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Murder at Mallowan Hall

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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 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...


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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 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...

30 review for Murder at Mallowan Hall

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Murder at Mallowan Hall (Phyllida Bright Mystery #1) Colleen Cambridge (Author), Jennifer M. Dixon (Narrator) I feel conflicted about this audiobook. I did enjoy it and I definitely want to listen to book #2, in the future. Phyllida, the head housekeeper of Mallowan Hall, is a shrewd, judgmental woman, with flashy, bright, hair always, and flashy clothes when off duty. But she also knows exactly how to carry herself while doing her job, until she loses all sense of her work boundaries when a body Murder at Mallowan Hall (Phyllida Bright Mystery #1) Colleen Cambridge (Author), Jennifer M. Dixon (Narrator) I feel conflicted about this audiobook. I did enjoy it and I definitely want to listen to book #2, in the future. Phyllida, the head housekeeper of Mallowan Hall, is a shrewd, judgmental woman, with flashy, bright, hair always, and flashy clothes when off duty. But she also knows exactly how to carry herself while doing her job, until she loses all sense of her work boundaries when a body is found in the library. Once she is on the trail of a murderer, Phyllida interferes with evidence and impedes the official investigation because she thinks she is the one who can deduce who committed the crime. Is there something in her past that makes her feel she is the person for the job, or is it because she's read all of Agatha Christie's books, that gives her the impression she knows how to do murder investigations better than Scotland Yard? Behind the scenes, Phyllida isn't just the head housekeeper but is actually Agatha Christie's best friend, confidante, and equal. It seems Agatha has faith in Phyllida finding the murderer and possibly Agatha leans heavily on Phyllida's advice and input when thinking up ways to kill people, for her novels. I'd like to know more about Phyllida's past because there are hints of something interesting back there that would cause a friend of Agatha Christie to be happy to hide behind the anonymity of a head housekeeper job. The two things that hold me back on rating the book higher are part of what make this an "Agatha Christie" mystery type story. One is that there was so many characters, all with potential to be the murderer, that I could not keep up with them. The other thing is that to illustrate just how honed in to detail that Phyllida is, just like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the story gets bogged down in details that almost stop it in it's tracks. The most glaring example is the extremely detailed description of the bar owner, who is very much a minor side character. I wish Phyllida's talents and character could be presented with a lot fewer words. My favorite part of the story is the relationship, as cantankerous as it is, between Phyllida and Bradford, the unkempt, not to be put in his place, chauffeur. I'd like to see more of them and their oil and water characters together. The more Phyllida tries to ignore Bradford the worse she is at it. Just like Phyllida, Bradford appears to have a past that would be very interesting to know and I hope we learn more in the next book in this series. I enjoyed Jennifer M. Dixon's narration of this story, which fit the setting and time period very well. Publication: October 26th 2021 Thank you to HighBridge Audio and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    A new historical mystery series (cozy) that has a cast of interesting characters that all work for Agatha Christie. Of course it is fiction, and the housekeeper, Phyllida Bright, thinks she is the next detective Poirot! A guest is murdered during a house party and the manor. We are introduced to the large house staff and the party guests (who are all suspects). There were quite a few characters to keep track of and Ms. Bright was up to the task! Enjoyed it for the most part. I was disappointed in A new historical mystery series (cozy) that has a cast of interesting characters that all work for Agatha Christie. Of course it is fiction, and the housekeeper, Phyllida Bright, thinks she is the next detective Poirot! A guest is murdered during a house party and the manor. We are introduced to the large house staff and the party guests (who are all suspects). There were quite a few characters to keep track of and Ms. Bright was up to the task! Enjoyed it for the most part. I was disappointed in the strange reveal of the motive, but clues were scattered throughout. The large cast was also a challenge, but I would read the next book because I did enjoy the setting and Ms. Bright starring as the sleuth. Thanks to NG and publisher for my review copy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Phyllida Bright lives up to her name in this first book of her new series. I love the premise of a housekeeper (and a distinctive one at that) solving mysteries under the very nose of the iconic Agatha Christie. The two actually have a strong bond from past experiences and it is quite amusing to see that in the midst of the sleuthing Agatha is taking notes for future publications. I have not read all of the Agatha Christie books, but am certain that those who have will appreciate how much of a h Phyllida Bright lives up to her name in this first book of her new series. I love the premise of a housekeeper (and a distinctive one at that) solving mysteries under the very nose of the iconic Agatha Christie. The two actually have a strong bond from past experiences and it is quite amusing to see that in the midst of the sleuthing Agatha is taking notes for future publications. I have not read all of the Agatha Christie books, but am certain that those who have will appreciate how much of a homage this new release is to those classics. For those who love a good cozy, this will fit the bill. Plenty of red herrings, a closed room murder to be solved with many houseguests and staff, and an investigation that Hercule Poirot himself would be proud of. The denouement speech is delightful, but I found the solution to be a bit weak. Rounding up to four stars and hoping I will love the second in the series even more than the first. Thank you to Shelf Awareness and Colleen Cambridge for a paperback ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna Lee Huber

