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Grace Under Pressure

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From the author of the successful White House Chef mysteries. 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 so From the author of the successful White House Chef mysteries. 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.


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From the author of the successful White House Chef mysteries. 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 so From the author of the successful White House Chef mysteries. 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.

30 review for Grace Under Pressure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Myhotstylist

    one word: WOW If ever you wanted to read a true to life cozy mystery, you will find it with in the pages of this fast paced engaging little gem of a book. I was hooked after the first page, and could not put it down. This was a well plotted mystery, with no sex or curse words, surrounded by a beautiful setting within the walls of an old mansion. It kept my attention, and had me guessing up to the final reveal. This is my first book by Julie Hyzy, and she is now at the top of my favorite authors l one word: WOW If ever you wanted to read a true to life cozy mystery, you will find it with in the pages of this fast paced engaging little gem of a book. I was hooked after the first page, and could not put it down. This was a well plotted mystery, with no sex or curse words, surrounded by a beautiful setting within the walls of an old mansion. It kept my attention, and had me guessing up to the final reveal. This is my first book by Julie Hyzy, and she is now at the top of my favorite authors list. Im definitely hoping for a sequel. The book opens with an action scene from the "bird room" at the Marshfield Manson, where our lead character, Grace is on staff as assistant curator. During the distraction, her boss is found murdered in an upstairs room. Now as acting-curator, Grace has agreed to help sort out this mess to prove herself to the mansion owner, Bennett Marshfield. Within the walls are antique artifacts, beautiful grounds, and a busy-body groutchy assistant, Grace ends up uncovering family secrets, hidden rooms, and a scam artist fast at work, all while trying to figure out who the killer is really after..... This was an exciting, fun little book, and I cant seem to give it enough praise. There were plenty of plot twists and the setups were done flawlessly. Definitely worth reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bird

    First off, I thought the sleuth was going to be an elderly woman (partly because the blurb made it sound that way, and partly because the name "Grace Wheaton" conjures up an image of a kindly grandmother), so I was surprised that she was actually young. This threw me off a bit in the beginning, and it took me awhile to get adjusted. Cozies usually have a strong sense of place, which I found lacking in this book. The side characters weren't very interesting, either, and some seemed pretty pointles First off, I thought the sleuth was going to be an elderly woman (partly because the blurb made it sound that way, and partly because the name "Grace Wheaton" conjures up an image of a kindly grandmother), so I was surprised that she was actually young. This threw me off a bit in the beginning, and it took me awhile to get adjusted. Cozies usually have a strong sense of place, which I found lacking in this book. The side characters weren't very interesting, either, and some seemed pretty pointless (why, exactly, did Grace need to have two roommates?). Also, Grace's reasons for sleuthing, and the fact that the detectives involved seemed semi-supportive of it, didn't ring true. But what really bothered me (and what I say at the risk of sounding like an idiot) is that the crime didn't really make sense to me. I browsed through some of the reviews, and no other readers seemed to have the same issues that I did. So either I really missed the boat on this one, or I just spent too much time dissecting the storyline. (view spoiler)[My first complaint is that in all of Grace's sleuthing, not much attention is given to the maid until the very end of the story, and the maid's husband plays no part in the book until the climactic scene at the end. This makes it seem like the rest of the book was almost pointless, since few clues are ever discovered that point to the killer's identity. I like to be surprised when reading mysteries, but I also like to feel like things fit together at the end and I wasn't completely blindsided. Then there's the Ponzi scheme. I truly don't understand how this fits into the story. The maid's husband loses money in a certain Ponzi scheme, whose only connection to the story is that the owner of the manor testifies against the schemer. What does it matter that the maid's husband lost it in this particular manner? Is it just so that Grace can find his name while going through the Ponzi scheme files? And why was she so sure that one of those people was responsible anyway, since Bennett had nothing to do with all of that lost money? And I'm completely unclear about what really happened when Abe got killed. Did the maid's husband intended to kill Bennett and got the wrong person? Or did he shoot Abe to scare Bennett into taking the threatening letters more seriously? Or was he just trying to steal that very valuable egg-thing, and Abe happened to be in the room, thus resulting in him being shot inadvertently? None of this is explained, and I find that frustrating and confusing. Finally, why is Bennett being sent threatening letters in the first place? He's testifying AGAINST the Ponzi scheme guy, so he's in no way responsible for the maid's husband losing all his money. Is it just because Bennett's the richest guy the husband knows? Again, this is never explained. (hide spoiler)] Most cozies have a generic scene at the end where the killer confesses how/why he did everything. It can be pretty formulaic, but it at least clears up any lingering questions about the crime. Since this book didn't have any such scene, I'm left stewing over unanswered questions. This is a one-star read for me. I won't be continuing with the series, even though the second book sounded interesting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annie ⚜️

