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Christmas 1922. Violet Carlyle--along with a slew of relatives--is called to spend the holidays with their aunt, Agatha Davies. The intransigent woman has spent the majority of her life squirreling away money and alienating her family. It's hardly the first time Vi has spent the holidays with her aunt. She and her twin intend to do what they always do. Enjoy Aunt Aggie’s Christmas 1922. Violet Carlyle--along with a slew of relatives--is called to spend the holidays with their aunt, Agatha Davies. The intransigent woman has spent the majority of her life squirreling away money and alienating her family. It's hardly the first time Vi has spent the holidays with her aunt. She and her twin intend to do what they always do. Enjoy Aunt Aggie’s luxuries while ignoring the histrionics of the family trying to worm their way into the will. Only this time, Aunt Aggie claims someone is trying to kill her. But how can that be true? Before Vi can find the killer, Aunt Aggie dies. Since Agatha never named an heir, why would anyone want to kill her? To her shock, Vi finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation where she and her family are the suspects. Just who murdered Aunt Agatha? And why? Will they be able to find the killer before someone else dies? Book ONE in The Violet Carlyle Mysteries. Are you ready for the roaring twenties? For a spunky young woman determined to craft her own life? If so, you’ll love Vi, her indulgent twin Vic, and their friends. You might even find your imagination caught by Chief Inspector Jack Wakefield. For fans of Carola Dunn, Jacqueline Winspear, Georgette Heyer, and Lee Strauss. A light, cozy mystery with a fun peek into life in the life of a bright young thing. No swearing, graphic scenes, or cliffhangers. The Violet Carlyle Mysteries Book 1: Murder & the Heir Book 2: Kennington House Murder Book 3: Murder & The Folly Book 4: A Merry Little Murder (coming November 2018) Book 5: Murder Among the Roses (coming December 2018) Book 6: Murder in the Shallows (coming January 2019)


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Christmas 1922. Violet Carlyle--along with a slew of relatives--is called to spend the holidays with their aunt, Agatha Davies. The intransigent woman has spent the majority of her life squirreling away money and alienating her family. It's hardly the first time Vi has spent the holidays with her aunt. She and her twin intend to do what they always do. Enjoy Aunt Aggie’s Christmas 1922. Violet Carlyle--along with a slew of relatives--is called to spend the holidays with their aunt, Agatha Davies. The intransigent woman has spent the majority of her life squirreling away money and alienating her family. It's hardly the first time Vi has spent the holidays with her aunt. She and her twin intend to do what they always do. Enjoy Aunt Aggie’s luxuries while ignoring the histrionics of the family trying to worm their way into the will. Only this time, Aunt Aggie claims someone is trying to kill her. But how can that be true? Before Vi can find the killer, Aunt Aggie dies. Since Agatha never named an heir, why would anyone want to kill her? To her shock, Vi finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation where she and her family are the suspects. Just who murdered Aunt Agatha? And why? Will they be able to find the killer before someone else dies? Book ONE in The Violet Carlyle Mysteries. Are you ready for the roaring twenties? For a spunky young woman determined to craft her own life? If so, you’ll love Vi, her indulgent twin Vic, and their friends. You might even find your imagination caught by Chief Inspector Jack Wakefield. For fans of Carola Dunn, Jacqueline Winspear, Georgette Heyer, and Lee Strauss. A light, cozy mystery with a fun peek into life in the life of a bright young thing. No swearing, graphic scenes, or cliffhangers. The Violet Carlyle Mysteries Book 1: Murder & the Heir Book 2: Kennington House Murder Book 3: Murder & The Folly Book 4: A Merry Little Murder (coming November 2018) Book 5: Murder Among the Roses (coming December 2018) Book 6: Murder in the Shallows (coming January 2019)

30 review for Murder & The Heir

  1. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    I found Murder & The Heir by Beth Byers to be an enjoyable escape for a few hours. I like Violet, Victor, Lila, Denny and Jack. All but Jack are what were called "bright young things" in this era with too much money and too little to occupy their time. Violet is so much more than that but she plays the part well. Her aunt's death brings Violet into a world of grief and she is determined to solve the murder. I found Murder & The Heir by Beth Byers to be an enjoyable escape for a few hours. I like Violet, Victor, Lila, Denny and Jack. All but Jack are what were called "bright young things" in this era with too much money and too little to occupy their time. Violet is so much more than that but she plays the part well. Her aunt's death brings Violet into a world of grief and she is determined to solve the murder.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Didn't work for me. Murderer was telegraphed a little too clearly at their introduction. Main character a little too virtuous compared to everyone else. Love interest off-putting. Also some odd uses of language. Never encountered "her gaze widened" before. Occasionally tripping up on stuff like that took me out of the story. Didn't work for me. Murderer was telegraphed a little too clearly at their introduction. Main character a little too virtuous compared to everyone else. Love interest off-putting. Also some odd uses of language. Never encountered "her gaze widened" before. Occasionally tripping up on stuff like that took me out of the story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chriss