    Cambridge pens a thoroughly intriguing mystery, told in a unique manner from the perspective of the staff belowstairs rather than the upper class above, in this splendid first installment in a new series. Her heroine, Phyllida Bright, is the confident, shrewd, and eminently capable housekeeper for none of other than the grand dame of mystery herself—Agatha Christie—and a great admirer of Christie’s fictional detective Poirot, whose methods she seeks to emulate. Fans of Tessa Arlen and Jennifer A Cambridge pens a thoroughly intriguing mystery, told in a unique manner from the perspective of the staff belowstairs rather than the upper class above, in this splendid first installment in a new series. Her heroine, Phyllida Bright, is the confident, shrewd, and eminently capable housekeeper for none of other than the grand dame of mystery herself—Agatha Christie—and a great admirer of Christie’s fictional detective Poirot, whose methods she seeks to emulate. Fans of Tessa Arlen and Jennifer Ashley will be delighted.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Little_wing

    Phyllida Bright is the fictional housekeeper for none other than Agatha Christie. She happens upon a real murder in Agatha's home that is not so much different than the fictional works of her employer. Just like in Agatha Christie's classic detective stories, the town police blunder their way through the case, and it is left to Phyllida to help crack the case before even more people are murdered in her household. I loved the concept of this book and Phyllida as well as the other characters are un Phyllida Bright is the fictional housekeeper for none other than Agatha Christie. She happens upon a real murder in Agatha's home that is not so much different than the fictional works of her employer. Just like in Agatha Christie's classic detective stories, the town police blunder their way through the case, and it is left to Phyllida to help crack the case before even more people are murdered in her household. I loved the concept of this book and Phyllida as well as the other characters are unique and fun to follow. I was not able to solve the entire case by the end of the book which I find refreshing and this definitely keeps my interest when I can't wait to find out the conclusion. Would recommend to Agatha Christie fans as you will find some Easter eggs in his book, as well as cozy mystery, and detective book fans. Thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    . This new series begins with Phyllida Bright discovering a body in the library of Mallowan Hall, where Max Mallowan lives with his wife, famous author Agatha Christie. Bright is the Housekeeper for Mallowan Hall, but becomes a sleuth as well, trying to solve the murder mystery. She is also in the middle of managing a huge house party. This is an intriguing mystery with plenty of twists and red herrings. Phyllida is the star of the show, and the life below stairs is described in interesting detai . This new series begins with Phyllida Bright discovering a body in the library of Mallowan Hall, where Max Mallowan lives with his wife, famous author Agatha Christie. Bright is the Housekeeper for Mallowan Hall, but becomes a sleuth as well, trying to solve the murder mystery. She is also in the middle of managing a huge house party. This is an intriguing mystery with plenty of twists and red herrings. Phyllida is the star of the show, and the life below stairs is described in interesting detail. Phyllida is a strong and accomplished main character. I am looking forward to reading her further adventures.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Publishing for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review Murder at Mallowan Hall. All opinions are my own. The housekeeper of Mallowan Hall (yes, “that” Mrs. Mallowan, popularly known as Agatha Christie) finds a dead body in the library. How terribly inconvenient for someone who doesn’t want the publicity (not that many people do, of course. Our book is set in the 1930s, not the 2020s). Thus begins Murder at Mallowan Hall by exp Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Publishing for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review Murder at Mallowan Hall. All opinions are my own. The housekeeper of Mallowan Hall (yes, “that” Mrs. Mallowan, popularly known as Agatha Christie) finds a dead body in the library. How terribly inconvenient for someone who doesn’t want the publicity (not that many people do, of course. Our book is set in the 1930s, not the 2020s). Thus begins Murder at Mallowan Hall by experienced mystery writer Colleen Cambridge. (An author’s note right at the beginning lets us know that the setting and the characters are entirely fictitious, well, except for Mr. Max and Mrs. Agatha, of course. One hopes that the real Mrs. Mallowan would have approved.) Phyllida Bright is that housekeeper, and she establishes herself as the one who is going to investigate the murder, as she doesn’t trust the police to do the job. She’s also established as a fully realized character, along with everyone else in the house, although there’s nothing new there with the snobby butler or curmudgeon of a cook. That’s fine; this is one of those books that will get you to where you need to go without a whole lot of fuss. Just like a well-run house, actually. Although murder -- actually, two murders eventually, in this case – doesn’t usually figure in the equation. The murder investigation