Cover Image: Fatality with Forster

Fatality with Forster

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Member Reviews

The fifth in the Crime with the Classics series, this particular book references Forster’s novels. I was a little worried about this because I haven’t read anything by Forster in a decade. Thankfully, Bolger Hyde was kind enough to reference the relevant novels and details, using her protagonist Emily as the mouthpiece. 

Emily, a clear anglophile from the US, is on honeymoon in England with her sheriff husband, Luke. They are guests in a baronet’s home called Fitzhugh Manor. As these are modern times, this aristocratic family is doing its best to hold on to their home while bringing it into the present. In addition to allowing people stay in their home, they provide horse riding lessons and are building cottages to sell on a portion of their land. The dowager Lady Margaret is shielded from these changes, and believes the newlyweds are family friends. She is of the “old guard,” insisting on traditions such as dressing formally for dinner and employing a lady’s maid. This combination of today and yesterday is a fun mix, and the reader, especially if they’re an anglophile too, is living vicariously through Emily.

A Fitzhugh family member dies, and although it looks like an accident, it is more likely murder. Emily and Luke, a total match made in heaven, find themselves embroiled in the investigation. G I liked how they teamed up for the mystery. Cozies always have a woman detective who teams up with the local cop, but this was better than the usual set up, as the point of view alternated between the two of them. Generally, detective does all the legwork and the cop shows up at strategic points in the story, especially at the end where he claps handcuffs on the culprit. Seeing the two of them work out what is going on together was a fun take.

I have to say, this was a perfect way to start my fall reading.
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I enjoyed this book.  This book irritated me enormously. Frequently, authors of books in a series repeat and repeat and repeat the adventures of the previous books to the point of being annoying.  In this book, you get the feeling you are missing something. There appears to be allusions to previous adventures, but not enough to establish that there really were prequels to the story. Frustrating.  It felt almost that one is not part of the inside joke. Hyde also seems overly absorbed in the works of other, more famous authors, making too many references to other books, coming across as the title equivalent to name dropping. 

Setting these aside, the story was enjoyable.  The characters were developed marginally.  One runs around calling himself a lawman – either to others, his wife or himself – which may be true, but seemed to be beating a dead horse to keep mentioning it, particularly when he was supposed to be on his honeymoon.  The final events at the stable seemed a bit contrived, but the story did need to be resolved, so perhaps that was required. 

In all, the story was fine.  I doubt I would seek out further books of the series and it is even questionable that I would read Ms. Hyde’s work again unless other, more favored authors and works were unavailable. That said, I would rather read her work than none at all.
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Another good and entertaining mystery in this series.
A solid mystery, cultural clash between the Americans and British, fleshed out characters.
It wasn't hard to guess the culprit but I didn't guess the motive.
Entertaining and engrossing.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Very enjoyable read. This time they end up solving a murder in England (present day). We get taking on some touristy trips around the area so I found that fun. I did figure out who did it, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I received this ARC via Netgalley and Canongate Books/Severn House Publishers, in return for an honest review. While the fifth book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone.  This series is built on the intriguing premise that each current book harkens back to works by past masters of crime/cozy mysteries.  In this work, retired professor Emily Cavanaough and her new husband, Luke, leave their home and travel to England for their honeymoon.  Staying as surreptitious paying guests at Fitzhugh Manor, they realize that Lady Margaret Fitzhugh is everything wrong with an elderly, snobbish English aristocrat.  Luckily, their hosts, James and Allison, are lovely people. With assorted other relations onsite, it’s clear there are layers of secrets between the family members.  An unexpected death puts Emily and Luke in the middle of figuring out if it was truly an accident or if something more sinister is at work.  This was an interesting book and well written with solid character development so it’s easy to keep track of everyone who’s a possible suspect or victim.  Emily and Luke make a great team and I look forward to their next adventure.
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Crime with the Classics is a series of traditional mysteries, each of which may remind you of a particular classic author. In the first in the series, fiftyish professor Emily inherits from her great-aunt a Victorian mansion, which she later turns into a writers' retreat. 

In the most recent installment (#5), Emily embarks on a honeymoon in England with her new husband, Luke, with whom she had a romantic relationship as a teenager. As an Anglophile, she has dreamed of staying in a manor house in Oxfordshire and visiting many of the sites she had enjoyed in her reading, including Oxford University, home of many Harry Potter scenes. 

But it is immediately evident that there are troubled undertones to the family that owns the manor. The young wife is American, which is unacceptable to her husband's grandmother. Elderly Lady Margaret also doesn't like outsiders traipsing around the stables and even the house, as the young couple offers tours and classes to help support the cost of running the manor. When a tragic accident occurs, Emily and Luke, who is a detective in Oregon, are not satisfied with the finding of accidental death and soon find themselves embroiled (as they often are at home) in an unofficial investigation. 

These books can easily be read as standalones, but earlier books in the series are also worth reading for the community of characters the author has introduced and developed. It's refreshing to read books focused on older characters, along with well-drawn settings and non-graphic mystery plots.

My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for allowing me to read and review this book.
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Emily and Luke are on their honeymoon in Oxfordshire!  What should be a joyous time turns into a bit of work - albeit work they enjoy- when there's a murder.  Turns out the family which owns the estate where they are staying is in conflict over how to make money for its upkeep, with Sir James and his wife Alison trying to convince his grandmother Lady Margaret that the world won't end if they update.  Previous installments in the series (this is fine as a standalone) have relied more heavily on the author in the title but Emily's work as a literature professor means there are still plenty of literary references.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A good read- I'm looking forward to the next one.
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British snobbishness and American pragmatism are definitely clashing in this latest addition to the delightful Crimes with the classics Series, a new & very entertaining literary whodunit from Ms. Bolger Hyde. 
Once again we meet our genial protagonists hailing from Oregon, Emily & Luke, who as a recently married couple, are descending upon Oxford (England) to enjoy a much deserved honeymoon in a posh B&B run by an old & very aristocratic British family,The Fitzhugh, and  located on a sprawling estate on the outskirts of the famous university town. So far, so good......
But unfortunately, and unbeknownst at first to our sleuthing Oregonians, they have stumbled upon a venomous nest of family rancors full of verbal snippiness & murderous intents, a dangerous hotbed of upper class shenanigans that is bound to disturb more than a well planned honeymoon.....
Fiendishly plotted and blessed with a highly dysfunctional but colorful cast (the late British actress Gladys Cooper would have been perfect in the role of the cantankerous, malevolent and frightening Lady Margaret) this wonderful cozy mystery should be welcomed by all readers familiar with the series and it should definitely be discovered by a larger readership! To be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Canongate/Severn for this delicious ARC.
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