Monday, September 29, 2014

Murder at Westminster Abbey


This was recommended by my local library and because I am quite fond of Queen Elizabeth, this piece of historical fiction seemed like an interesting read. I found out while reading it that it is the second book in the series, but I do not think you needed to read the first one in order to enjoy it.
In this book, Amanda Carmack has made the mystery sleuth a musician within Elizabeth's court. The relationship between Kate, the musician, and Queen Elizabeth seemed rather unlikely and I had a hard time fully buying into it. Toward the end, it was hinted at that the relationship that Kate has with the royal family may be more than what it appears, but will not say more on the matter to keep from giving away a potential spoiler for future books in the series. Carmack's characterization of Kate and even the Queen, was rather disappointing to me. I do enjoy a strong female lead, but there just wasn't anything interesting or unique about Kate. She could have been any musician from any court at the time.
Overall, I think that the pacing might have been off a little and it seemed to drag in places. Since it is historically based, it was very interesting to me on that front. But outside of all the research that was put into the book, the story seemed rather, well, boring. It was a nice twist that individuals with red hair like Queen Elizabeth were being killed, but outside of that there was nothing unique. Even the murderer was someone I had suspected a little ways into the book and I was not really surprised when it was revealed. The other issue that I had was the language that was used. There seemed to be certain words and phrases that were repeated over and over, which made the dialogue rather dull after a third through. It would have also been nice if the romance between Anthony and Kate, which was eluded to starting in the first book, would have progressed a little. That might have helped with the story as a whole.
I think that this was a nice cozy mystery in which there is some wonderfully rich history woven into the fiction. However, I am not certain that I will go out of my way to read the next book in the series or even go back for the first. I needed a little something more within the pages of this book to keep me interested and sadly it was not there. Maybe in the next book Carmack can try to insert some of Queen Elizabeth's wit and humor. That would definitely make it feel less dry.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommended to anyone who enjoys historical fictions with a mystery twist. If you do not enjoy the  Elizabethan Age, then I would suggest skipping this book.
The image was taken from Good Reads. I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not asked to do a review of this book.

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