    This was an unexpected surprise. I love a "cozy mystery" every once in a while and I was in the mood. This one happened to be available at a local library. It was SO good. I make allowances for these because they're fun and sweet but, usually, not the best writing or story. This one jumps right in with a crazy opening and just kept going. I loved her house, her job, her roommates, the town. I often find with this type of book that the heroine tends to do a lot of incredibly stupid things. Not th This was an unexpected surprise. I love a "cozy mystery" every once in a while and I was in the mood. This one happened to be available at a local library. It was SO good. I make allowances for these because they're fun and sweet but, usually, not the best writing or story. This one jumps right in with a crazy opening and just kept going. I loved her house, her job, her roommates, the town. I often find with this type of book that the heroine tends to do a lot of incredibly stupid things. Not this one. I liked Grace, she was smart and tough and you got the sense that she wasn't the type to sit around feeling sorry for herself. There's a lot set up for future stories too. PS - This is the first one I've read with no recipes at the end!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I wish I could give a 2.5. The first 100 pages or so of this book are soooo slow and boring. I only forged ahead because I hate quitting on books. The second half of the book picked up and was much better but it took a lot of effort to make myself get there. I also thought that the main character, Grace, was somewhat unlikeable- her boss is murdered in cold blood and basically the very next day she is appointing herself as his replacement and taking over his office. Meanwhile no one has told her I wish I could give a 2.5. The first 100 pages or so of this book are soooo slow and boring. I only forged ahead because I hate quitting on books. The second half of the book picked up and was much better but it took a lot of effort to make myself get there. I also thought that the main character, Grace, was somewhat unlikeable- her boss is murdered in cold blood and basically the very next day she is appointing herself as his replacement and taking over his office. Meanwhile no one has told her she could do this, and she is BRAND NEW to working at the Manor. She's just taking advantage of the confusion after the murder and trying to get ahead. That was a little grating and didn't endear me to her very much. Other than that the book was decent, but it has nothing on the White House series from this same author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I tried to like this, really, I did. It sounded right up my alley but it just didn't grab me and I did not finish it. The characters in this did not engage me. They were either dull or unpleasant and I did not feel a connection to any of them. I find it hard to like a book where none of the characters are people I can feel a connection to. Also, the story felt slow-moving and flat to me. Even though the murder happens right at the start, everything that comes next is S-L-O-W. Also, things felt cli I tried to like this, really, I did. It sounded right up my alley but it just didn't grab me and I did not finish it. The characters in this did not engage me. They were either dull or unpleasant and I did not feel a connection to any of them. I find it hard to like a book where none of the characters are people I can feel a connection to. Also, the story felt slow-moving and flat to me. Even though the murder happens right at the start, everything that comes next is S-L-O-W. Also, things felt cliched. Grace is presented as underestimated and not taken seriously, the cops come across as bullies and not so bright, the millionaire boss is obtuse, the secretary is a gossipy snot. I just felt like everyone in this was a cliche. Finally, I was hoping for more about the living and working in a mansion and what that was like and that wasn't really there. I got as far as Chapter 10 and at that point I just wasn't into this at all, so I gave up and sent it back to the library. This one wasn't for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    After falling in love with Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series featuring Olivia Parras, it didn't take long to become hooked on the Manor of Murder Mysteries, and the main character, Grace Wheaton! Grace becomes assistant curator at the famous Marshfield Manor after returning to Emberstowne, the home of her birth, to take care of her dying mother. While Grace's mom and aunt had grown up in Emberstowne, grace and her sister had moved away to Chicago at a very young age with their parents, and th After falling in love with Julie Hyzy's White House Chef series featuring Olivia Parras, it didn't take long to become hooked on the Manor of Murder Mysteries, and the main character, Grace Wheaton! Grace becomes assistant curator at the famous Marshfield Manor after returning to Emberstowne, the home of her birth, to take care of her dying mother. While Grace's mom and aunt had grown