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The Black Cat Murders

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Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie with a touch of Wodehouse and a dog of distinction. Who killed Sir Crispin Gibbons? A wedding invitation and news of mischief that could be murder, takes Lennox to The Earl of Bloxford's country estate. He soon finds himself in a world of purloined artworks, forgeries and a priceless Bloxford Beauty. But who are the Bloxford Beauties Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie with a touch of Wodehouse and a dog of distinction. Who killed Sir Crispin Gibbons? A wedding invitation and news of mischief that could be murder, takes Lennox to The Earl of Bloxford's country estate. He soon finds himself in a world of purloined artworks, forgeries and a priceless Bloxford Beauty. But who are the Bloxford Beauties? And why are they the focal point around which swirls death? Lennox must confront life-long friends, unscrupulous artists and dealers to finally unravel a plot so complex that even his old adversary, Chief Inspector Swift of Scotland Yard, is perplexed.


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Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie with a touch of Wodehouse and a dog of distinction. Who killed Sir Crispin Gibbons? A wedding invitation and news of mischief that could be murder, takes Lennox to The Earl of Bloxford's country estate. He soon finds himself in a world of purloined artworks, forgeries and a priceless Bloxford Beauty. But who are the Bloxford Beauties Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie with a touch of Wodehouse and a dog of distinction. Who killed Sir Crispin Gibbons? A wedding invitation and news of mischief that could be murder, takes Lennox to The Earl of Bloxford's country estate. He soon finds himself in a world of purloined artworks, forgeries and a priceless Bloxford Beauty. But who are the Bloxford Beauties? And why are they the focal point around which swirls death? Lennox must confront life-long friends, unscrupulous artists and dealers to finally unravel a plot so complex that even his old adversary, Chief Inspector Swift of Scotland Yard, is perplexed.

30 review for The Black Cat Murders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Krov Menuhin

    A most excellent and well thought out 'country house' murder story, well worthy of taking its place as number two in the 'Lennox' series. The characters are wonderfully sculpted as are the settings. Everything is redolent with the image of the 1920s from the language and accents to the social structure into which the author cleverly allows the reader an understanding of the transitions this structure is undergoing at that time. I recommend this thoroughly riveting read but suggest a new reader be A most excellent and well thought out 'country house' murder story, well worthy of taking its place as number two in the 'Lennox' series. The characters are wonderfully sculpted as are the settings. Everything is redolent with the image of the 1920s from the language and accents to the social structure into which the author cleverly allows the reader an understanding of the transitions this structure is undergoing at that time. I recommend this thoroughly riveting read but suggest a new reader begin with the first, 'Murder at Melrose Court' and together with me await with impatience the next one, 'The Curse of Braeburn Castle'

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Hartley

    Just as fabulous as Murder at Melrose Court, I have fallen in love with Lennox and Mr Fogg, would give this series six stars if I could I love this world created by Karen Menuhin and I want to live in it, or at the very least keep dropping in for a visit

  3. 4 out of 5

    gloria thomas

    A really interesting read! This is the 2nd book I've read in this series and it was great. I have a new favorite author. I hope some of the characters reappear in future books. Loved them all!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mardahl