    The plot itself is nothing special, but it might be useable if not for the completely unedited writing style, which appears to have been thrashed onto the page as quickly as possible. There are constant repetitions, particularly of "I-" (mysteriously, the heroine's friends and twin constantly understand her inability to express herself), the word "green" to refer to money, which is an Americanism and thus meaningless in the quaint English countryside, where the money was not, in fact, green. Als The plot itself is nothing special, but it might be useable if not for the completely unedited writing style, which appears to have been thrashed onto the page as quickly as possible. There are constant repetitions, particularly of "I-" (mysteriously, the heroine's friends and twin constantly understand her inability to express herself), the word "green" to refer to money, which is an Americanism and thus meaningless in the quaint English countryside, where the money was not, in fact, green. Also, the heroine constantly harps on n her asides about how the hulking great police inspector makes her feel tiny and feminine, which rather negates a vital plot point that she is supposedly a modern woman with little interest in matrimony. The language was very jarring and it's obvious it is written by an American with no logical grasp of British-isms. No titled aristocrat would be referred to without their title by a maid. Also, "luv" would not even be used ironically by anyone with a title. It appears the author began writing and just made things up as they went along, so I presume not even the author knew who the killer was until they (thankfully) needed to end the book. At first I was deeply concerned this book was published in it's current form, but a little poking reveals that these books are likely self published. Perhaps the author should look into making acquaintance with a proof reader familiar with British language at the very least, if they aren't willing to do historical research themselves. Or just quit "historical" mysteries and write about something they know.

