A Death in the Family (Larch Detective Agency #1)


During a themed New Year’s soiree, Annabel yearns for champagne, murder and mystery. The thought is barely born when her Aunt Gwen topples from the second story with a knife protruding from her body. Isaac Pennington, a trusted friend of her aunt’s and Annabel’s deepest desire, is close by for comfort, but so is her Aunt Gwen’s ghost whose last wish is for Annabel to find her killer.

“A Death in the Family” touches the brilliance of the 1920’s, with its eclectic mix of wealth, pomp and the seedy, contrasting edges of England. Twenty-six-year-old Annabel works her way through the clues with the help of Isaac. Romance mixes with sleuthing as the two main characters fall in love. It has the ingredients to be a quirky, fun read, but missed the mark with grammatical errors, pronoun problems and a watered-down mystery with a truly farfetched ending that had zero foreshadowing. Mystery lovers love bread crumbs. They thrive on the definitive direction and a red herring or two, but the bounding leaps in this novel didn’t give the story much depth. The oddly inserted plot points have no bearing and are never heard of again - as when the coroner confesses a long time relationship with her dead aunt at the strangest time. What was the reason for this? 

This story has a huge opportunity to shine if polished, edited by a professional and carefully reviewed to pare it down and connect the dots.

Sloane Austen