She Shoots to Conquer
By Dorothy Cannell
Minotuar Books, 2009. 294 pgs. Mystery
In a new British reality show, aspiring brides/contestants are being trained in the art of archery with a hope of hitting the bull’s eye—the prize being a bridal bouquet. The contestants want not only a title, but the chance to renovate the grand and dilapidated old home of Lord Belfrey, the stately Mucklesfeld Manor. Where the contestants aren’t necessarily young and beautiful, the madcap adventures are plenty. But wait, Ellie Haskell finds herself on the scene and that means murder’s afoot. A contestant winds up dead and the question is ‘who dunnit this time?’--one of the oddly decrepit staff, the mysterious Lord, or his vengeful auntie? When Ellie's faithful sidekick and housekeeper takes the murdered contestant's place as a bridal potential, Ellie must solve the mystery herself.
A nice cozy, although I found the characters a bit too caricatured but grew fonder of them as the story progressed. Even the dialogue was somewhat irritating with its continuous asides, yet seemed smoother midway through—either the writing improved or I gained new appreciation…either way a bonus. Should appeal to fans of the “Aunt Dimity” series.