a good heart, however I also could tell she was more mature than me be a couple of decades. I think I would have liked her better if I was older. She is in her fifties and she is kind of going through this new life change which is awesome and I think many readers will like that about her, but for me I just had a hard time identifying with a woman who was in a very different place than me with different interests. As I said, I loved how the author showcased the Oregon coast and used that unique setting to her advantage. I also liked how the classic books played into the mystery itself. It was a unique approach that will stand out to cozy fans. In my opinion, the use of the classic books as part of the murder mystery is different and memorable. I think this will become a popular series with readers and it matures and evolves. If you love cozy mysteries and are looking for something set in a new and unique area, with a heaping dose of charm and coziness then this is a great series to pick up, plus it’s a new series so you don’t have too many books to catch up on! See my full review here

  30. 5 out of 5

    M.L.D.

    I really wanted to like this book, but the aspects I enjoyed (the literary tie-ins of Brontes' works with the crime) couldn't compensate for the problems I had with the characters/author's viewpoints. Reading this, I was reminded of the white terrorists in rural Oregon who took over a National Park for weeks. So, problems as I saw them: the subtle antichoice viewpoint; the not-so-subtle homophobia which was especially disappointing because the gay characters themselves weren't stereotypes, but t I really wanted to like this book, but the aspects I enjoyed (the literary tie-ins of Brontes' works with the crime) couldn't compensate for the problems I had with the characters/author's viewpoints. Reading this, I was reminded of the white terrorists in rural Oregon who took over a National Park for weeks. So, problems as I saw them: the subtle antichoice viewpoint; the not-so-subtle homophobia which was especially disappointing because the gay characters themselves weren't stereotypes, but the main character had to go and say how she was uncomfortable having gay men as tenants and then further commented that they're committing a sin. Just. Ew. And then there's Emily's inability to have healthy relationships. Her romantic relationship is rather terrible & I think Luke should ditch her while the ditching's good. Emily likes to commit emotional blackmail (and if they were having a sexual relationship, she'd have no qualms about withholding sex as punishment), and even says that her love is conditional on whether or not he's acting the way she wants him to. His great offense? Having to consider as a suspect the young woman who he found standing over the body holding the murder weapon, with blood all over her clothes. While he didn't believe she did it, he had to consider her--since he's a sheriff. So I didn't enjoy Emily & Luke's interactions at all. She's manipulative and passive-aggressive; what a toxic relationship. And then there's Emily's relationship with Katie. Katie is the young woman who is Emily's housekeeper and cook. She's about 19 and has an infant. Emily likes to pretend that she loves Katie as a daughter--what Emily actually likes is having an underpaid servant at her beck and call. Even Luke, who also views Katie as a daughter-surrogate, remarked that while the cat was away, the mice would play, upon seeing Katie and the baby taking a rest in Emily's living room while Emily was out of town. Meaning, of course, that neither one of these people view Katie as a true family member. And finally, there's Katie. Overall, she's fine. I was troubled by her getting engaged to a man she's barely spoken to and has not even dated in any significant way. One date, was how it seemed from the text and on that date they got engaged. The author should rent Frozen and watch the scenes about not marrying a man you just met. Emily, of course, was happy about this, because her "daughter" wouldn't be leaving her employment, but remaining as her live-in servant. I won't be reading any other books in this series. These are pretty toxic characters. ETA: I didn't even get to the shoddy police work, the characters are so awful! But really, if there is a murder at a party, the police should know everyone who attends the party, that very night, since no one has left. There's really no excuse for the police to be finding out days later that there people present for the duration of the party, including during the murder, that haven't been interviewed, fingerprinted, etc.

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