is under control throughout; she gets the requisite “stop interfering” speech from the police inspector, but when did that stop anybody? Phyllida has everything in check. One of her inspirations is her favorite fictional detective Hercule Poirot, after all. Clues pop up, including some incriminating photographs. She gets some help from the family chauffeur; looks like he’s definitely going to figure in future books. Every amateur detective needs a sidekick, don’t they? A side note -- what I really enjoyed was what you learn about the duties of a housekeeper in a big house. I found that almost as compelling to read as the murder mystery. And since this runs along the lines of a “golden age” mystery, we’re rewarded with the “drawing room scene,” in this case that library, where everyone gathers to listen as Phyllida expose a murderer. Just like in her employer’s books. And best of all, she gets the greatest of compliments from Monsieur Poirot’s creator – a job well done. Wonderfully plotted and thoroughly entertaining, Murder at Mallowan Hall is a great start to a new series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I was 9 years old and discovered Hercule Poirot. As a Christie lover, the concept of this novel made me jump at the chance to read it - what a fun idea for a series! The main character, Phyllida Bright, is the head housekeeper for Christie and her husband, Max Mallowan. Mallowan Hall is a large country manor and Phyllida runs the household efficiently. She is very protective of her employers and wants things to be just right at all times. A dead Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I was 9 years old and discovered Hercule Poirot. As a Christie lover, the concept of this novel made me jump at the chance to read it - what a fun idea for a series! The main character, Phyllida Bright, is the head housekeeper for Christie and her husband, Max Mallowan. Mallowan Hall is a large country manor and Phyllida runs the household efficiently. She is very protective of her employers and wants things to be just right at all times. A dead body in the library does tend to get things in an uproar, however..... I love the 1930's setting for this novel, and although completely fictionalized the house, staff and setting sucked me into the story immediately. Can you imagine?? A cold blooded murder....in the library....at AGATHA CHRISTIE's house??? :) Perfect!! The story moves at a nice pace. There is plenty of sleuthing and lots of suspects. It was like being in a Christie novel featuring her own household staff. Fun! I read a digital review copy of this book, and also listened to the audiobook. Narrated by Jennifer M. Dixon, the audio is just short of 9.5 hours. Dixon has the perfect voice to narrate this book! Her voice acting performance was wonderful. A fun, interesting listening experience! I am definitely, 100%, no doubt whatsoever completely on board for more stories in this series! Can't wait!! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington and listened to audio from HighBridge Audio. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This was a fun, cozy historical fiction/mystery set in England during the 1930s. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper of a great manor owned by Max Mallowan and his wife, Agatha Christie. She is smart, elegant, efficient and runs the house with an iron fist. When a guest is killed during a dinner party, Phyllida determines she must solve the mystery herself when she sees how inept the local police are in investigating the case. It's qui 4 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This was a fun, cozy historical fiction/mystery set in England during the 1930s. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper of a great manor owned by Max Mallowan and his wife, Agatha Christie. She is smart, elegant, efficient and runs the house with an iron fist. When a guest is killed during a dinner party, Phyllida determines she must solve the mystery herself when she sees how inept the local police are in investigating the case. It's quickly determined that the unanticipated guest arrived under false pretenses. Phyllida must try to solve the crime, while also dealing with demanding guests with secrets of their own, an upset staff, and a hoard of photographers at the gate. Luckily Phyllida is well versed in the tactics of Christie's hero Hercule Poirot, and she's on the scent of the killer. This is a well written, interesting and fun historical fiction mystery. I really liked Phyllida and her strong, no-nonsense manner. She has secrets of her own, and I look forward to finding out what they are in future books. Agatha Christie plays only a small part in the book, and her husband an even smaller one. I am glad, because the staff have more than enough depth and personality to sustain the book. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Kensington Books. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    I seem to be reading lots of 'tween books lately - this one is rated by me as between 3.5 and 4 stars with the arrow landing on the 4 because I think I would be willing to read the second book in the series when it is published. Mrs. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, the country residence of Max and Agatha Mallowan (yep, Agatha Christie herself). Phyllida and Agatha have some history which is hinted at but not revealed in this book because it will obviously form the basis of a I seem to be reading lots of 'tween books lately - this one is rated by me as between 3.5 and 4 stars with the arrow landing on the 4 because I think I would be willing to read the second book in the series when it is published. Mrs. