A November 2021 Indie Next Pick!
The first in an exciting new historical mystery series set in the home of Agatha Christie!
Colleen Cambridge's charming and inventive new historical series introduces an unforgettable heroine in Phyllida Bright, fictional housekeeper for none other than famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie. When a dead body is found during a house party at the home of Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan, it's up to famous author's head of household, Phyllida Bright, to investigate...
In this delightful new historical mystery series, Phyllida Bright, housekeeper and amateur sleuth, discovers a body in the library—and a mystery to baffle even her famous employer...
Tucked away among Devon's rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses...
The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha's Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor...
A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense--and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands--along with a distracted, anxious staff--but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered--this time, one of her housemaids--Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot's footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans' guests is the killer. With help from the village's handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida's wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end...
“Cambridge pens a thoroughly intriguing mystery, told in a unique manner from the perspective of the staff belowstairs rather than the upper class above, in this splendid first installment in a new series. Her heroine, Phyllida Bright, is the confident, shrewd, and eminently capable housekeeper for none other than the grand dame of mystery herself—Agatha Christie—and a great admirer of Christie’s fictional detective Poirot, whose methods she seeks to emulate. Fans of Tessa Arlen and Jennifer Ashley will be delighted.” —Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Verity Kent Mysteries
"Marple and Poirot have nothing on Agatha Christie's housekeeper, Phyllida Bright. Details and diligence being the tools of her trade, Phyllida puts them to good use whether she's arranging a country house party for her employers, or determining which of the guests is a crazed killer. You'll love this new Christie-inspired series!" —Alyssa Maxwell, author of A Lady & Lady's Maid Mysteries and The Gilded Newport Mysteries
“What if Agatha Christie’s housekeeper was the best detective of all? In this delightful book, she is! You will love watching Phyllida spot the clues the authorities miss when a dead body shows up in Agatha’s library. An outstanding start to what promises to be a winning new series.” —Victoria Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Murder on Wall Street
“Agatha Christie’s indomitable and mysterious housekeeper Phyllida Bright takes on a killer in this exciting new series from Colleen Cambridge. Fans of historical mysteries—and Christie herself—will love this well-imagined homage, and the clever twists and numerous suspects will keep readers on their toes. I’m already looking forward to Phyllida’s next adventure!" —Erica Ruth Neubauer, author of the Jane Wunderly mystery series
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 92 members
From the fascinating cover to the last word, Murder at Mallowen Hall never ceases to delight. With well researched customs of the time, the reader is drawn into the everyday lives of the staff who must be seen and not heard. Aptly named Mrs. Bright, the housekeeper of Mallowen Hall, home of the famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, is a sleuth in her own right. When two murders are committed during a weekend getaway, the very capable Mrs. Bright analyzes which of the aristocratic guests had the motive and the means. She follows the clues as would her beloved hero Hercule Poirot, and much to the dismay of the bumbling and skeptical constabulary, solves the mystery of both deaths. I am anxiously anticipating the return of Mrs. Bright in the next installment in the series.
Set in 1933 at the country house of Agatha Christie and her second husband, Max, this delightful and very entertaining whodunit (the first in a new series) brings together a delicious and very colorful cast of characters, chief among them being Phyllidia Bright, Ms. Christie's principal housekeeper and a former WWI nurse whose admiration and devotion to the sleuthing achievements of Hercule Poirot will compel her to determinedly and successfully resolve a couple of brutal murders during the stay of some of her employer's friends. I greatly enjoyed the sparkling dialogues throughout the story and the impeccable "upstairs, downstairs" atmosphere of the perfect English manor house while following Phyllidia navigate the threatening waters of sexual lust, hidden lies and petty blackmail, and bring her brilliantly orchestrated investigation to a satisfying conclusion. A charming and often humorous new series assured to find a keen and devoted readership in the near future! Many thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for this wonderful ARC
1930s, England, law-enforcement, murder, murder-investigation, relationships, situational-humor, cosy-mystery, domestic-staff***** I really like Phyllida Bright and her way of looking at information and using (un)common sense and a thorough knowledge of the household, staff, and guests to work out the puzzle of the murder. She is aware that she has knowledge that the constabulary can't possibly know but is also vain enough to climax with an *Agatha Christie finish*. The publisher's blurb is a good one as it lays the foundation for enjoying the plot. The household characters are very well presented, the guests are done well enough, and the constabulary are fairly depicted as irritated by the civilian but not dumb enough to disregard the information. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely read any others as they come along! I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!