  4. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Violet and Victor Carlyle have been summoned to visit their Aunt Agatha, along with a host of cousins they haven't seen in ages or want to see. While they always spend Christmas with Aunt Agatha and have been happy to since their mother died when they were five, this time is different. They bring along friendly reinforcements to deal with their ghastly cousins and their friends. The visit turns out to be in honor of the reading of Aunt Agatha's new will. Who will inherit? It seems someone doesn' Violet and Victor Carlyle have been summoned to visit their Aunt Agatha, along with a host of cousins they haven't seen in ages or want to see. While they always spend Christmas with Aunt Agatha and have been happy to since their mother died when they were five, this time is different. They bring along friendly reinforcements to deal with their ghastly cousins and their friends. The visit turns out to be in honor of the reading of Aunt Agatha's new will. Who will inherit? It seems someone doesn't want the will read. Aunt Agatha is convinced someone is trying to murder her. Vi and Vic turn out to be the chief suspects because they possibly stand to inherit the most. The irony is that neither wants the money nor needs it. Vi is especially horrified that someone is trying to kill her beloved mother-figure for money. She's determined to clear their names and find out which one of the other cousins wants Aunt Agatha dead. First she has to deal with her cousin Algie's unpleasant friend Theo, then she has to tangle with a handsome Scotland Yard detective, son of one of Aunt Agatha's old friends. He suspects Vi is willing to lie for Vic because they're twins but Vi knows in her heart her brother would NEVER do such a thing! How can she prove to Jack Wakefield the Carlyle twins are not murderers? I really enjoyed this mystery and the characters. The plot is fast paced and the writing is really good. The author captures the voice of the bright young things of the 1920s without being over-the-top obnoxious about it. It's enough to know these people are young, rich and silly. I didn't guess which one did it until just about the same moment Vi did. I didn't want it to be any of them except Algernon and/or Uncle Kingsley. Algernon grew on me. He's not too intelligent and he's bullied by his father so he's never made a decision for himself. Algie doesn't have an original thought in his head. His friend Theodophilus was my top choice for murderer. With friends like that who needs enemies? He is supremely nasty. I could really relate to Vi and her feelings of not wanting to be stuck in a traditionally feminine role. I like how she's willing to get a job (and has one, as a secret writer of gothic adventure stories) to support her lifestyle if she has to. Even though she has a standing offer of marriage from her brother's wealthy friend Tomas, Vi would rather be an independent spinster than marry without true affection. To her, Aunt Agatha is more important. I really felt her anguish at being a suspect. I could feel her love and admiration for her aunt coming through. I did not like the romance subplot. It's almost instalove which I do not like and I can't believe that a smart, independent woman would go weak in the knees over a man who makes her feel small and womanly. Yuck. I, too, liked Aunt Agatha enormously. As a widow, as a woman, she spent What about her adventures? What about how she’d married, lost her husband, and spent the forty years investing and growing her late husband's respectable income into a fortune! This was in a time when women were brought up to be ornaments to society. She was intelligent, feisty and loving. I was as gutted as Vi at the events that transpire. Vic is a little less likable. He's handsome, charming, not too bright, not too stupid. He enjoys drinking and smoking cigars. He writes stories with his sister but that's about the extent he rouses himself to do anything other than party unless his family is threatened. He truly loves his twin sister and is happy to share his life with her. He's generous to his friends and dangerous to his enemies. Coming to blows with Theo is justified, in my opinion, in this instance. How else to make that "blighter" understand he can't get away with what he did? It's not like Violet can go to the police. They'd say he didn't do anything and she was fine. They'd side with Theo. The other cousins include Meredith, a young widow without a home or money of her own. I had a lot of sympathy for her. I could be her. I will be her. Yes, as a child, I would side with Vi and Vic that she was a horrible goody-goody but they should be kinder and have more empathy for her now. I think Vi does but she doesn't understand Meredith's reluctance to get a job. I understand why Meredith doesn't want to but it's better than her current situation, which to me, would be a fate worse than death. The other cousin visiting is not really a cousin but Aunt Agatha's late husband's nephew, John Davies. He keeps himself to himself. He's not rich, not poor, is a war veteran and very enigmatic. I don't want him to be a murderer though because he seems nice enough. Vi's old school chums Lila and Gwennie come along as moral support. I could seriously do without Gwennie's travel sickness. I also am not crazy about her batting her eyelashes and having men fall at her feet. Still, she's very sweet, kind and open. Lila doesn't have much personality. She's madly in love with her husband Denny and that's about it. Finally, we have the Wakefields. James Wakefield is an old friend of Aunt Agatha's. No one's ever heard of him but he seems to know her well and cares for her. He's a very nice gentleman. His son, Jack, is tough. He's an Inspector and as a policeman, he trusts evidence and facts, not feelings and pleas from pretty girls. I think he's too hard on Vi. It's obvious she loves Aunt Agatha very much. He's too hard for my personal tastes. I don't see Vi falling in love with him that fast and really wish there wasn't a romance plot. I already started the second book in the series! I am eager to see Vi team up with Ginger Gold but that may have to wait a bit.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is the first book for this series and though I am not sure, I think perhaps for the author as well. There were a few glairing mistakes that the editor should have caught, the story was very short on atmosphere and ambiance and though it was suppose to take place at Christmas there was nothing mentioned about it being Christmas except to establish the fact. Also, some of the characters were a bit one-dimensional and predictable/typical, set just to be a(n) obvious red-herring suspect. On the This is the first book for this series and though I am not sure, I think perhaps for the author as well. There were a few glairing mistakes that the editor should have caught, the story was very short on atmosphere and ambiance and though it was suppose to take place at Christmas there was nothing mentioned about it being Christmas except to establish the fact. Also, some of the characters were a bit one-dimensional and predictable/typical, set just to be a(n) obvious red-herring suspect. On the plus side, the murderer wasn't obvious, but the suspicions that led to the murderer were very flimsy. I have to say, I actually wanted it to be the butler and didn't once consider the character that it turned out to be. All in all, it was a decent first attempt. I am going to read the second book in the series and hope the author gets better with practice.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    So good! I loved this book. Very well written. I loved the suspense and all the family drama. I can't wait for the next one! So good! I loved this book. Very well written. I loved the suspense and all the family drama. I can't wait for the next one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    MRS HILARY BARNES

    Awful editing! Unfortunately this novel was spoiled for me by appalling editing. The story wasn't too bad but a bit rushed at the end. Awful editing! Unfortunately this novel was spoiled for me by appalling editing. The story wasn't too bad but a bit rushed at the end.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Ms Byers is a new to me author. She writes an interesting mystery. Violet is a twin. Her twin brother, Victor, shares a London apartment with her. The two of them also write fiction stories under an assumed name. Those stories help supply some of their income. Their father is an earl, but that does not mean they are wealthy. In fact, it does not mean much, except their step-mother loves to interfere in their lives. It is all for their own good. Aunt Agatha is the woman who raised them since they w Ms Byers is a new to me author. She writes an interesting mystery. Violet is a twin. Her twin brother, Victor, shares a London apartment with her. The two of them also write fiction stories under an assumed name. Those stories help supply some of their income. Their father is an earl, but that does not mean they are wealthy. In fact, it does not mean much, except their step-mother loves to interfere in their lives. It is all for their own good. Aunt Agatha is the woman who raised them since they were very young. She paid for their university educations. She also has tried to train a group of 5 cousins in how to manage money, investments and properties. Normally, Violet and Victor spend Christmas with Aunt Agatha. This time, she has asked that they arrive earlier than what is usual. It turns out that the twins and their 3 cousins are all invited to arrive at the same time. Someone is trying to kill Aunt Agatha and it must be one of the cousins. They are the only people who are eligible to inherit her considerable wealth. When everyone arrives, it is evident that Aunt Agatha is in actual danger. In fact, there is a detective from Scotland Yard who is there in order to protect Agatha and find the person who is attempting murder. Violet and Victor are typical of wealthy young people who have survived the Great War. England lost nearly an entire generation of young men. And the men who survived have come home with injuries, both physical and emotional. Many of the people in this young generation are almost manic in their need to live a life of frivolity and self indulgence. Although the twins appear to be superficial and shallow young people, in reality they are not. But, they are also not ready to settle down in any way. Agatha has always been the person in their lives who loved them and comforted them. And in return, both Violet and Victor love her as though she were their mother. Agatha is the person who has provided the love and affection all children need. This is a story not only about a mystery, but also about family relationships. The reader is allowed to view the family dynamics. Selfishness and avarice are on display for all to see. There is also evidence of true family care and affection. In fact, a good portion of that care and affection comes from the servants who have been with Agatha since before the twins were born. This is a well written book. The character development is quite well done. I was an admirer of nearly all the characters, both primary and secondary. Violet and Victor are good at problem solving. And Violet works hard to use her intelligence to find the villain. The mystery is not very difficult to solve, but the journey to the complete solution is a wonderful one