up in Emberstowne, grace and her sister had moved away to Chicago at a very young age with their parents, and then Grace, after finishing college had moved on to take a job in New York. This homecoming is bittersweet for Grace, as she is faced with great personal loss and must pick up the pieces in her life. Marshfield Manor has always held a special place in her family's hearts and it seems natural to take a job there, especially since her grandmother had held a position at the manor many years prior to Grace's birth. Shortly after taking the job at Marshfield Manor, a horrible murder occurs, and Grace suddenly finds herself promoted to curator of the manner, a move that in some ways points the finger to her for the murder. Grace must grapple with the changes at the manor, while coaching her roommates, and owners of Amethyst Wines, a wine shop in town, through their own crisis. As she delves deeper into the murder mystery, she finds that the manor and its people hold plenty of secrets, but will she get to the bottom of things before it is too late? I loved this book so much, that I had to keep going, and read the next book in the series, "Grace Interrupted" right after finishing this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    As much as I love my romances, I do have a soft spot for really good Cozy Mysteries. Now, when the two genres mix it up, I'm all over it. When I found out that Grace Under Pressure wasn't only a Cozy, but that it also contained a little romance, I really couldn't wait to read it. The opening scene really pulled me in and was a great introduction to our main character Grace Wheaton and Marshfield Manor, the grand estate where she works as a curator. The scene was a perfect set-up for showing Grace As much as I love my romances, I do have a soft spot for really good Cozy Mysteries. Now, when the two genres mix it up, I'm all over it. When I found out that Grace Under Pressure wasn't only a Cozy, but that it also contained a little romance, I really couldn't wait to read it. The opening scene really pulled me in and was a great introduction to our main character Grace Wheaton and Marshfield Manor, the grand estate where she works as a curator. The scene was a perfect set-up for showing Grace's character and also a little slice of info on the estate. Julie did a wonderful job tying what were seemingly random events together to create a tangled web of a mystery for Grace to solve. I loved how Julie expertly placed small nuggets of information that would pop up again as major clues and also the red herons she throws in along the way keep you guessing. While there is just a hint of romance in this book, I found the growing relationship between Grace and Jack to be extremely interesting and I really want to read the next book to see how it develops. There is a hint of mystery surronding Jack and it not only intriques Grace, it does me too! A well-written twist of a mystery, Grace Under Pressure was a satisfying cozy that already has me ready for the next in the series. Cozy fans will find much to love about this book and will appreciate some of the larger plot points that will come as a complete surprise.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Already a Julie Hyzy fan, it was a pleasure to read her other series, equally as light fare as the White House Chef books and filled with as much fast-paced action. As I mentioned in the other series' reviews, these are not heavy books to expand the mind, but more to entertain and provide some character development. The opening book of this series does just that, letting us into the world of old money, antiques, and a quirky main character who finds herself in the middle of murder. That said, I Already a Julie Hyzy fan, it was a pleasure to read her other series, equally as light fare as the White House Chef books and filled with as much fast-paced action. As I mentioned in the other series' reviews, these are not heavy books to expand the mind, but more to entertain and provide some character development. The opening book of this series does just that, letting us into the world of old money, antiques, and a quirky main character who finds herself in the middle of murder. That said, I find this character and setting much more... well-fitted to crime solving than Ollie the Chef. As assistant curator, we see our main character at the helm of the crime that occurs inside the museum/manor. She is in charge of all staff and doing her part to vet them for suspicious activity. This makes sense and Hyzy lays the groundwork for it by placing her character in such a position. This is not to dismiss the White House Chef series at all, but simply something to note. Within this book, the dialogue is not overly cumbersome or even silly. It helps the book flow very well and matches well with the characters found therein. Hyzy has a knack for really getting to the root of her characters and presents them in such a way as to bring them to life off the page. Kudos, Madam Hyzy. Another good series to recommend and enjoy!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gale Wilkinson