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, the country residence of Max and Agatha Mallowan (yep, Agatha Christie herself). Phyllida and Agatha have some history which is hinted at but not revealed in this book because it will obviously form the basis of another book in the series. Let's just say that Agatha takes a decided back seat in this mystery solving so if you had hoped to find that line taken in this series you are sure to be disappointed. Phyllida does give Agatha a great plot line for a book she should write based on what happens here: a body is found dead in the library. The murder weapon is so absurd that I still find myself trying to figure out how the murderer accomplished such a perfect.....strike? Even if this novel wasn't written with a tongue-in-cheek meaning, I definitely had to read it with a tongue-in-cheek supposition. There is a very large cast of characters in this book with plenty of them above stairs, loads of them below stairs and even some living outside the house. A lot to keep track of. There is also a red herring that must have been almost pulverized by the time the book was over from being dragged through the pages. Phyllida is allowed to resort to some pretty silly actions when she begins investigating this murder and her attitude almost of competition for who can solve it first made it hard for me to take the book seriously at times. I'm really hoping some changes in the personality of this sublimely accomplished housekeeper will be toned town somewhat for future books; she didn't exactly give me warm, fuzzy feelings. She also needs to lose her personal comparisons with Poirot and his solving skills. She's got a long, long way to go before she gets to that level. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an e-galley of this novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    A house party, murder, upstairs/downstairs scenes. What else can you have but a golden-age mystery. However, this time, it is set at the home of no other than Agatha Christie, the Queen of Murder Mysteries. Told from the point of view of the housekeeper and friend of Agatha Christie, Phyllida Bright, has a quick mind and is thoroughly versed in the ways of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Of course, she will investigate when she finds a dead body in the library to discovers the police are not get A house party, murder, upstairs/downstairs scenes. What else can you have but a golden-age mystery. However, this time, it is set at the home of no other than Agatha Christie, the Queen of Murder Mysteries. Told from the point of view of the housekeeper and friend of Agatha Christie, Phyllida Bright, has a quick mind and is thoroughly versed in the ways of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Of course, she will investigate when she finds a dead body in the library to discovers the police are not getting the job done. Agatha must not be bothered as she is trying to finish a book and tend to her guests. Phyllida is an engaging character and a good investigator. Her interaction with Agatha is believable but does not play a big role in the story. Her encounters with the butler and the chauffeur have a bigger part and are amusing and enjoyable. The other characters are well-drawn as well. The narrator does a good job and the different voices suit the characters well. However, since there are a number of characters it can be hard to remember who is who sometimes. There is always the danger when using a real person in a fictional mystery series that the person will not seem true to life. Cambridge does a good job in her depiction of Agatha and her husband Max. It helps that they don’t have starring roles in the story. I enjoyed it. It can be read as any other historical mystery set during the Golden Age of Murder or for the character of Agatha Christie. Either way, it is a good story and I would definitely read another in the series. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Agatha’s homespun sleuth! Fascinating beginning of a Cozy Mystery series where the sleuth is Agatha Christie’s housekeeper. Weaving in and of aspects of Christie’s personal life, her literary characters and books, this quirky use of Agatha Christie the person as the backdrop for a new suite of cozy mysteries is rather brilliant. A body is found in the Christie’s library, stabbed with a fountain pen. The house is fill of recently arrived guests and their various staff members for a house party at Ma Agatha’s homespun sleuth! Fascinating beginning of a Cozy Mystery series where the sleuth is Agatha Christie’s housekeeper. Weaving in and of aspects of Christie’s personal life, her literary characters and books, this quirky use of Agatha Christie the person as the backdrop for a new suite of cozy mysteries is rather brilliant. A body is found in the Christie’s library, stabbed with a fountain pen. The house is fill of recently arrived guests and their various staff members for a house party at Mallowan Hall. The murderer could be anyone. When a second death occurs things are really shaken up. Phyllida Bright, Mallowan Hall’s housekeeper, realises she will have to take charge of finding the murderer, particularly as her friend and employer Agatha has asked it of her. (And the whys and wherefores of that friendship will be interesting!) Of course there’s the requisite Inspector who’s maybe a tad like Pirot’s Inspector Japp.Phyllida has a touch of Jane Marple combined with Pirot’s love of using our little grey matter. Then there’s the mysterious chauffeur. I keep seeing the chauffeur from Upstairs Downstairs. A cast of characters that I’m sure will bloom, all stereotypes with ingenious twists. First rate action, some comical twists and interestingly modern thoughts, all combine to make this a series I’m looking forward to reading more of. A Kensington ARC via NetGalley

  13. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    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 extraordinary 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 ultimatel 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 extraordinary 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. Thank you to Kensington Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brittani