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Wilson

    Cozies come in varieties. Some of complicated and deep, some lean more in the direction of entertainment, and some are simply light reading. Violet Carlyle and company fall under the latter heading. It was a nice little story with a plot and murder thrown in. Violet is a competent and interesting heroine and the maid who comes to her aid is equally likeable. I can see where the story line is going but so far I don't mind riding along. Cozies come in varieties. Some of complicated and deep, some lean more in the direction of entertainment, and some are simply light reading. Violet Carlyle and company fall under the latter heading. It was a nice little story with a plot and murder thrown in. Violet is a competent and interesting heroine and the maid who comes to her aid is equally likeable. I can see where the story line is going but so far I don't mind riding along.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    Solidly Fun Wasn't quite sure what to expect from this, and it turned out to be a solid entry. Read on Kindle unlimited, so I could try it without purchasing. All in all, satisfied. Solidly Fun Wasn't quite sure what to expect from this, and it turned out to be a solid entry. Read on Kindle unlimited, so I could try it without purchasing. All in all, satisfied.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Cozy Lots of fun and a way of looking at how the other half lives. Family disputes as well as memories of loss..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I really enjoyed the story and the characters. This was a very fast, enjoyable read. However, the book needs major editing! On several consecutive pages, whole paragraphs are out of order. Throughout, words are missing, wrong words are used, etc. I would have given this a strong 4 stars, but I can’t with such poor editing. It’s a shame. The book deserves better.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lynch

    I did find it a little hard to warm up to these characters but the author intrigued me enough that I moved on to number two. I do have to agree with the comments that one more pass at editing would have been a good idea. Thoroughly enjoyable story!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Verity W

    I found this harder going than the Poison Ink Mysteries but it was still fun enough that I'll read the next one as it's on KU! I found this harder going than the Poison Ink Mysteries but it was still fun enough that I'll read the next one as it's on KU!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tara Carpenter

    A cozy British mystery that caught my fancy more than I would have expected. Is it the independent Violet? The Jazz/flapper era 1920s? The fun cast of supporting characters? Just enough description of the clothes, decor, music, drinks, etc without getting bogged down? I'm not sure but despite these not having any more substance than so many in the same genre, I enjoyed this one more and will pick up the next immediately. A cozy British mystery that caught my fancy more than I would have expected. Is it the independent Violet? The Jazz/flapper era 1920s? The fun cast of supporting characters? Just enough description of the clothes, decor, music, drinks, etc without getting bogged down? I'm not sure but despite these not having any more substance than so many in the same genre, I enjoyed this one more and will pick up the next immediately.

  16. 5 out of 5

    GARY PAUL W FLYNN

    I read a great number of mysteries. A great number of those are historically set mysteries. Most of those are generally set during the regency, the late Victorian era, or the 1920's. This story could potentially be the start of one of my top favorite series of the content and writing style remain this good. The characters are well drawn, very relatable people. There was no unnecessary violence and not a hint of sexual behavior just for the sake selling a book. I would strongly recommend this ser I read a great number of mysteries. A great number of those are historically set mysteries. Most of those are generally set during the regency, the late Victorian era, or the 1920's. This story could potentially be the start of one of my top favorite series of the content and writing style remain this good. The characters are well drawn, very relatable people. There was no unnecessary violence and not a hint of sexual behavior just for the sake selling a book. I would strongly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys. I read a great number of mysteries. A great number of those are historically set. Most of those seem to be set during the regency, the late Victorian era, and the 1920's. This story has potential to become one of my favorites. The characters are well drawn and very likeable. There is no unnecessary violence or sexual behavior because none is needed. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the 1920's and strong intelligent female protagonists.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Jane