    Great new series. Great read. I could not put it down. Loved the characters and the plot.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    It wasn’t until I’d finished reading Grace Under Pressure that I realized how apt the title is. The protagonist, Grace, takes “not buckling under pressure” to whole new heights! It’s a likeable trait in a main character, and it’s largely what I liked about this first installment in the Manor House mystery series – it’s not really your classic detective novel with well-paced investigation, but it’s fascinating watching Grace handling the numerous tasks she has as curator of Marshfield Manor while It wasn’t until I’d finished reading Grace Under Pressure that I realized how apt the title is. The protagonist, Grace, takes “not buckling under pressure” to whole new heights! It’s a likeable trait in a main character, and it’s largely what I liked about this first installment in the Manor House mystery series – it’s not really your classic detective novel with well-paced investigation, but it’s fascinating watching Grace handling the numerous tasks she has as curator of Marshfield Manor while juggling her investigation into Abe’s death on top of family matters. Readers of amateur detective novels who’ve tired of the bumbling, clueless protagonist will probably enjoy reading about Grace, who is a marvel of patience, diplomacy and epic management skills. Like the title, there’s no name more apt for this character. As for the actual mystery, it originally appeared to be a “simple” case of murder – the curator of Marshfield Manor, Abe, has been shot, which is what catapults Grace from being an assistant curator in her probation period to acting curator. The murder, however, is connected to a much bigger case where hundreds of people were scammed out of their money. In the midst of all this chaos is Grace’s realization that she might have deeper ties to the Marshfield family than she’d previously thought, as well as problems with crazy hotel guests and catty staff members. There certainly isn’t a single quiet moment in this book, but I rather enjoy the constant action. I did think that the reasoning behind the murderer’s actions could have been clearer, however. (view spoiler)[For example, how does Taft’s scamming and the victims’ anger at him link to Bennett Marshfield? Wasn’t Bennett the one who had turned Taft in and testified about his actions in court to bring him to justice? Grace reasoned that angry victims then turned their attention to Bennett, since they could not get to Taft, but just doesn’t make any sense to me. (hide spoiler)] I don’t know whether I missed something or whether there’s a hole in that logic somewhere. Either way, I wasn’t overly bothered by it, and enjoyed everything else about the book. For those who like their romance, there is also a potential love interest for Grace in Jack Embers, the contract landscaper. Worth a read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Another great book from Julie Hyzy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I could never really get into this one. I love her White House Chef series so I think I will stick to that series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This book was just okay for me, not bad not great. Francis made my eyes roll a lot in total irritation. I might or might not read the next book in the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the first book in the manor house series. Grace is assistant curator at Marshfield Manor. The head curator is killed and Grace steps in as head curator. I really liked this book. I thought Grace was very likeable and interesting. I look forward to reading more in this series. Read for Kimberly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ChrisQ

