Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy (Berkley Prime Crime Mystery)
Veteran mystery writer Julie Hyzy moves to a new locale with this her first book in a new series titled Manor House Mysteries. The setting for these tales is Marshfield Manor. This stately southern home is more than just the setting for a mystery, it is a character in itself. It is the centerpiece of a somewhat down-at-the-heels southern estate owned by the elderly billionaire, Bennett Marshfield. The home is a mystery reader’s delight with a hidden staircase and a secret room. The estate also includes a hotel, tea room and abundant grounds. They, too, play parts in the story.
Grace Wheaton, the new assistant curator whose dream it has been to be part of Marshfield Manor, has been a visitor to the mansion since her childhood. Little did she think that being a curator would entail murder, extortion and secrets from her own family’s past. The staff at Marshfield includes a highly opinionated, though thoroughly capable executive assistant named Frances and an earnest, well-trained head of security named Terrence Carr.
When the elderly head curator is brutally murdered, a series of demand letters for money comes to light. Grace must prove herself trustworthy to Bennett Marshfield if she is to become the next head curator. The story is quite engaging if not quite intellectually challenging. Rather than a romance-based mystery, this is the story of several generations whose ability to trust each other comes into question.
Author Hyzy provides a classic summer vacation read in Grace Under Pressure. It is a perfect in flight read. Recommended.
This review was written by Ruta Arellano. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, and the cover of this book is exemplary!