    Not sure Things I liked and things I didn't.. the American English doesn't bother me it was more about the story itself. I think she's read/listened to too much Jeeves and Wooster.. don't feel the "luv" fit the characters.. it dragged quite a bit, but this could be the setting of characters for the whole series in one big burst.. rather too many names of relatives who'd died to a point it got rather confusing (how many full and half siblings do Violet and Victor have?) If Victor has no other full Not sure Things I liked and things I didn't.. the American English doesn't bother me it was more about the story itself. I think she's read/listened to too much Jeeves and Wooster.. don't feel the "luv" fit the characters.. it dragged quite a bit, but this could be the setting of characters for the whole series in one big burst.. rather too many names of relatives who'd died to a point it got rather confusing (how many full and half siblings do Violet and Victor have?) If Victor has no other full male siblings then he would inherit the title from his father yet the author appears to indicate otherwise plus they would be another nephew who would have been considered for inheritance. Irritatingly confusing. Felt like the whole thing was a big rush at the end to fit it inside a preset word count. Perhaps less waffling about would have meant a "better", so to speak, murder and resolution. Will give the next one a chance to see if it improves somewhat.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Vi and her twin brother Vic are the children of an earl, but in the England after the Great War, that doesn't make them rich. However, they have a very rich aunt. Along with their money-hungry relations, Vi and Vic are summoned to Aunt Agatha's manor for Christmas. Which of the heirs are trying to kill Aunt Agatha? I was happy to be able to spend time with Aunt Agatha, but didn't really connect with the rest of the characters. I did enjoy the setting in spite of some anachronistic conversation. I Vi and her twin brother Vic are the children of an earl, but in the England after the Great War, that doesn't make them rich. However, they have a very rich aunt. Along with their money-hungry relations, Vi and Vic are summoned to Aunt Agatha's manor for Christmas. Which of the heirs are trying to kill Aunt Agatha? I was happy to be able to spend time with Aunt Agatha, but didn't really connect with the rest of the characters. I did enjoy the setting in spite of some anachronistic conversation. I will say that this kindle file didn't get a professional editing, but it wasn't bad as some of the earlier reviews said. Maybe some work has since been done on it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I really like this series! Yes it is a bit fluffy, but it's basically the British Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, it even has a Inspector called Jack! I really like this series! Yes it is a bit fluffy, but it's basically the British Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, it even has a Inspector called Jack!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kat Lebo

    𝑴𝒖𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 & 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒆𝒊𝒓, A Violet Carlyle Mystery, Book #1 by Beth Byers This is a delightful novella (only 172 pages) which begins a mystery series. Set at Christmas time, it was the perfect pick for my annual month of reading only Christmas-themed works. I had never read any of the series or any works by this author previously, so all was new to me. Violet Carlyle and her twin brother are the youngest of 5 surviving children, two others having died in WWI, and one have died as an infant. Their mother 𝑴𝒖𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 & 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑯𝒆𝒊𝒓, A Violet Carlyle Mystery, Book #1 by Beth Byers This is a delightful novella (only 172 pages) which begins a mystery series. Set at Christmas time, it was the perfect pick for my annual month of reading only Christmas-themed works. I had never read any of the series or any works by this author previously, so all was new to me. Violet Carlyle and her twin brother are the youngest of 5 surviving children, two others having died in WWI, and one have died as an infant. Their mother also passed away when they were children, and their father remarried. Although her father and stepmother dote on her, it is her mother's sister, the fabulously rich Aunt Agatha, to whom Violet feels the closest. Although the two visit their Aunt Agatha every Christmas, this year they receive a summons to come to a family gathering with all of Aunt Agatha's potential heirs. Violet and her brother, Victor, convince their friends, Lila, Denny, and Gwennie to accompany them, knowing they will need friendly faces among others present. They run into cousin Meredith on their train to Agatha's estate. When they arrive, cousin Algernon and his friend, Theodophilus, cousin John, are already there. Also in attendance, besides Agatha's regular staff, are James and Jack Wakefield, who Agatha introduces as an old family friend and his son. Agatha reveals to Violet that she believes someone is trying to kill her and that she believes it is one of her potential heirs. Things are complicated when Theodophilus gets rough with Violet when he encounters her alone, and further complicated when Algernon's blustery father, Mr. Kingsley, arrives. It seems everyone but Violet and her brother had been threatened with being left out of Agatha's will if they did not attend the gathering. Unfortunately, Agatha is murdered and the evidence seems to point at Violet. It will take all of her ingenuity, plus that of her brother and her friends, along with Scotland Yard detective, Jack Wakefield, to ferret out the murderer. This story takes place in 1920s England, soon after the end of World War I, and at the beginning of the change in the status of women in Europe and America. While the language seems reminiscent of the Victorian age, there is plenty of "in olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now, God knows, anything goes!" (Cole Porter). If you like Phyrne Fisher, you will surely like the vivacious, but somewhat tamer, Violet Carlyle. Kudos to the author on setting a believable 1920s in England stage. She begins the book with a disclaimer saying that she was using American English rather than UK English, but unfortunately, her only problem was grammar and sentence structure -- and the lack of a proofreader or editor who would catch the same. But, I only noted 3 of these serious enough to stop my progress in the story, so certainly not the worst I've seen (to the author: want to know where in the book they occur? Just ask me.) Great, if predictable plot, good pacing and flow, lots of action while still staying a cozy mystery, great characters, believable situations and dialogue made this an extremely enjoyable read. Fun references to pop culture of the day, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan. Strong female characters made this bit of early feminism a joy. I will definitely look into more in this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Rose-West

