Death Comes to Bath
Kurland St. Mary Mystery #6
By Catherine Lloyd
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
On a visit to Bath, Major Sir Robert Kurland and Lady Lucy Kurland discover that the English spa town is not beneficial to everyone’s health . . .
After Sir Robert’s injury from the battle of Waterloo begins troubling him again, his wife Lucy insists they relocate from the village of Kurland St. Mary to Bath, along with her sister Anna, so that Robert can take the waters and recover.
At the Roman baths, Robert befriends an elderly and pugnacious businessman, Sir William Benson, ennobled by the Crown for his service to industry. Their acquaintance is short-lived, however, when the man is found drowned in the baths. Robert vows to find his killer, with Lucy’s aid.
The members of Sir William’s family seem the most obvious suspects to benefit from the wealthy man’s death, but his will has gone missing. To deduce who sent Sir William to a watery grave, Robert and Lucy must investigate with the utmost discretion—before they too find themselves in over their heads . . . . (Goodreads)
I really enjoyed Death Comes to Bath, the sixth installment in the Kurland St. Mary mystery series. Full of period detail, strong characters, and a solid murder mystery, it provides a delightful reading oasis.
When Sir Robert’s war injury flares up, Dr. Fletcher and Lady Lucy Kurland make arrangements to spend a few months in Bath to partake of the healing waters. Shortly after their arrival, Sir Robert develops a somewhat unlikely friendship with Sir William Benson who is renting the home next door. When Sir William dies, Robert and Lucy cannot help but suspect that his death was anything but natural. Benson’s contentious relationship with his wife, children, and step-children lead to them all being viable suspects. Robert and Lucy, with Dr. Fletcher’s assistance, cull through the clues to find justice for their new friend.
All of the principle recurring characters, including Robert, Lucy, Dr. Fletcher, Lucy’s sister Anna, and butler Foley, are all well drawn and appealing. I particularly like Robert and Dr. Fletcher; their friendship rings true, as does Robert’s and Lucy’s. The book is full of intelligent, responsible characters that are believable. Dr. Fletcher’s wife Penelope is a bit over-the-top yet readers may forgive her unpleasantness. With the exception of Sir Williams’ youngest son Peregrine, all of the Bensons are disagreeable, and at any point in the tale are each the prime suspect.
The mystery is well plotted and executed. There are enough red herrings and viable motives to keep readers guessing. I confess that I did suspect whodunit about midway through the book, but this did not diminish my enjoyment at all. The writing style reflects the Regency Era, and the period details fully immersed me in the story.
I look forward to reading many more mysteries featuring the Kurlands. I recommend Death Comes to Bath to any reader who enjoys strong characters, believable situations, and a historical setting.