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Lady Eleanor Swift have brought her ladies staff on holiday to Brigton with her, along her amazing butler, Clifford and the sausage-stealing monster of Henley Hall, Master Gladstone, for much-needed holiday and to celebrate her 30th birthday.
Lady Eleanor Swift takes her loyal family retainers: Clifford, the butler; Mrs. Butters, the housekeeper; Mrs. Trotman, the cook; young Polly, the maid; and, of course, Gladstone, the bulldog, to Brighton. A holiday by the sea is just what they all need to recover from the harrowing events that marred Eleanor's first Christmas as lady of the manor.
Eleanor is excited by her first ever holiday to the English seaside, but when she and Clifford arrive at the Grand Hotel they find it unusually quiet due to the presence of the police investigating a murder. Her excitement turns to shock when she discovers that the victim is her husband, who died six years ago.
Eleanor and Clifford once again join forces to catch a murderer. Their task is not easy for there are a number of suspects and the only clue is a cryptic message on the back of Eleanor's wedding photograph. So as not to spoil their holiday, they keep what they are doing a secret from Mrs. Butters, Mrs. Trotman and Polly.
Mystery by the Sea is another charming instalment of this highly entertaining series filled with a host of quirky, but very lovable characters. Eleanor and Clifford are in fine form with their witty banter. Mrs. Butters, Mrs. Trotman and Polly are delightful behaving as giggly and unruly schoolgirls as they enjoy the holiday treats that Brighton has to offer. There are even some amusing moments when Clifford relaxes his strong sense of propriety and shows he also as a sense of fun. And Gladstone, too, gets into plenty of mischief.
DCI Hugh Sheldon puts in an appearance, both professionally and romantically, which augurs well for his continuing relationship with Eleanor.
The mystery element kept me guessing. While I followed and enjoyed Eleanor and Clifford's analysis of the information they gathered, the identity of the murderer eluded me and was a total surprise when revealed.
I'm definitely a fan of this series and eagerly await book six.
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a participant in a book blog tour.
My Dear Friend Lady Eleanor Swift... The fifth installment in the series did not disappoint. Eleanor Swift and her staff deserved a sea side holiday after all the trial and tribulations of the past months. They are off to Brighton, but... They are met by a dead body at the glitzy hotel. And the body is that of... Lady Swift's husband who supposedly died already... years ago at that. Mystery by the Sea is as much a mystery, story of love found and lost, secrets and past hurts. It is a 'photo-snap' of a few days in the lives of friendly, warm, devoted and colorful household of Lady Swift. This book made me laugh and made me contemplate. The mystery was suspenseful and cold as Brighton weather in March. Lady Swift was as smart, dedicated, curious and love-lost as she always is. I love her to bits and wish her all the best. Hoping for new adventures
I seriously enjoy these books, and truth be told, devour them in one sitting. This is no exception. I never clocked who the culprit was and the story is a great one. I'm glad the mystery was resolved the way it was and thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
‘Mystery by the Sea’ by Verity Bright is the fifth in the Lady Eleanor Swift series of historical cosy mysteries set in England in the early 1920s. As always, it proved great fun from start to finish. I just adore this series
As I began reading on publication day, I treated myself to its audiobook edition, again narrated by Karen Cass.
It’s March, 1921 and Lady Eleanor Swift hasn’t had a holiday since she arrived in England a year ago and inherited her uncle’s estate. As she’s about to celebrate her 30th birthday, she’s off to the seaside for a week of relaxation. Yet Lady Eleanor is not going on her own as Clifford, her late uncle’s butler, and Gladstone, her uncle’s elderly bulldog will be joining her at the posh Grand Hotel.
Being a generous employer, Lady Eleanor has also invited her staff to come along too. So Polly, her lady’s maid, Mrs. Butters, the housekeeper, and Mrs. Trotman, the cook, are enjoying themselves and also provide light relief causing the very proper Clifford some embarrassing moments.
