Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Pages: 352, hardcover
Regency widow Lily Adler is looking forward to spending the autumn away from the social whirl of London society. When she arrives in Hampshire with her friends, Lord and Lady Carroway, she doesn’t expect much more than a quiet country visit and the chance to spend time with her charming new acquaintance, Matthew Spencer.
But something odd is afoot in the small country village. A ghost has taken up residence in the Belleford manor, a lady in grey who wanders the halls at night, weeping and wailing. Half the servants have left in terror, but the family is delighted with the notoriety that their ghost provides. Piqued by this spectral guest, Lily and her party immediately make plans to visit Belleford.
They arrive at the manor the next morning ready to be entertained—but tragedy has struck. The matriarch of the family has just been found smothered to death in her bed.
There was no one else in her room, and the door was locked from the inside. The dead woman’s family is convinced that the ghost is responsible. The servants are keeping secrets. The local magistrate is flummoxed. Lily is determined to learn the truth before another victim turns up—but could she be next in line for the Great Beyond?
Lily Adler’s third case is a death that may have been caused by a ghost. In Death at the Manor, Lily, along with her friends Lord and Lady Carroway, are on a visit to Lily’s aunt in Hampshire. There have been recent sightings of a “Grey Lady” at the local manor, so Lily and Ophelia wish to investigate. Matthew Spencer, who may or may not be a potential beau, is a neighbor of the Wrights, and assists with their investigation.
While good, this book may be suffering from sophomore slump, even though it’s the third in the series. I think this is largely due to the absence of Jack and Simon. Matthew may be a potential suitor, but he isn’t the foil for Lily the way the other two are. It was nice that Lily and Ophelia got to spend more time together, and we got to spend time with the Carroways as a couple and see more of their relationship.
I also think the book couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, a Regency romance, a cozy mystery, or a gothic. It led to some slow pacing and an overall disjointedness. That said, it’s still a really good mystery on its own merits, and if I hadn’t had the previous two to which to compare, I’d probably have rated this one more highly.