    I did really enjoy this book for the most part, but it does need some work. Although the author has stated in a note at the beginning of the book that it is written in American English, it does still need to have some words replaced in order to not make British readers wince horribly. This is meant to be 1920's England and the main characters are English aristocrats. This can't simply be ignored. Firstly, no upper class English person in that time period would ever refer to anyone as luv. There I did really enjoy this book for the most part, but it does need some work. Although the author has stated in a note at the beginning of the book that it is written in American English, it does still need to have some words replaced in order to not make British readers wince horribly. This is meant to be 1920's England and the main characters are English aristocrats. This can't simply be ignored. Firstly, no upper class English person in that time period would ever refer to anyone as luv. There was far too much of this address throughout. There is a moment when Lady Violet calls her maid Doll. This has got to be removed. It is completely American and far too familiar. No English lady would use this term nor would she address her servant in such a familiar way. There were standards that had to be kept, even amongst servants. The reference to money as green also has to go. This is not a term that would have been used and is entirely incorrect. I would recommend to this author to watch Downton Abbey and British made Agatha Christie movies that would give her a really good idea of how the people in those times would speak and address each other. Downton Abbey is very good for understanding how the servant/family dynamics worked in that time. Either that or find a friend who knows British English and can help iron out the more unacceptable American terms. There are lots of British indie authors who would be happy to help. A lot of American terms can be ignored and forgiven by an English reader, but such strong American only terms shouldn't be in this novel. Doll makes me think of American gangsters! I do understand how hard it is to write about a time and country not your own. This is largely said to help this author improve her final product and up her review stars. I do know how hard it is to be an indie author, since I am one myself. Despite the wrong use of American terms, I enjoyed the story and the characters. I thought there was a lot of emotion in the writing and great ideas. It captured how awful it would be to have a loved one under threat and how it would feel to be one of those under suspicion of wanting to kill her. I am going to read the next book in the series because there was a lot to like here. I liked the romantic interest that sprung up between Jack and Violet. It was a good read and I finished it very quickly. It certainly had me picking the book back up and wanting more. Well done. I truly see a lot of promise for this author.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Violet and her twin brother, Victor, are summoned two weeks earlier than usual for Christmas with their wealthy Aunt Agatha - but they don't mind because they've always loved her fiercely. The rest of the family has been summoned as well, though, and that isn't nearly as agreeable a prospect. Upon arrival, they discover that someone is trying to hurry Aunt Agatha into an early grave rather than waiting to inherit. Since Agatha has never disclosed the contents of her will, nobody can be sure who Violet and her twin brother, Victor, are summoned two weeks earlier than usual for Christmas with their wealthy Aunt Agatha - but they don't mind because they've always loved her fiercely. The rest of the family has been summoned as well, though, and that isn't nearly as agreeable a prospect. Upon arrival, they discover that someone is trying to hurry Aunt Agatha into an early grave rather than waiting to inherit. Since Agatha has never disclosed the contents of her will, nobody can be sure who might be setting up the "accidents" that have been occurring. When both twins are suspected, Violet leads the charge to figure out what's going on and to try to save their beloved aunt from her fate. This series is great fun! This first entry was a quality story with engaging characters, plus just enough suspense and a well-written puzzle. (It took me until nearly the end of the story to figure out "who-dunnit", which is always a good sign!) Vi and Vic are completely believable and entirely charming. Their antics as "bright young things" the 1920's are expected, but they are not irredeemably swallowed by the vice of the era. I noticed a few editing errors (sentences where the word "that" was used incorrectly in place of "than" and such), but none of the major mistakes mentioned by other reviews. Highly recommended for those who enjoy 20's-era mysteries and to those who enjoy a well-crafted mystery plot.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alison C