Of course, no amateur sleuth can go on holiday without a mystery to solve. So when a hotel guest is murdered, Lady Eleanor naturally becomes involved even though the local detective in charge is not receptive to her assistance. I suggest that this will be best enjoyed without too many advance details in order to avoid spoilers.
I certainly felt that this was a cracking case for Lady Eleanor, with Clifford giving his usual stoic assistance. ‘Mystery by the Sea’ also provided more details of Eleanor’s past, including where she was in 1914 when the Great War broke out and her activities during it.
This is a series that has continued to impress me and that I am always enthusiastic about recommending to lovers of historic cosy mysteries.
When you have spent the last year solving murders in your small Cotswold village the chance of a holiday by the sea is a welcome escape from the norm. So, in the early spring of 1921, Lady Eleanor Swift, her butler, Clifford, and the staff, who have quickly become her family, all head off to Brighton.
With her ladies safely ensconced in their boarding house Eleanor and Clifford book in at the prestigious Grand Hotel, only to see the police leaving a suite with a sheet covered stretcher! On closer inspection, and to her horror, Eleanor discovers it contains the body of her late husband who, she believed, had died six years earlier! Once again Eleanor finds herself at the centre of a murder mystery with nothing and no one being exactly as first appears.
She is determined to ensure everyone still enjoys their holiday but knows finding out where her husband has been all this time and who finally killed him is equally important. This time though Eleanor and Clifford might have met their match coming up against someone who has no intention of leaving any witnesses to their crimes.
Mystery by the Sea is the fifth book in Verity Bright's Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series and is a very entertaining read. The very nature of the crime, those involved, and the unfamiliar location however, means that Eleanor and Clifford are one step removed from their usual investigative routines and allies. This seems to have necessitated the huge amount of historical information and the scenes of Eleanor and her staff at play, not all of which is strictly necessary and is, in some cases, quite distracting.
This is still a good book, the historical information is interesting, and the denouement both surprising and satisfying. The sense of contentment Eleanor now has is beautifully written and adds a definite feel good factor to this story which I definitely enjoyed.
I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. I recommend this book which works both as a standalone and as the latest installment in a great series.
The Lady Eleanor Swift series is great fun. Set in the 1920s in an upper crust setting, Lady Eleanor's unconventional background leads her into many adventures. But when she and her staff go on a seaside holiday to Brighton, her past catches up in the form of her murdered husband. Except she thought her husband had died 6 years previously. What's more, the police don't believe her story so she's a suspect. Lady Eleanor and her devoted butler, the very clever Clifford, set to and solve the tangled mystery of who dunnit. With lots of false clues and cunning twists and turns, it's such a satisfying cozy mystery. A charming read, full of old fashioned sleuthing.
Lady Swift and Clifford are a formidable team when it comes to solving murders, and they do it with such flair and humour.
This book, like the others before it, is filled with good humour and clever clues as to who the killer is. I enjoyed the fact that we got more insight into Lady Swift's personal history, and having lived in South Africa for 28 years myself, I am particularly nostalgic hearing about the places mentioned in the book.
Mystery by the Sea is another enjoyable addition to the series, and if you like cosy mysteries, I highly recommend this one.
In chapter twenty there is a reference to a collapsible umbrella that has been modified to be used as a weapon, this cannot be so as the collapsible umbrella wasn’t invented until 1928 by Hans Haupt, so considering that this story is set in 1921 it’s impossible for Clifford to have one! Some of the facts in these books seem to be based on the assumption that because certain things exist today they existed then which is not always correct, a little more research is required to make these stories historically accurate.
The Vivid lockdown is a time of dreary existence. A book likewise is exactly what is needed. It provides three interests for the price of one: It is a travelogue for the delights of Brighton; it gives the history of the Second World War and the aftermath ; and, oh yes, it fitted in a jolly good mystery. Reader, enjoy