My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Golden Hour is the fourth book in the ‘Lady Evelyn’ mystery series, a cross between a historical fiction and cozy, written by Malia Zaidi. In this latest caper, Lady Evelyn travels to Scotland to keep watch over her aunt who’s been acting stranger than usual. Within a few days, a young maid is found murdered in the gardens and an unsolved murder from years ago resurfaces. Both have connections to her family, and Evie (a nickname for Lady Evelyn, by some) won’t leave the situation alone. Amidst the staff and a neighboring home for veterans of the war, our culprits also include Evie’s aunt, uncle, and maternal cousins. Which one of the entire lot is guilty?
Zaidi achieves a perfect balance of historical details and dialog to transport readers to the setting, both Scotland and the 1920s. Through Lady Evelyn’s charm and wit, she easily elicits all the information she needs to decide who is telling her the truth and who is trying to keep her in the dark. Daniel, her sort-of-not-really-yet fiance, remains behind in London until the very end, allowing her to investigate as she sees fit. Even Briony, another paternal cousin, doesn’t make the trip to Scotland, so we’re introduced to all new characters, including Aunt Agnes, the woman who raised Evie as well as a woman we’ve known very little about. Now, we do… and there’s a striking balance of old schoolmarm and loving aunt mixed about. I love her character the most, I think.
This series is strong. Although it’s on the longer side (page count) and has a large amount of description about the times / locations, it’s charismatic and engaging. It won’t be read in one setting, but you can push through in a few, enjoying each trip to a different aspect of life the main character experiences. Sometimes it’s like Downton Abbey, others it’s more like an Austen novel in terms of how the story is told. Either way, I’m a huge fan, and I really enjoy learning as much as about this historical setting as I do solving the murders.
In this one, we have lots of little twists to keep us guessing, and in the end, I did figure out the suspect before Lady Evelyn… but only because I’ve read so many books in these genres, I’m getting good at my educated guessing! LOL Nonetheless, I am sad to wait for the next one, as I’m caught up in this series now… and this book has only been out for a few weeks. Oh well… I’ll carry on, but I’ll be among the first to get the 5th whenever it’s released.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.