Monday, July 6, 2009

Death at Blenheim Palace by Robin Paige

A colleague gave me a copy of Death at Blenheim Palace for a quick and easy read. It is #11 in the Charles and Kate Sheridan detective series by Robin Paige, the pseudonym of the husband and wife team of Susan Wittig and Bill Albert. The novel takes place at the home of Winston Churchill early in the 20th century during the rule of Edward. It was an entertaining novel that also included many references back to Woodstock, Rosamund's Well and the time of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Kate and Charles are visiting Blenheim Palace - he to investigate the theft of jewels and she to research a book. Upon their arrival they realize that all is not really well in the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The duchess, formerly Consuelo Vanderbilt, and the Duke are in the midst of marital woes. She has produced the heir and the spare and so the Duke has turned his attention to Gladys Deacon who would eventually become his wife.

Events become more complicated when one of the housemaids is murdered and Charles enlists the aid of a young man, Ned Lawrence, who is consumed with making brass rubbings in neighborhood churches. Lawrence was later known by the name Larwrence of Arabia. If he were not scared of breaking into churches, he surely could be a "mole" downstairs in the Blenheim household. He does manage to get some information as the mysteries.

The resolution to the mysteries was fairly obvious, but the read was enjoyable and about England. How bad can that be?

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