Title: Grace Under Pressure (A Manor House Mystery #1)
Author: Julie Hyzy
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publish Date: June 2010
Personal Rating: 4 Stars
About the Book:
Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, but now it's up to a new curator Grace Wheaton and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers to protect dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets-and sour grapes out for revenge.
I have absolutely loved Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mysteries. See my reviews here. When I saw she had another series written at an art museum, I wasn’t so sure about the setting, but I gave it a try anyways. I am very glad I did, this was a great start to the series.
I love how the author create characters who are involved in the crime, but also other things that are going on in the story. She is able to weave a story around the crime involving personal relationships and previous history that also gets you wondering. There is also a little bit of romance, but not enough to distract from the fact that it is a cozy mystery.
I love the setting and the small town. I definitely feel like I could find a place similar if I looked hard enough, however, the author does not bog you down with details when trying to describe how everything looks and comes together.
Grace is a great amateur sleuth. She is also new to her job and wanting to move up with the museum. She is an outsider because it is a small town which also hinders her slightly while trying to investigate the crime. My favorite characters are Scott and Bruce who are Grace’s roommates and have their own small business in town and are trying to get by. All three are great friends and help create additional sideline stories in addition to the mystery.
A great start to the series and I will definitely continue on with book two, excited to get that as soon as I can. If you love a cozy mystery or a great story with amazing characters, I would highly recommend reading Julie Hyzy’s books.