Author: Colleen Cambridge
Series: Phyllida Bright Mystery #1
Published by: Kensington Books on Oct. 26, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Format: ARC, Paperback
Source: Kensington Books
Book Rating: 8.5/10
The first in an exciting new historical mystery series set in the home of Agatha Christie!
Colleen Cambridge’s charming and inventive new historical series introduces an unforgettable heroine in Phyllida Bright, fictional housekeeper for none other than famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie. When a dead body is found during a house party at the home of Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan, it’s up to famous author’s head of household, Phyllida Bright, to investigate…
Tucked away among Devon’s rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses…
The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha’s Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor…
A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense–and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands–along with a distracted, anxious staff–but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered–this time, one of her housemaids–Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot’s footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans’ guests is the killer. With help from the village’s handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida’s wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end…
Mysterious, atmospheric, and delightfully entertaining!
Murder at Mallowan Hall is a clue-like murder mystery set in England at the home of Max Mallowan and Agatha Christie during the 1930s that features Phyllida Bright, a housekeeper extraordinaire who, after stumbling upon the body of a last-minute, previously uninvited guest to the manor, and with a lack of confidence in the local Constable and Scotland Yard inspector sent to investigate the case, endeavours to solve not just one, but ultimately two murders by using her knowledge and love of Hercule Poirot and a little extra help from some of the other members of staff.
The prose is descriptive and light. The characters, including the intelligent, independent heroine, are multi-layered, intriguing, and well-developed. And the plot is a well-paced whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, amateur sleuthing, deduction, attraction, and of course, a touch of the unexpected.
Murder at Mallowan Hall is the first book in the Phyllida Bright Mystery series, and if you love historical mysteries, this one won’t disappoint. It’s an entertaining, cosy, satisfying debut by Cambridge, and I can guarantee I will definitely be keeping my eye out for book number two.
This novel is available now.
Preorder now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!
Thank you to Kensington Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.