    I read book 1 in one day. I read book 2 in one day. They were great and perfect entertainment while I did some much needed housecleaning with the story read to me in my headset. There was nothing deep that I needed to focus on. Someone was murdering people in the story while I was murdering dust bunnies under the sofa. The story was indeed a kind of Agatha Christie meets P.G. Wodehouse, so you could say it was a "light" mystery although some characters were getting knocked off. I'd add Ngaio Mar I read book 1 in one day. I read book 2 in one day. They were great and perfect entertainment while I did some much needed housecleaning with the story read to me in my headset. There was nothing deep that I needed to focus on. Someone was murdering people in the story while I was murdering dust bunnies under the sofa. The story was indeed a kind of Agatha Christie meets P.G. Wodehouse, so you could say it was a "light" mystery although some characters were getting knocked off. I'd add Ngaio Marsh, although Marsh is much more serious. I make this third comparison because Heathcliff Lennox has some of the mannerisms of Marsh's Mr. Bathgate, which really annoyed me. I am grateful for the entertainment, which was rather well put together. A bit cliché-like at times, but OK entertainment. I think this would be perfect reading for a trip somewhere where you want to while away the time for a bit with a light read. However, the setting annoyed me. I used to love Agatha Christie. I do enjoy learning how life was lived in different societies and cultures in different ages, but I got a bit fed up with the upstairs/downstairs issues. I have less tolerance for it these days, and my reduced tolerance has me making snarky remarks to myself as I read. (view spoiler)[I know there are descriptions of things that definitely would have happened in the 1920s when this book was set. The racism and classism were spot on, I think. The way many Brits spoke about foreigners in this book and the first book seems spot on for the time. I read on in spire of these irritations, but two things at the very end just annoyed me too much to want to read more of this particular series, despite the otherwise good writing. The way they hush up the revelation that the brigadier was the murderer was just the old boys' network closing rank - which is the root of much evil to this day. I know he did it in some mistaken sense of honour and the old man showed signs of dementia or something. He was very ill and would likely die soon (as he did for other reasons), so he already had a death sentence over his head. I could somewhat accept him not going to jail under those conditions, but it annoyed (that word again) me that he got away with murder. That everyone covered up for him. Yes, it's fiction and yes, it's in the past. But it annoyed me. The other thing that annoyed me was burying his faithful gurkha servant at his feet like a dog. I know there was a special codex with this sort of thing back then, but the man was a human being. He should have been buried by the side of the brigadier and not at his feet. But hey, different times or whatever. I cannot quibble with the author over writing this, and I don't. I just want to try to avoid this sort of thing in the future. Oh, there was a third annoyance. The portrayal of homosexuals was really sad. I know homosexuality was a crime back then and it was mocked and scorned. I just felt offended on behalf of all the lovely LGCTQ+ people that I know. My toes were curling at that point, and I felt sad. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Actual rating: 2.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    3 1/2 stars. A fun 1920s cozy told from the pov of the hapless Lennox who has a little bit more smarts than people give him credit for. Humorous series. The explanation at the end gets too convoluted but otherwise a good story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Such a fun listening experience! Wonderful main character & narrator! First rate! Such a fun listening experience! Wonderful main character & narrator! First rate!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    I’m officially in love with Major Lennox. These books are great!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    3.5 stars. Much better than the first book in the series although Heathcliff Lennox is stlll a weak link as an amateur detective. This time at least the supporting characters were more interesting, but the killer was a less-than-satisfying option. It was more of more of a 'I-don't-want-to-offend-people' choice. Nice that the author made the Inspector more human but Jonathan Swift as a name?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shabbeer Hassan

    An entertaining follow-up to the highly enjoyable Book 1 from the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries. This one has a bit more human drama and emotional wrangling thrown in compared to the first one. The narrator did a superb job in getting the various accents right and made an overall entertaining listening experience! My Rating - 4/5

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ann Fisher

    Another Delightful Romp with Major Lennox The Black Cat Murders is a delightful sequel to Murder at Melrose Court! Major Lennox and Mr. Fogg find themselves once again sleuthing in the Cotswolds with the help of Inspector Swift. The Black Cat Murders has everything you.could.ask for in a post WWI English countryside murder. An ancient family, their rundown ancestral home, a wedding, the gentry and service classes, men in drag and opera! Fill your glass with your favorite beverage and settle in for Another Delightful Romp with Major Lennox The Black Cat Murders is a delightful sequel to Murder at Melrose Court! Major Lennox and Mr. Fogg find themselves once again sleuthing in the Cotswolds with the help of Inspector Swift. The Black Cat Murders has everything you.could.ask for in a post WWI English countryside murder. An ancient family, their rundown ancestral home, a wedding, the gentry and service classes, men in drag and opera! Fill your glass with your favorite beverage and settle in for a wonderful escape into 1920's England with a cast of rich and quirky characters. You won't regret it!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Rating 4 1/2 Another delightful 1920s English country house cozy mystery featuring the somewhat eccentric ex-WW1 pilot Major Heathcliff Lennox keeps the reader guessing "who done it" until the very end. Art collector and amateur opera singer Sir Crispin Gibbons dies during a pre-wedding performance, but does this result from mishap, mischief, or murder? Lennox packs his detecting kit (jam jars, tweezers and magnifying glass) just in case, as he sets out to attend his childhood friend Caroline's we Rating 4 1/2 Another delightful 1920s English country house cozy mystery featuring the somewhat eccentric ex-WW1 pilot Major Heathcliff Lennox keeps the reader guessing "who done it" until the very end. Art collector and amateur opera singer Sir Crispin Gibbons dies during a pre-wedding performance, but does this result from mishap, mischief, or murder? Lennox packs his detecting kit (jam jars, tweezers and magnifying glass) just in case, as he sets out to attend his childhood friend Caroline's wedding at the Earl of Bloxford's somewhat dilapidated country estate. The author provides a goodly number of suspects and multiple possible motives as the plot unfolds at a fast, action-packed pace. The author's witty dialogue and quirky characters keep the reader entertained and laughing out loud. This mystery involves not only murder, but also art fraud, fake identity, cross-dressers, and secret paintings of nudes called the Bloxford Beauties. Ms. Menuhin draws such wonderful characters. The introverted Lennox prefers the company of animals to people and turns almost speechless with women he finds attractive. Inspector Swift shows up again in this book, and although usually at odds, this time Lennox and Swift agree to investigate together. Lennox's spoiled "run-from-the-dead" dog, Mr. Fogg, gains a feline companion, Mr. Tubbs, in this story, and the kitten travels around nicely in Lennox's pocket. Oh, and thanks to a most colorful footman, Lennox adds lockpicks to his detecting set! I could not put down this second Heathcliff Lennox mystery, and recommend it to historical cozy readers who enjoy a quick, humorous mystery and early twentieth century British culture.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Keeth