    Violet Carlyle and her twin brother Victor are summoned to spend the Christmas holidays with Aunt Agatha, along with various cousins. This is no hardship for the twins, as Aunt Agatha more or less raised them after the death of their mother, and they love to spend time with her. But Aunt Agatha is concerned that one of her relatives is trying to kill her to get hold of her massive fortune, and she hopes that Jack Wakefield, the son of one of her close friends and a Chief Inspector at Scotland Ya Violet Carlyle and her twin brother Victor are summoned to spend the Christmas holidays with Aunt Agatha, along with various cousins. This is no hardship for the twins, as Aunt Agatha more or less raised them after the death of their mother, and they love to spend time with her. But Aunt Agatha is concerned that one of her relatives is trying to kill her to get hold of her massive fortune, and she hopes that Jack Wakefield, the son of one of her close friends and a Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard, can identify the culprit before he or she succeeds…. This is the first of something like 30 books in the Violet Carlyle cozy series, set in 1920s England and featuring a slew of Bright Young Things. It’s very sloppy in terms of language - among other sins, Violet and Vic call everybody “luv,” something the children of an earl would never do, and there are definite Americanisms that are completely out of place (no Brit of any class would call money “the green” but these characters do constantly). That said, the main characters are entertaining and fairly witty, the dilemmas of life are well-drawn, and I kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened next, surely the most important job a writer has! It also has the advantage of scratching my current cozy-set-in-the-1920s itch and being very inexpensive in e-book form, so I will continue with the series for now, at least; a mild recommendation.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kymm

    This mystery was the first in a series of 12 that I found to read in between some of the more deep, thought provoking books I read. I love reading something light, like this after a few heavy books. This mystery is in the cozy mystery genre, I believe. It's entertaining and fun, the characters are great and it's so delightful to read what they get themselves into next. The stories all revolve around a set of twins who end up in places where crime occur and they end up trying to solve those crime This mystery was the first in a series of 12 that I found to read in between some of the more deep, thought provoking books I read. I love reading something light, like this after a few heavy books. This mystery is in the cozy mystery genre, I believe. It's entertaining and fun, the characters are great and it's so delightful to read what they get themselves into next. The stories all revolve around a set of twins who end up in places where crime occur and they end up trying to solve those crimes. In this book someone was trying to kill their Aunt, who was more like a mother to them after raising them when their mother died. The killer was after the Aunt's large fortune, so all the immediate family were called to her home in an effort to draw out the would be murderer. They meticulously went through each family member and their motives and tried to figure out who the culprit was. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the others. No foul language, no sex scenes, and no upsetting or horrific events, just a plain old mystery with multiple suspects. The author did a good job of leaving the reader guessing until the end, I hate when I figure out the culprit long before the book is done. Like I said this is a really enjoyable book and if you're looking for a quick read, it's less than 200 pages, then I'd say give this series a try.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is the first in a series— I have been blowing through them like popcorn, but instead of reviewing them individually I am going to leave a general overview. First off, these are more like novella length, perfect to chew through in an afternoon. There is a strong cohort of central friends/characters and their relationships, marriages, children, and families are really at the core of the book, around which a variety of people are murdered. I really enjoy the lack of cliffhanger danger—in the b This is the first in a series— I have been blowing through them like popcorn, but instead of reviewing them individually I am going to leave a general overview. First off, these are more like novella length, perfect to chew through in an afternoon. There is a strong cohort of central friends/characters and their relationships, marriages, children, and families are really at the core of the book, around which a variety of people are murdered. I really enjoy the lack of cliffhanger danger—in the beginning there were several story arcs with the stereotypical ending altercation with the bad guy and the heroine in peril. Not very far into the series, though, she is getting herself out of trouble and actually seems to be learning from her mistakes! I really appreciate that the heroine isn’t forever being stupid, and that she is emotionally affected by the death she sees, —in fact, there is a lot of emotional truth in the series, but it is never overdone. Note that the later books reference previous events—this is a series that benefits form being read in order, even to the point of there being actual spoilers in later books about the earlier ones. These aren’t great literature, or teeming with atmosphere, or world class puzzles, but a lovely escape, exactly the way I want my cozies.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Argum

    Really enjoyed this new series. Violet is the daughter of an earl and a Bright Young Thing. She is also twin to Victor and she and her brother live in rented rooms to escape their stepmothers marital finagling. Their mother died when they were young and their great aunt took them under her wing so when Aunt Agatha requests their presence for an extend Christmas stay they invite some friends as buffer to the other relatives and head out. On arrival, Aunt Agatha lets Violet know someone is trying Really enjoyed this new series. Violet is the daughter of an earl and a Bright Young Thing. She is also twin to Victor and she and her brother live in rented rooms to escape their stepmothers marital finagling. Their mother died when they were young and their great aunt took them under her wing so when Aunt Agatha requests their presence for an extend Christmas stay they invite some friends as buffer to the other relatives and head out. On arrival, Aunt Agatha lets Violet know someone is trying to kill her and she is determined not to hide but to catch the villain. Agatha has a large fortune and no one is exactly sure who is in the will. Vic and Vi dont really care as they are well off and could easily get jobs or spouses, but other cousins arent so sanguine. Yet it is Violet who brings poisoned sherry to her aunt. This causes the other guests to reveal themselves as an investigator with the Yard. Things dont turn out as one would hope, but quite a fun time getting there with real character development and motives abound. I kept hoping that the end would give one more twist where everything was a more elaborate trap than occurred.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Krystyna

