Book Review: Murder at Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery #2) by Erica Ruth Neubauer

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Historical mystery
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: March 31st, 2021
Pages: 304, hardcover
Source: NetGalley

In the wake of World War I, Jane Wunderly–a thoroughly modern young American widow–is traveling abroad, enjoying the hospitality of an English lord and a perfectly proper manor house, until murder makes an unwelcome appearance…

England, 1926: Wedgefield Manor, deep in the tranquil Essex countryside, provides a welcome rest stop for Jane and her matchmaking Aunt Millie before their return to America. While Millie spends time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian, and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills the hours devouring mystery novels and taking flying lessons–much to Millie’s disapproval. But any danger in the air is eclipsed by tragedy on the ground when one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed in a motorcar collision.

The sliced brake cables prove this was no accident, yet was the intended victim someone other than Simon? The house is full of suspects–visiting relations, secretive servants, strangers prowling the grounds at night–and also full of targets. The enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who helped Jane solve a murder in Egypt, arrives on the scene to once more offer his assistance. It seems that everyone at Wedgefield wants Jane to help protect the Hughes family. But while she searches for answers, is she overlooking a killer hiding in plain sight?

Murder at Wedgefield Manor is the sequel to Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer. Jane and her aunt, Millie, are in England, at the country house of Millie’s former (and possibly current) lover, Lord Hughes. Tragedy strikes when one of the estate’s workers is killed in an auto accident that turns out to be murder. Redvers shows up, and he and Jane must solve the case.

The series is off to a great start. Jane is a likeable heroine, and Aunt Millie isn’t quite as intolerable and overbearing in this book. Jane picks up another potential love interest, and shows that she isn’t bound by her abusive past or by all the conventions society placed upon women of that time. Jane is taking flying lessons in addition to her sleuthing.

While there are lots of suspects and potential motives, the mystery is not terribly complex, and readers may guess the culprit well before the end of the book. Don’t let that deter you. This is an engaging cozy mystery and I recommend this series.

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