    If you love to read Agatha Christie novels, then you'll love to read about Phyllida Bright! Phyllida Bright is the housemaid to Mr. Max Mallowan and Mrs. Agatha Mallowan (formerly Christie). One evening, someone is murdered in their household and Phyllida, a lover of Christie's Poirot, sets out to solve the murder herself using her own little gray cells to process evidence. I loved the feel of the book and how it read like a Christie novel would. There were several nods to Christie's works and it If you love to read Agatha Christie novels, then you'll love to read about Phyllida Bright! Phyllida Bright is the housemaid to Mr. Max Mallowan and Mrs. Agatha Mallowan (formerly Christie). One evening, someone is murdered in their household and Phyllida, a lover of Christie's Poirot, sets out to solve the murder herself using her own little gray cells to process evidence. I loved the feel of the book and how it read like a Christie novel would. There were several nods to Christie's works and it was interesting (though it's entirely fictional) to read about how Agatha and Phyllida might interact with one another. Phyllida is tenacious, yet has a large sense of loyalty, duty, and pride to her employers and to her station. I loved the side characters, like Lizzie and Puffley. They added a new layer of humor to it that was appreciated. Dobble was also fun to read as the butler, and I'll be interested to see more of Bradford in the rest of the series. I highly suggest this book to anyone who loves to read Agatha Christie novels. It's an entirely new concept (having the murder happen in the Queen of Mystery's own home) that I really enjoyed, and I would love to read more adventures from Phyllida!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This is a clever and enjoyable historical mystery with a fun twist: It’s set at Agatha Christie’s house! The author has of course taken some liberties with the concept (there is no real Mallowan Hall), but the concept is great and sets up a fitting environment for a very retro-style, golden age mystery. Agatha Christie and second husband Max Mallowan are minor characters in the story (this turns out to be a good thing) and our protagonist is actually housekeeper Phyllida, a no-nonsense gal with This is a clever and enjoyable historical mystery with a fun twist: It’s set at Agatha Christie’s house! The author has of course taken some liberties with the concept (there is no real Mallowan Hall), but the concept is great and sets up a fitting environment for a very retro-style, golden age mystery. Agatha Christie and second husband Max Mallowan are minor characters in the story (this turns out to be a good thing) and our protagonist is actually housekeeper Phyllida, a no-nonsense gal with a personal relationship to Christie and a mysterious past that suggests that the role of housekeeper is an unusual one for her circumstances. The character can be a bit much at times (the imperious tone she often adopts is kind of obnoxious, and it’s one example of the sometimes clunky writing that shows up throughout this book). But mostly she’s a capable, wry gal who is easy to like. The mystery itself is compelling and the solve is well-crafted, even if the hugely contrived “big reveal” scene at the end is absurd and should have been rewritten into something less ham-fisted. The book can be slow going at times, which I thought was absolutely fine for this subgenre but might bother readers seeking something akin to modern mysteries. In all it’s a very promising start to a new historical mystery series. I’m looking forward to Phyllida and company’s next adventure. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Colleen Cambridge's Murder at Mallowan Hall marks the start of an amusing series that I hope will be long-lasting. Phyllida Bright, our "detective," is housekeeper for none other than Agatha Christie. Phyllida is one of those characters who is quirky and entertaining from the start, and I think she's going to become even more fun to spend time with as this series progresses. She has quite a high opinion of herself, is generally kind to the staff see oversees, but always keeps a bit of distance t Colleen Cambridge's Murder at Mallowan Hall marks the start of an amusing series that I hope will be long-lasting. Phyllida Bright, our "detective," is housekeeper for none other than Agatha Christie. Phyllida is one of those characters who is quirky and entertaining from the start, and I think she's going to become even more fun to spend time with as this series progresses. She has quite a high opinion of herself, is generally kind to the staff see oversees, but always keeps a bit of distance that leaves her seeming strict and formidable. Max Mallowan (Christie's second husband) and Mrs. Agatha (as the servants address her) are holding a weekend party for a small group of guests. It's a stormy night, and when a reporter, who claims he has an interview with Mrs. Agatha, appears at the door, he's invited to spend the night. The next morning, Phyllida discovers his dead body in the library. Quickly convinced that the local officer and Scotland Yard Detective investigating the case are incompetent, Phyllida decides she must solve it herself.... I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge is the debut of A Phyllida Bright Mystery series. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall which is the home of Agatha Christie and her husband, Max. When a reporter ends up dead in the library, Mrs. Bright doubts the abilities of the detective assigned the case. She decides to some sleuthing on her own to solve the crime so the houseguests can be on their way. Murder at Mallowan Hall opens with the murder of a reporter found by Mrs. Bright Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge is the debut of A Phyllida Bright Mystery series. