Murder at Elm House (Miss Underhay #6) by Helena Dixon
Published June 7th 2021 by Bookouture
About the Book: Kitty Underhay feels the touch… of death.
1934. Accidental amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay is being escorted by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant on an errand of mercy, as she takes a basket of grapes to her nemesis Mrs Craven, who is recuperating from a recent operation. But their arrival at Elm House Nursing Home coincides with the mysterious death of Lady Wellings, a long-term resident.
The woman was known to be ill, so when the police turn a disinterested ear to Mrs Craven’s suspicion that Lady Wellings was poisoned, Kitty decides to look into the case herself. And when another invalid, the gentle Mrs Pearson, collapses fatally in the breakfast room, it seems her suspicions are well-founded. For an institution promising health and rejuvenation, there seems to be a very low survival rate amongst the guests!
When the nurse Eloise Hibbert hints at sinister goings on among the staff, Kitty arranges to meet her away from the home to uncover how deep the treachery lies. However, before she can make the rendezvous, Eloise meets an unfortunate end falling from the top of the building. Was she pushed by the hand of fate, or a cold-blooded killer?
Meanwhile, Matt has been following an entirely different trail of evidence, and what he finds out chills him to the bone. When Kitty fails to return from her unsuccessful meeting, it is clear she has stumbled onto a plot far more devious than they could have imagined, and into a trap laid by an unscrupulous killer…
An utterly sensational and addictive Golden Age murder mystery. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the second Miss Underhay Mystery I have read and I am really enjoying them. Helena Dixon has penned an enjoyable, entertaining Historical, Cozy Mystery series. I do plan to go back and read the ones I missed as I would like to know more about her meeting and relationship with Matt. In this story, a friend of her grandmother’s, Mrs. Craven is concerned about what she considers, suspicious deaths at Elm House where she is recuperating after foot surgery. She is also sure that people are coming to the home in the night and leaving in the morning and doing past her room, but she is not sure where they are going or why they are there. She asks Matt, a private investigator, to see what he can find out, and of course Kitty is going to get involved. As well, the search for Ezekial Hammet, the man suspected of killing Kitty’s mother is still going on and when both Matt’s home and the Hotel that is owned by Kitty’s family are broken into, they suspect ties to him. With everything happening, is Kitty putting herself or others in danger?
I really like Kitty, she is spunky, independent, smart and tenacious. I love that she is learning to drive, something that is not common for women in the 1930s. Her frustration as it seems to take so long was a hoot. Kitty and Matt make a wonderful couple and I hope their relationship becomes more serious as the series continues. Matt is also smart and does not treat Kitty as a helpless female. He is the one who bought her the car. He cares very much for her and encourages her to help in this investigation, but he worries for her safety. Mrs. Craven is also a great character. She is a staid, widow with some money. She has some old fashioned ideas about women, which made me smile as often as they made Kitty roll her eyes. The mystery was well written and plotted, with plenty of clues, suspicious characters and red herrings to keep you guessing. Will Matt be able to keep Kitty safe whilst they continue to investigate all that is happening? This is a great addition to the series, that kept me guessing, even though I was sure, several times, that I knew what was going on. I recommend this book and series to those who enjoy a good cozy mystery, especially if you like Historical ones. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.