The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer L. Ryan is set in the small English village of Chilbury. Since the lack of men during the war has had a huge impact on the choir, the decision is made to disband the choir entirely.
Until, that is, the vibrant Primrose Trent arrives and manages to persuade the women to continue the choir without men. Primrose is actually the most vibrant character, but she gets very little time in the novel.
A bit of romance, family dysfunction, switched babies, spies, and more. Told through letters and journals--and you had better keep track because sometimes you have to check to see which character is writing. The midwife's letters are probably the least believable, but she does have a recognizable voice.
Entertaining, but not The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Read in July; blog review scheduled for Jan. 26, 2017.
Historical Fiction. Feb. 14, 2017. Print length: 384 pages.
Whew! I read The Chilbury Ladies' Choir 6 months ago and have had it scheduled since last summer!
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I looked for a better cover for The Superintendent's Daughter, but couldn't find one. This one has little to do with the content. I have not read any other books in this series, although I read and enjoyed another book by Eccles several years ago.
Registering under the name of Julia Mayo, Kat checks into a country house hotel where she is murdered in short order. When her body is found, Superintendent Gil Mayo is notified and arrives horrified at the idea. His fears are dispelled when he discovers that the body is not that of his daughter, but sadly, that of Julia's best friend.
Mayo is excluded from the investigation because he is too close to the situation, but since he is unable to locate his daughter, he proceeds on a separate and parallel search to locate Julia.
The novel begins with a letter from Kat to Julia--and is quite slow. The information in the letter(s) provides information that will be useful later, but does not intrigue as it was intended. Nevertheless, the plot does pick up, and Eccles deftly introduces the characters who could be guilty of Kat's murder.
Sometimes having a number of suspects feels contrived, but the way the suspects are introduced makes each one a genuine possibility, and I suspected each one without ever being confident.
Initially, I was not even certain whether Kat or Julia was the intended victim.
Crime/Police Procedural. 1999. Jan. 13, 2017. Print length: 248 pages.