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall which is the home of Agatha Christie and her husband, Max. When a reporter ends up dead in the library, Mrs. Bright doubts the abilities of the detective assigned the case. She decides to some sleuthing on her own to solve the crime so the houseguests can be on their way. Murder at Mallowan Hall opens with the murder of a reporter found by Mrs. Bright in the library at Mallowan Hall. I like the character of Mrs. Bright. There is more to her than meets the eye. I like that she is an efficient housekeeper with attention to detail. Her bright hair is the one thing out of place which bothers the butler. Mrs. Bright has some quirky characteristics. We are introduced to a large cast of characters that include the household servants, Agatha Christie and her husband, Max as well as their houseguests. It can be difficult to keep track of all the characters. The whodunit is a closed room mystery. Someone in the house is the guilty party. Mrs. Bright actively investigates by asking questions and searching for clues. There are multiple suspects and a couple of red herrings. There are good clues to help readers solve the crime. Mrs. Bright’s reveal reminds me of an episode of Murder, She Wrote. I appreciated that the case was completely wrapped up. Murder at Mallowan was easy to get into in the beginning, but it can be slow going at times. The author is extremely detail oriented. A room or individual can be described down the minutest detail. This can be a bit much after a while. There was such a large cast of characters, that we really do not get much detail on the main ones. I am sure we will get to know the household staff better in future books. I think that die-hard fans of Agatha Christie will either love this story or hate it. I did feel the author captured the time when manor houses were still thriving. There is a definite Upstairs/Downstairs feel to the story. I am curious to learn more about Mrs. Bright. She is someone who is definitely keeping some secrets. Murder at Mallowan Hall has curious crime will have you confused unless you pay close attention to the clues.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    This felt like a very British book. It takes place in Agatha Christie’s residence during a party. It had some twists and it takes the housekeeper to figure it all out. I enjoyed the story for the most part even tho it seemed to drag at times. It’s part of a series so I’m interested enough to want to see where it goes. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder At Mallowan Hall is the first book in the Phyllida Bright Mystery series by Colleen Cambridge. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, the home of Agatha Christie and her husband, Max Mallowan. Bright and Christie had known each other during the “Great War” when they worked together with Red Cross. When Christie married Mallowan, she asked Bright to be their housekeeper. Even though Bright had never worked in service, having served during the war, she developed some management Murder At Mallowan Hall is the first book in the Phyllida Bright Mystery series by Colleen Cambridge. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall, the home of Agatha Christie and her husband, Max Mallowan. Bright and Christie had known each other during the “Great War” when they worked together with Red Cross. When Christie married Mallowan, she asked Bright to be their housekeeper. Even though Bright had never worked in service, having served during the war, she developed some management skills. The only member of the staff is the butler, Mr. Dobble. He’s not happy with Bright’s light-colored dresses and believes she should wear a cap over her flaming-red hair. The Mallowan’s are having a few guests in for the weekend. As they are about to sit down to supper, there is a knock on the front door. Mr. Dobble announces that there is a Mr. Waring who explains he is a journalist and is there to interview Agatha Christie. Agatha doesn’t remember having an interview scheduled, but she still offers to put Waring up for the evening because of inclement weather. The next morning when Bright enters the library, she finds the body of Waring with a fountain pen sticking out of his neck. Once the local constable and a detective from Scotland Yard arrive and begin their investigation, Bright isn’t confident that they will find the murderer. Bright is a big fan of mysteries, especially her employers. Her favorite character is Hercule Poirot, and she hopes to use some of Poirot’s expertise to help her with her sleuthing. Bright will learn that Waring was not there for an interview. So her attention is drawn to one of the guests as the killer. Bright will enlist the help of the servants to watch for possible clues and let her know right away. Bright knows she needs to speed up her investigation when a maid is found dead in the orchard before anyone else loses their life. This book is an excellent start to a new series. Bright and the entire staff at Mallowan Hall are all believable and quite enjoyable. I would like to see more of Bright’s backstory. The banter between Mr. Bradford, the chauffeur, and Mr. Dobble was fascinating. Agatha Christie plays a minor role in this book, but Bright did provide her with some plots for future books. The book is well-written and plotted. It had enough twists and turn and red herrings that I was kept guessing until the Poirot-style ending who the killer was. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book is new series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    The Story: Former Army nurse, Phyllida Bright now works as the housekeeper for Agatha Christie in Mallowan Hall, a modest manor house. When Mr. Waring, a guest of the Mallowans' is found murdered in the library, Phyllida decides to follow the footsteps of her beloved fictional detective, Poirot and begins her own investigation. My thoughts: What a delightful read! This is the first book of the Phyllida Bright Mystery and I enjoyed it! There are a lot of characters in the story and I have t The Story: Former Army nurse, Phyllida Bright now works as the housekeeper for Agatha Christie in Mallowan Hall, a modest manor house. When Mr. Waring, a guest of the Mallowans' is found murdered in the library, Phyllida decides to follow the footsteps of her beloved fictional detective, Poirot and begins her own investigation. My thoughts: What a delightful