    Another Great Mystery By Karen Menuhin Having recently discovered and read the author's Murder At Melrose Place I couldn't wait to start reading her 2nd Heathcliff Lennox mystery. Again well plotted with interesting characters and a little humor. I enjoyed this one as much as the first one. And again I found myself sifting between the possible murderers trying to out guess the author as to who it was. Karen Menuhin does a great job making it difficult to zero in on who the murderer will turn out Another Great Mystery By Karen Menuhin Having recently discovered and read the author's Murder At Melrose Place I couldn't wait to start reading her 2nd Heathcliff Lennox mystery. Again well plotted with interesting characters and a little humor. I enjoyed this one as much as the first one. And again I found myself sifting between the possible murderers trying to out guess the author as to who it was. Karen Menuhin does a great job making it difficult to zero in on who the murderer will turn out to be. Although this book can be read without having read the first one, I would recommend reading Murder At Melrose Place first and then this one. I highly recommend this one and can't wait for the third one which she is working on.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Primrose Jess

    A good premise. I didn't guess at the killer and was pleasantly surprised at the end. I love when I don't know the killer! The author seemed to try to meld Wodehouse and Christie together... though not as masterfully. Really... not masterfully but a valiant effort. She really laid in thick both American and British colloquialisms into the novel to drive points home the average reader would have picked up on if she told the story naturally. It was a little insulting after awhile. Once you can ove A good premise. I didn't guess at the killer and was pleasantly surprised at the end. I love when I don't know the killer! The author seemed to try to meld Wodehouse and Christie together... though not as masterfully. Really... not masterfully but a valiant effort. She really laid in thick both American and British colloquialisms into the novel to drive points home the average reader would have picked up on if she told the story naturally. It was a little insulting after awhile. Once you can overlook that, it's not a bad novel and the ending where the killer is unmasked has elements of a classic British detective novel. The entire ensemble inconveniently gathered together for a rehash of the murder and (dun dun dummmm) the killer is revealed!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    1921 and a performance of an opera to a private audience, as part of a wedding week, at Bloxford Hall has resulted in a death. Dr Cyril Fletcher is suspicious but the local police have ruled it an accident. Although Major Heathcliff Lennox has been invited to the week he has been reluctant to go until he hears from the Doctor of his suspicions. But will this be the last death and will Chief Inspector Swift of Scotland Yard once again suspect Lennox. A very enjoyable well-written mystery with the l 1921 and a performance of an opera to a private audience, as part of a wedding week, at Bloxford Hall has resulted in a death. Dr Cyril Fletcher is suspicious but the local police have ruled it an accident. Although Major Heathcliff Lennox has been invited to the week he has been reluctant to go until he hears from the Doctor of his suspicions. But will this be the last death and will Chief Inspector Swift of Scotland Yard once again suspect Lennox. A very enjoyable well-written mystery with the loveable Lennox.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Audible version: I liked this one even more than the first one. It makes me laugh what a dork Lennox is, with his indignation and whining. He's always worried about people thinking he's immature, and he is, but he's sweet, so I can't help but love him. Also, this time, a kitten is introduced into the family, and it gives the book that cozy feel without the cat being a character, though really, at this point, I ought to consider reading the cozies where the cats solve the crimes. Anyway, on to th Audible version: I liked this one even more than the first one. It makes me laugh what a dork Lennox is, with his indignation and whining. He's always worried about people thinking he's immature, and he is, but he's sweet, so I can't help but love him. Also, this time, a kitten is introduced into the family, and it gives the book that cozy feel without the cat being a character, though really, at this point, I ought to consider reading the cozies where the cats solve the crimes. Anyway, on to the next one as soon as I get more credits from Audible!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gail Gassen

