Cornish Castle Mystery Book 2
Guinevere Evans has the ideal summer job cataloging books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side, she explores the island’s colourful history, tries the fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.
But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejeweled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.
An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?
Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?
First of all, what a treat to be given the chance to review this highly anticipated follow up to Death Plays a Part.
The cover of the book features Dolly the Dachshund who plays a huge role in helping owner Guinevere solve the clues in both Cornish Castle mysteries. She is always by her owner’s side and can be depended on to sniff out evidence whenever it arises, and keep her owner out of harm’s way. The pair have such a strong relationship that they seem to know what the other is thinking.
“Come on then” Guinevere clipped the leash onto Dolly’s collar. She rose and gave a tug. “Off we go”. She wanted to walk to the pier but Dolly stepped in front of her as if to stop her. She looked up at her and barked.
Rubies in the Roses works really well as a standalone, but I was glad to have read Death Plays a Part because the main characters were already well formed in my mind, and the stunningly beautiful Cornisea island was a pleasure to revisit.
Again, there is the owner of the castle, the gregarious Lord Bolingbrooke and his dashing son Oliver, and the trusty butler Cador who “seemed to be everywhere and see everything with his sharp blue eyes”
This time there are interesting new characters. Wadencourt, an old friend of Lord Bolingbrooke, has a very strong desire to find an ancient wedding goblet he believes to be buried in the castle gardens. Wadencourt brings along his photographer Max Deburgh who is clearly attracted to Guinevere. There is also the elusive Lady Serena who believes that the goblet belonged to her family, and Mr Vex who has written a highly anticipated article about the artifact.
A sudden death adds more intrigue to the plot. Guinevere and Oliver are just as determined to unravel the details of the death as they are to uncover the mystery of the missing goblet. They have to discover if the two are linked or just a disturbing coincidence. The story overflows with twists and red herrings which keep you rooted from the beginning of the book to its conclusion.
Much to the displeasure of Oliver, Guinevere is pursued by Max and she is extremely flattered by his attention. Oliver sees the photographer as fake and untrustworthy, but can Guinevere see past the compliments and view Max DeBurgh as a suspect?
Guinevere, a true modern day Miss Marple, leaves no stone unturned in her quest to unravel the mystery of the ancient goblet. With her trusty sidekick Dolly and the well-travelled Oliver by her side, the trio become a powerful team. Inspector LeFevre returns to Cornisea when he is informed of a crime and provides high spec laboratory analysis and police manpower to lead the investigation. I liked that the inspector welcomed the help from Guinevere and Oliver and that the story was bang up to date yet still steeped in Cornish folklore.
A cleverly scripted and enchanting whodunnit with charming characters and a beautiful backdrop.
Vivian Conroy has produced another absolute delight!
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.