read! This is the first book of the Phyllida Bright Mystery and I enjoyed it! There are a lot of characters in the story and I have to be honest that it did take me a while to get invested into the story. But once I get that sorted out, it was an entertaining read all the way! I liked the different personalities of the characters including all the staff in Mallowan Hall. The gossip and drama were fun to read! I still can't decide how I feel about Phyllida. She is an intelligent and bold woman yet in my personal opinion she can be a bit presumptuous at times. I did enjoy her investigative work though which I think was clever and played a vital role in understanding the complex plot (which was well done by the way!) In a nutshell, this was great start to this new historical mystery series and I am looking forward to reading the next book! Pub. Date: Oct 26th. 2021 ***Thank you Kensington Books and author Colleen Cambridge for this gifted review copy to read. All opinions expressed are my own.***

  21. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    The first in a new historical cozy mystery, Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge was a good beginning to introduce readers to the characters that inhabit the fictitious Mallowan Hall where Max Mallowan and Dame Agatha Christie reside. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall and met Agatha when they served together in the war. They became friends and when Phyllida needed a change in scene, Agatha offered her a position in Mallowan Hall. Phyllida is definitely a mystery and litt The first in a new historical cozy mystery, Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge was a good beginning to introduce readers to the characters that inhabit the fictitious Mallowan Hall where Max Mallowan and Dame Agatha Christie reside. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper at Mallowan Hall and met Agatha when they served together in the war. They became friends and when Phyllida needed a change in scene, Agatha offered her a position in Mallowan Hall. Phyllida is definitely a mystery and little is revealed in this book about her past. She is a strong and fiercely independent woman and runs the household of cook and maids with a iron fist in a velvet glove. When a dead body appears in the library during a house party, she decides that the Scotland Yard detective and the local constable are making a hash of the investigation. Soon she is on the case trying to emulate her hero, Hercule Poirot. Both upstairs guests and downstairs staff are suspects, two murders, and a deftly twisted plot kept the story moving until Phyllida got to do a dramatic reveal in the library. I voluntarily reviewed a digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington Publishing via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carol lowkey.bookish

    This was an interesting start in a new historical mystery series set in the home of Agatha Christie! I liked the main character, Phyllida Bright, and her interactions with Brandon the chauffeur. I also really liked the idea of setting the book in Agatha Christie’s house. I also enjoyed the Downton Abbey feel of the book with servants and fancy guests at a house party. This mystery had several Agatha Christie–like touches. In fact, at times it felt a little bit too much in the style of her books. I This was an interesting start in a new historical mystery series set in the home of Agatha Christie! I liked the main character, Phyllida Bright, and her interactions with Brandon the chauffeur. I also really liked the idea of setting the book in Agatha Christie’s house. I also enjoyed the Downton Abbey feel of the book with servants and fancy guests at a house party. This mystery had several Agatha Christie–like touches. In fact, at times it felt a little bit too much in the style of her books. I also felt the wrap-up at the end with Phyllida fingering the murder went on way too long. Shortly after the big reveal, the book itself abruptly ended; if it wasn’t an e-book I would’ve thought a page was missing from my book. It is a promising start and the character of Phyllida is interesting enough for me to keep reading this series. I would like to see the relationship between Philadelphia and Brandon be expanded in future books. I received an advance e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I was in the mood for a good cozy mystery, and with the references to Dame Christie herself, how could I resist? I am happy to report my lack of self-control proved a worthy time of entertainment! Mallowan Hall is the home of Agatha and her second husband Max, while the mysteriously placed Phyllida Bright, a former friend of the now Mrs. Mallowan runs the household. Phyllida is the one to find the dead body in the library after an evening of dining with friends. The body belongs to a Mr. Waring w I was in the mood for a good cozy mystery, and with the references to Dame Christie herself, how could I resist? I am happy to report my lack of self-control proved a worthy time of entertainment! Mallowan Hall is the home of Agatha and her second husband Max, while the mysteriously placed Phyllida Bright, a former friend of the now Mrs. Mallowan runs the household. Phyllida is the one to find the dead body in the library after an evening of dining with friends. The body belongs to a Mr. Waring whom no one seems to know. Of course, this can't be true. Phyllida is quite a fan of Hercule Poirot, despite his being fiction, and sets off to collect clues and solve the murder, complete with the bumbling detectives all the way through with a final denouement! I enjoyed this first installment of this Phyllida Bright Mystery series. I felt it introduced the characters very well and left some unanswered questions that will undoubtedly be revealed as the series continues. I am quite intrigued by Ms. Bright and will stay tuned to find out more about her! I also enjoyed the mystery. While I did have a hunch "who-done-it", it was a delightful listen. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version of this book! The narrator did a fantastic job and carried me through the story with ease and delectation! For fans of cozy mysteries, Agatha Christie, and a good old-fashioned Who-Done-It, I highly recommend this story. Thank you, NetGalley, Kensington Books, and HighBridge Audio for the ALC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Charming and delightful! A cross between Downton Abbey and Miss Marple. Plus fictional character love!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Not sure how I feel about this one. On one hand it was interesting to see things from the ‘downstairs’ point of view and the mystery was good enough. Seemed a bit drawn out/wordy. Still, I’d like to try the author’s 2nd outing in the series. Give another chance. 3.75/5.0 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frosta Wings It