    The root of all evil A good start to a new series. Possibly not as good as the start to The Poison Ink because frankly the characters weren't that badly off and this was more about greed than anything else. The characters are fun but also flighty but maybe this will change as the books progress and they mature. The plot for this is one of the oldest in the world - money and those who want it but haven't got it. A letter from their aunt has them (twins) making plans to go to her for Christmas but n The root of all evil A good start to a new series. Possibly not as good as the start to The Poison Ink because frankly the characters weren't that badly off and this was more about greed than anything else. The characters are fun but also flighty but maybe this will change as the books progress and they mature. The plot for this is one of the oldest in the world - money and those who want it but haven't got it. A letter from their aunt has them (twins) making plans to go to her for Christmas but not before prevailing on some friends to go with them. They find on arrival two men they haven't met before and are soon embroiled in the events that have been occurring. Someone has been trying to kill their beloved aunt. More attempts, a changing of the old will and murder. Is it her uncle who has lost everything, her cousin who is trying to pay off his gambling debts by auctioning her off, her widowed cousin who is living off the goodwill of her sister or it it someone she hasn't even considered? Will they get the killer?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    After two chapters I hated every single character and none of them seem to have a single redeeming character. During the next few chapters Violet did improve a little and I had hopes she would be the independently minded woman who was prepared to push the boundaries of society. Unfortunately Jack Wakefield turned up and her independence seemed to turn to lust, it wasn’t looking too hopeful. The story wasn’t bad, although there was very little investigation and no explanation of who the culprit w After two chapters I hated every single character and none of them seem to have a single redeeming character. During the next few chapters Violet did improve a little and I had hopes she would be the independently minded woman who was prepared to push the boundaries of society. Unfortunately Jack Wakefield turned up and her independence seemed to turn to lust, it wasn’t looking too hopeful. The story wasn’t bad, although there was very little investigation and no explanation of who the culprit was able to carryout the murder attempts without getting caught. As for Violet, even given all her protestations of independence, she is very much a woman of her times, but she turned out to be a better heroine than the first few chapters suggested. She has potential, but at the moment there is very little to make her stand out from the many other 1920s sleuths. If possible I would have given 2.5 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grey853

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is supposed to be a Christmas mystery, but there's nothing very festive about it. Vi, her twin brother Victor, and a long list of relatives have been invited to spend the holiday with Aunt Agatha. She's got more money than anyone else in the family and it seems like everyone shows up with a hand out except for Vi, Victor, and her friends. When they first arrive, Aunt Agatha confesses that someone has been trying to kill her. Vi tries her best to get her aunt to leave, to not risk being kill This is supposed to be a Christmas mystery, but there's nothing very festive about it. Vi, her twin brother Victor, and a long list of relatives have been invited to spend the holiday with Aunt Agatha. She's got more money than anyone else in the family and it seems like everyone shows up with a hand out except for Vi, Victor, and her friends. When they first arrive, Aunt Agatha confesses that someone has been trying to kill her. Vi tries her best to get her aunt to leave, to not risk being killed for what amounts to an inheritance. It doesn't work and more attempts are made. Plus, it looks like someone is trying to frame Vi for the attempts. While this plot has been used many times before, the author does a good job of making it fresh with n strong lead character and secondary characters who keep it interesting. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nikki M.

    I agree that the misspellings and missing words are problematic, but I really enjoyed the story, and the history. To the characters, having to get a job was suffering. To me, not having a job is worse. (I had to retire due to health issues.) Meredith’s situation is even worse. She’s trapped in a situation that I know still happens today, having to take of others without a real life of her own. I have read the rest of the series, and still enjoyed it. I come from a family of twins, so I know what g I agree that the misspellings and missing words are problematic, but I really enjoyed the story, and the history. To the characters, having to get a job was suffering. To me, not having a job is worse. (I had to retire due to health issues.) Meredith’s situation is even worse. She’s trapped in a situation that I know still happens today, having to take of others without a real life of her own. I have read the rest of the series, and still enjoyed it. I come from a family of twins, so I know what goes on in their heads, unfortunately. Beth, do yourself a favor and hire a decent editor, for all your e-books, including this one. There are a lot of us who still read, and you do your fans a disservice by not thinking of those who still pay attention to grammar and spelling. (And, no, I’m not an English major... I’m an economist.)

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