    Reread to refresh my memory before starting the 5th book. Solid mystery. Onwards...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Solid cozy mystery — but I realized I really prefer a little magic in my cozies so it fell short for me. I did enjoy the setting and the way she left a lot up to the next book, so you have more to discover about the characters. It’s well balanced between action and explanation which can be a tough line to walk for a first in a cozy series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ronna

    I adore Julie Hyzy's White House Chef Mysteries, then I saw that she has her first in a new series out in Audio books, so I gave it a try. This series is just as interesting and was fun to listen to also! Grace is a new assistant curator at (fictional) Marshfield Manor. Her family is from this area and she had spent many happy days here as a child. Unfortunately, a disturbed guest causing a huge scene and then a murder, causes Grace to have to start off her job with much more involvement than she I adore Julie Hyzy's White House Chef Mysteries, then I saw that she has her first in a new series out in Audio books, so I gave it a try. This series is just as interesting and was fun to listen to also! Grace is a new assistant curator at (fictional) Marshfield Manor. Her family is from this area and she had spent many happy days here as a child. Unfortunately, a disturbed guest causing a huge scene and then a murder, causes Grace to have to start off her job with much more involvement than she had anticipated. Her gossipy nosey assistant, Frances, seems to know everything about everybody, but she's obviously no fan of Grace. But the hunky gardener , Jack, is considerably nicer. She's helped in stepping in to help protect the rich owner from danger by her two roommates in the beautiful but decaying mansion that her grandmother has left to her. This mystery has lots of interesting details involving curating in an old mansion. All the different rooms and secrets are especially fascinating --I love old houses and secret rooms. The characters are intensely created with great flaws and creative personalities--some you love and some you love to hate. Hyzy has created another fun cozy series for sure. The narrator for the audio book is wonderful--creating voices distinct for every character. Definite winner!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grey853

    This is the first in a Manor of Murder mystery series by the same author who does the White House Chef series. There are strong similarities in the two female protagonists, so even if I hadn't seen the author's name, I'd suspect it. Grace Wheaton has always loved the manor and now she's the assistant curator for the historical attraction. When the curator is murdered, she gets an abrupt promotion and has to take over quickly. While she's very competent, as is Ollie in the White House Chef series, This is the first in a Manor of Murder mystery series by the same author who does the White House Chef series. There are strong similarities in the two female protagonists, so even if I hadn't seen the author's name, I'd suspect it. Grace Wheaton has always loved the manor and now she's the assistant curator for the historical attraction. When the curator is murdered, she gets an abrupt promotion and has to take over quickly. While she's very competent, as is Ollie in the White House Chef series, she puts up with a lot of insubordinate behavior from her assistant. For me that's the weakest part of both series. It might be my own bias, but I can't imagine being in charge of something so important and have someone talk to me the way these people do to Ollie and Grace. I don't care how well they did their jobs otherwise. If anyone spoke to me or acted the way they did, they'd be pink-slipped after the first warning. That said, I did like Grace and I loved her obvious dedication to her job. I also enjoyed her relationship with her roommates. I hope that's developed in later books. There's a lot of background on the manor and the beginning's a bit slow, but I did enjoy the book as a whole and look forward to the next book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Grace Wheaton’s lifelong dream has been to work at Marshfield Manor, the estate of millionaire Bennett Marshfield. Having returned to Emberstowne from New York to care for her dying mother, Grace is now the owner of a dilapidated “painted lady” Victorian and still on probation at her new job as assistant curator of the historic mansion. When curator and estate director Abe Vargas is murdered however, suddenly the new employee is tasked with organizing the mansion staff. And she also takes on som Grace Wheaton’s lifelong dream has been to work at Marshfield Manor, the estate of millionaire Bennett Marshfield. Having returned to Emberstowne from New York to care for her dying mother, Grace is now the owner of a dilapidated “painted lady” Victorian and still on probation at her new job as assistant curator of the historic mansion. When curator and estate director Abe Vargas is murdered however, suddenly the new employee is tasked with organizing the mansion staff. And she also takes on some private sleuthing to help the police with the investigation. This is a decent cozy mystery (first in a series). Grace is a likeable character – intelligent, resourceful, tenacious, and methodical. She does take a few unnecessary chances and doesn’t always recognize the dangerous situations she encounters until it is nearly too late. At least she gets herself out of any jams, rather than rely on a strong, handsome man to rescue her. There’s a hint of a developing romance, but that’s all it is, a hint. There are also stories relating to her family background and her contentious relationship with her sister that are bound to be further explored as the series continues.