    What an amazing read!! What an amazing read this was! I enjoyed it from the first page to the last. Even though I was tearing up at the end. The characters are so we'll written it's as if your watch them play out all that's happening about them. Plus there's the humor continuously with Lenox (NOT Heathcliff!) Also Mr Fogg & his new edition of Mr Tubbs. With bodies dropping like flies everywhere. Except these people were thoroughly bad, very bad! Enjoyed it immensely & very hard to but down to sle What an amazing read!! What an amazing read this was! I enjoyed it from the first page to the last. Even though I was tearing up at the end. The characters are so we'll written it's as if your watch them play out all that's happening about them. Plus there's the humor continuously with Lenox (NOT Heathcliff!) Also Mr Fogg & his new edition of Mr Tubbs. With bodies dropping like flies everywhere. Except these people were thoroughly bad, very bad! Enjoyed it immensely & very hard to but down to sleep even!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trish R.

    Another good murder mystery with a very strange ending about the killer. I do like Lennox, our hero. And I like the inspector Swift too, even though he’s a little curmudgeony. And I thought Lennox was going to get the girl, but it was Swift. And there was 1 accidental death and 3 murders you’ll have to figure out, who, how and why. Anyway, this one was every-bit as good as the first one. No romance and no swearing. As to the narration: Sam Dewhurst-Phillips is simply marvelous again.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cathy G

    Book two is even better. Lennox is invited to a wedding at a good friends country manor. But all is not well in that house. A murder, in fact two or three, A pastor, and opera singer who is next? The father of the bride orders Lennox to stop investigating and not to interfere and ruin his daughter's wedding day. During his stay at the manor house Lennox acquires a new kitten to join him and his dog Fogg as the newest family member. Of course he keeps on investigating until the murder is solved. Book two is even better. Lennox is invited to a wedding at a good friends country manor. But all is not well in that house. A murder, in fact two or three, A pastor, and opera singer who is next? The father of the bride orders Lennox to stop investigating and not to interfere and ruin his daughter's wedding day. During his stay at the manor house Lennox acquires a new kitten to join him and his dog Fogg as the newest family member. Of course he keeps on investigating until the murder is solved. Does he ruin the wedding,,,, ?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I've thoroughly enjoyed these books, "The Black Cat Murders" is a worthy follow-up to Ms. Menuhin's first Heathcliff Lennox (but don't call him Heathcliff!) novel. I'm especially fond of the classic "get everybody gathered together in one room" denouement at the end, very reminiscent of the best of the 20s and 30s detective series, most notably Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot I believe. I'll be waiting for the third installment!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Karen Menuhin definitely has the makings of a very good mystery writer! This second book in her Heathcliff Lennox mysteries is witty and well written, with interesting characters, clever dialogue and crisp prose that keeps the story moving but never reveals the culprit until she hands you plenty of red herrings. Can't wait to get into the next book in the series!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Judith Hitt

    Great Fun! I really enjoyed this book and its intriguing mystery. Having a gentleman amateur sleuth is a refreshing change in a genre populated by high-born ladies. I look forward to further adventures.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie Shirley Griffin

    Really good I'm becoming extremely fond of this series. Major Lennox is becoming increasingly better at the snooping around, although forced into it, needs must. The characters are well fleshed out.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gary Michaels

    An easy read If you like a good old fashioned mystery in the British style, you'll love this series. Complex story, simple motive, great characters. I've become very fond of our main sleuth.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Fun book to read I read the first book and now this one and enjoy the main character and his pets. I was surprised by the ending on this one. Can't wait for the third book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe Hampton

    Karen is a very, very, clever writer!!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Carey

    Great Book Really enjoy this series! Looking forward to the next book. Great detail and keeps you guessing! You will not be disappointed

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Whitcomb

    Unputdownable! I put down everything else as I read and enjoyed this amazing book. Love these cozy mysteries and this is one of the best.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Whittemore

    Delightful cozy mystery! The characters are well done and likeable. Love the inclusion of the pets! The books move along at a quick pace.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dave Hammett

    Opera murders I don't like opera either. Good read, I didn't figure it out til the very end. Still not sure about the swords.

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