Grace Sees Red
A Manor House Mystery, Book #7
By Julie Hyzy
Author Website: Juliehyzy.com
Grace Wheaton, curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, and her benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, are discussing how to help her roommates Bruce and Scott with their wine shop troubles when Grace’s trusted—if testy—assistant, Frances, calls, saying she needs some assistance of her own. Arriving at the address Frances has given them, they find a coroner’s van and police cars parked outside an upscale assisted-living facility called Indwell.
One of the elderly residents has been found dead under suspicious circumstances, and Frances, seen arguing with the man earlier that day, is now a person of interest. It’s up to Grace to clear her assistant’s name and find the real killer—before another Indwell resident checks out early…(Goodreads)
Grace Sees Red is a fantastic addition to the Manor House Mysteries. If you aren’t already reading this series, you should be! Get your hands on these books – pronto.
Readers finally find out what Grace’s bristly assistant Frances does with herself on the weekends in Grace Sees Red, and it is a bit of a surprise. There has been a death at Indwell Estates, a nearby assisted living complex, and Frances calls upon Grace and Bennett to help. Even though he has health problems, Gus Westburg’s death is unexpected, and one of the nurses calls foul play. It looks like Gus received an overdose of insulin (he is not diabetic). It is no secret that Frances argued with Gus the morning of his demise, and she has access to insulin pens, pens that have her fingerprints all over them. So it is no surprise that the local police name her the prime suspect. Grace knows in her heart that loyal Frances did not commit the crime, and she sets out to find the truth and clear Frances’s name. In addition to Frances’s troubles, Grace’s roommates Scott and Bruce are facing a problem of their own, one that could mean the end of their business Amethyst Cellars. Grace is also trying to adjust her relationship with Bennett being public knowledge and all the responsibility that that relationship brings.
I am a huge fan of the Manor House Mystery series. Julie Hyzy has penned some of the smartest cozy mysteries out there. Her writing style is smooth with descriptions of the characters and surroundings that allow the reader to vividly envision the story precisely as she sees it. With seven books to date in the series, I am quite invested in the characters. They are expertly executed and realistically complex. You will not find any caricatures within these pages. Their personalities and abilities are varied, each with flaws that make them all the more realistic. I enjoy the evolution of Grace and Bennett’s relationship, as well as Frances’s warming to her boss. In addition to revelations about Frances, we learn a bit more about Tooney and see more of coroner Dr. Joe Bradley. Bradley seems like a worthy addition to the regular cast of characters, and I look forward to his and Grace’s budding relationship.
Grace Sees Red takes place mostly away from Marshfield Manor, and though I miss the familiarity of the locale, Indwell is fresh and full of interesting characters central to the mystery. The mystery is solid. The cause of death is unique, and Hyzy gets the details of insulin right (wrong information about diabetes is a huge pet peeve of mine). Everyone related to the case, be they Gus’s children, friend, or facility staff, all bring something to the case. Each of their motives is viable, and, like Grace, I thought I had it figured out…until the next clue is revealed. The climax is suspenseful and fraught with danger.
Grace Sees Red is one of the best books I have read this year, and I highly recommend it to any mystery reader.