  20. 5 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    Grace Wheaton, the assistant curator at the 150-room Marshfield Manor filled with priceless art in Julie Hyzy's Grace under Pressure, has just finished dealing with a troublemaker in an issue that required the use of all the security guards when a message comes over the radio that shots have been fired in Bennett Marshfield's office. Rushing up there along with Marshfield, Grace discovers that the curator, Abe Vargas, has been shot. Learning that Abe was scheduled to meet with Marshfield over a Grace Wheaton, the assistant curator at the 150-room Marshfield Manor filled with priceless art in Julie Hyzy's Grace under Pressure, has just finished dealing with a troublemaker in an issue that required the use of all the security guards when a message comes over the radio that shots have been fired in Bennett Marshfield's office. Rushing up there along with Marshfield, Grace discovers that the curator, Abe Vargas, has been shot. Learning that Abe was scheduled to meet with Marshfield over a threatening letter, Grace suspects that he has been killed in mistake for Marshfield, probably by the letter writer. Then, Grace learns that Marshfield testified that morning against Taft, a man who scammed thousands of people in a giant Ponzi scheme and against which Marshfield blew the whistle. So could one of his victims, who blame Marshfield for the loss of their money, have gone after him when the perpetrator is in jail and inaccessible? Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    Very slow start that got a bit better, but still it was almost all set-up, and little action. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters to the extent that when a couple of previously minor characters turned out to be important players later on, I had no idea who the heck they were! Her gay roommates were presented a bit awkwardly I thought, as though the author were trying to make them "fun" but not stereotypically flamboyant, so they were just sort of ... there. A secondary plot regardi Very slow start that got a bit better, but still it was almost all set-up, and little action. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters to the extent that when a couple of previously minor characters turned out to be important players later on, I had no idea who the heck they were! Her gay roommates were presented a bit awkwardly I thought, as though the author were trying to make them "fun" but not stereotypically flamboyant, so they were just sort of ... there. A secondary plot regarding a scam artist was very poorly done; the victims came across as Too Stupid to Live, and the perp would've been caught in real life fairly quickly, although I didn't see exactly what "crimes" she'd committed exactly? So ... would I read the next one? Maybe, to see whether the characters had grown much. This one was really more of a 2.5, being good for passing time more than for particularly noteworthy characters or plotting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Grace Wheaton, the new assistant curator at Marshfield Manor was hired to bring in some new blood. She adores the mansion and all the antiques within. She deals calmly with a crisis in the tea room but the murder of her superior leaves her a bit stuck. By default, she should be in charge, but the old-time staff are resistant to change and feel Grace is meddling where she doesn't belong. The security staff, also new, are overworked so Grace decides to help them out and solve the mystery herself. Grace Wheaton, the new assistant curator at Marshfield Manor was hired to bring in some new blood. She adores the mansion and all the antiques within. She deals calmly with a crisis in the tea room but the murder of her superior leaves her a bit stuck. By default, she should be in charge, but the old-time staff are resistant to change and feel Grace is meddling where she doesn't belong. The security staff, also new, are overworked so Grace decides to help them out and solve the mystery herself. The plot moves waaayyy too slowly and there's too much extraneous information, side plots, etc . We didn't need random verbatim phone conversations, the side plot about her roommates and her backstory. Most of it was not relevant to the plot. I never guessed who the murderer was because it was so incredibly stupid. It took me a few days to read this book. It just didn't appeal to me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Eh. This was okay, but there was a lot missing for me. First off, I thought this was a cozy mystery. It is in a small town and it does have a female sleuth who has no business sleuthing. But where are the quirky characters? The closest we got was a busybody....administrative assistant?...and two gay roommates. Um, yeah. Not so much. Also, I didn't understand the story. If Bennett is testifying against this guy who bilked people out of all this money, then why is someone threatening Bennett becau Eh. This was okay, but there was a lot missing for me. First off, I thought this was a cozy mystery. It is in a small town and it does have a female sleuth who has no business sleuthing. But where are the quirky characters? The closest we got was a busybody....administrative assistant?...and two gay roommates. Um, yeah. Not so much. Also, I didn't understand the story. If Bennett is testifying against this guy who bilked people out of all this money, then why is someone threatening Bennett because this happened? He was a victim too, so why would he be the object of the hatred? Just because he's rich? Also the who in whodunit didn't appear until the very end of the book. I like when I can't figure out the mystery, but there should have been clues in the story to potentially lead readers there. Meh. I got this at the library and I'm glad. I won't read any more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Salas

