As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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‘A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall’ by Hannah Dennison
Published by Minotaur Books, 31 August
2016. ISBN: 978-1-250-06550-6
Antique dealer Kat
Stanford is summoned to Honeychurch Hall by Rupert 15th Earl of Grenville, to value a painting
to sell to repair the Elizabethan ceiling in the Tudor wing.But proceedings are halted by the Dowager
Countess Lady Edith who says the painting is of one of their ancestors who
saved the Hall from being razed to the ground in the English Civil War. Show
her the Hollar drawings, she says. They might do. End of discussion.
Removing the Hollar drawings
from the wall revealed a secret recess which in turn revealed the remains of a
woman and some coin-minting tools, but no coins.
The body is dated ca 1950’s, a
period when Kat’s mother Iris’s was frequently at the Hall and, it transpires
knew the victim. Iris has a somewhat murky background: she claimes to her
daughter, to have been adopted by a travelling fairground and spent her life on
the road. Kat’s father remains a mystery.Also currently out of prison and acting as groom to the Honeychurch Hall
horses is Alfred, Iris’s stepbrother.
Investigating the murder is
Detective Inspector Shawn Cropper. It would appear that the victim left, or as
we now surmise,went missing during a
ball at the summer fair at Honeychurch Hall in 1958.Many of the attendees of the ball are still
around and are augmented by lothario Bryan Laney, who was a beau of Iris’s,
(although he did not restrict his ardour to her), and before long Shawn Cropper
has more suspects than he can shake a stick at.
This is a marvellously
intriguing village mystery. A large cast of fascinating characters, some
terrific lines, and many surprises.Most
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett
Hannah Dennison was
born and raised in Hampshire, but on leaving school landed a job as an obituary
writer/amateur dramatic reviewer for a Devon newspaper. Hannah is the author of
the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries and the Vicky Hill Mysteries, both set in Devon,
England. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight
attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Hannah originally moved to Los Angeles
from England to pursue screenwriting and now lives in Portland, Oregon with her
husband and their cat. She continues to teach mystery writing at the UCLA
Extension Writers' Program and still works for a west coast advertising agency.
Hannah is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, The Crime
Writers Association, Mystery People, The Historic Houses Association, the
National Trust and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. She
enjoys hiking, horseback riding, skiing, theater and seriously good chocolate.