    I really enjoy the White House Chef series, but I just couldn't get into this new series. There was no tension in this book, and I realized when I was on part 6 out of 8 that I really didn't care who killed Abe. And I couldn't take any more ridiculous conversations between Grace and the over-the-top weirdo PI Ronny Tooney. Lord. Everybody was cliched and just not that interesting. It didn't help that the narrator of the audiobook version I listened to sounded rather like a petulant teenager weari I really enjoy the White House Chef series, but I just couldn't get into this new series. There was no tension in this book, and I realized when I was on part 6 out of 8 that I really didn't care who killed Abe. And I couldn't take any more ridiculous conversations between Grace and the over-the-top weirdo PI Ronny Tooney. Lord. Everybody was cliched and just not that interesting. It didn't help that the narrator of the audiobook version I listened to sounded rather like a petulant teenager wearing braces. Bad production values, I guess, that revealed way too many mouth sounds of her reading? Not sure. But she didn't make for a likable narrator. So, that annoyed me. But I'm giving the one star based on the words themselves, which, sadly, just weren't captivating for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindig

    Turns out I had read #2 before I picked this one up, but it didn't seem to matter as I didn't remember much until I started reading. There are almost too many characters to keep track of, though the author does a good job of keeping them separate. And putting in the con artist was a little bit of overkill. On the whole, I enjoyed the story, though I'd like some more info on the Manor itself -- size? acreage? age? curator in charge so it's a museum? or is it a hotel with some fancy stuff around? Turns out I had read #2 before I picked this one up, but it didn't seem to matter as I didn't remember much until I started reading. There are almost too many characters to keep track of, though the author does a good job of keeping them separate. And putting in the con artist was a little bit of overkill. On the whole, I enjoyed the story, though I'd like some more info on the Manor itself -- size? acreage? age? curator in charge so it's a museum? or is it a hotel with some fancy stuff around? and why isn't a professional hotel person in charge instead of a curator, who would presumably not know much about running a hotel? Other than that, no problem.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    If you are new to cozy mysteries and you are looking for good authors, Julie Hyzy is one I'd recommend, her writing is very good. This book was really good, it started off fairly slow, but picked up and by the end I couldn't put it down. The characters were amazing, I loved all of them, even the ones you're supposed to hate, and the setting was amazing. I'd love to work in a place like Marshfield Mansion. The mystery was really well set up and the MC wasn't antagonizing when she was investigating. If you are new to cozy mysteries and you are looking for good authors, Julie Hyzy is one I'd recommend, her writing is very good. This book was really good, it started off fairly slow, but picked up and by the end I couldn't put it down. The characters were amazing, I loved all of them, even the ones you're supposed to hate, and the setting was amazing. I'd love to work in a place like Marshfield Mansion. The mystery was really well set up and the MC wasn't antagonizing when she was investigating. The ending was kind of rapid, but it all fit together nicely. Overall a good book that I'd recommend. I already have the next one in a stack to read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tari

    Very enjoyable mystery! This was definitely a mystery with some great twists. The person I would have guessed wasn't the killer. I enjoyed all the characters and was glad to see Bennett warm up to Grace. I plan on continuing to read this series. Hopefully Jack and Grace will get to make up the date they missed! Very enjoyable mystery! This was definitely a mystery with some great twists. The person I would have guessed wasn't the killer. I enjoyed all the characters and was glad to see Bennett warm up to Grace. I plan on continuing to read this series. Hopefully Jack and Grace will get to make up the date they missed!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Great start to the series! I really like Grace and the other characters. The setting in a manor (that I'm comparing to the Biltmore in my head) was fun and different. The mystery was good with an exciting end. Looking forward to reading more in the series. #readforkimberly Great start to the series! I really like Grace and the other characters. The setting in a manor (that I'm comparing to the Biltmore in my head) was fun and different. The mystery was good with an exciting end. Looking forward to reading more in the series. #readforkimberly

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Nice cozy book set in a manor book where the main character is employed as the main problem solver and lives with two gay men who own their own wine shop.

  30. 4 out of 5

    DeeAnn

    Slow going but by the end, you like the characters and you care what happens to them. Proceed to book #2-Grace Interrupted, immediately.

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