    2.75 stars Murder at Mallowan Hall is a debut novel featuring our heroine Phyllida Bright. She is none other than Agatha Christie’s head of household with a deep admiration for Poirot! The Mallowan’s are hosting a weekend party for 8 guests, which is going well until one of the guests is found murdered in the library! It’s up to Phyllida to find the murderer before it strikes again! I will start with my least favourite thing about the book: the author didn't play fair with her solution. We were f 2.75 stars Murder at Mallowan Hall is a debut novel featuring our heroine Phyllida Bright. She is none other than Agatha Christie’s head of household with a deep admiration for Poirot! The Mallowan’s are hosting a weekend party for 8 guests, which is going well until one of the guests is found murdered in the library! It’s up to Phyllida to find the murderer before it strikes again! I will start with my least favourite thing about the book: the author didn't play fair with her solution. We were finding the answer with Mrs. Bright, and at times she even withheld information from us. Not that there isn't anything wrong with it, it's just not my preference; I prefer Poirot, and Phyllida was more of a Sherlock. I also find it hard to get invested in a book and solve the puzzle when you don't get to know the characters. Their personality and motive are just, to me, part of the solution as the other clues. I felt that the "downstairs" characters were often listed with their positions every time they were mentioned, even when it wasn't relevant to the plot. I wonder if, in future books, having a list of characters with a brief description (like Agatha did in so many of her earlier books) would enhance the reading experience. With that out of the way, I absolutely loved the plot idea! It's fresh, and it's what I have been waiting for for a long time! To see Agatha as a character is heavenly. It is also evident that Cambridge was very thorough in her research - she managed to evoke the atmosphere of 1930's England as much as any modern-day American could. I was able to visualize the manor and the surroundings very vividly. I believe that Murder at Mallowan Hall will be a massive hit amongst cozy mystery fans. Even though it wasn't for me, I feel that it has every hallmark to please less picky fans of the genre. I don't think it was Cambridge's fault at all. It's just that I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and came into the book with the wrong expectations. I was expecting a mystery that followed Golden Age rules and with better-developed characters. I also expected Agatha to be a more significant part of the book. I didn't know any of the characters, except for Phyllida, by the end of the book. I understand that this is a debut novel, so hopefully, it was just the author setting up her heroine for future books. I hope to see Phyllida grow and to like her more; for now, I am not sure I do. She is a delightful character, but she is made to be this perfect person everyone either falls in love with or thinks she is better than them, including Agatha Christie. (but then again, it worked for Jean Gray!) This was a promising debut, and I'll still check the second book in the series. Hopefully, there will be more Agatha! p.s. Direct your hate at me. I know I am picky! Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to Kensington Books, NetGalley, and Colleen Cambridge for providing me with a copy of Murder at Mallowan Hall. #MurderatMallowanHall, #ColleenCambridge, #KensingtonBooks, #Mystery, #Cozy, #NetGalley,

  27. 5 out of 5

    Taylor - Muse Ignited Reads

    3.5 Stars - An homage to the classic era (or golden age) of crime fiction, with all the 1930s historical vibes and a perfect "manor house murder" taking place at none other than Dame Agatha Christie's house! This was a fun, quaint, cozy, but with psychological depth, in what promises to be a great series. **Thank you so much to both NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!** I was so looking forward to starting this one as I am both a huge Chr 3.5 Stars - An homage to the classic era (or golden age) of crime fiction, with all the 1930s historical vibes and a perfect "manor house murder" taking place at none other than Dame Agatha Christie's house! This was a fun, quaint, cozy, but with psychological depth, in what promises to be a great series. **Thank you so much to both NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!** I was so looking forward to starting this one as I am both a huge Christie fan and lover of the Classic Era of Crime Fiction - that being said, I'm not going to lie, I actually struggled a little bit through the first 1/3 of this book. It has a great premise, with Phyllida Bright head housekeeper at Mallowan Hall (home to Agatha Christie and her husband) staring as our amateur sleuth. However the first part felt much more Upstairs Downstairs/Downton Abbey than it did Christie-esque. The story starts immediately with a murder and the interviews with all the staff felt overly prolonged and drawn out. However once we got past that bit and the story got some forward momentum I really enjoyed it, especially after the addition of a certain surly chauffeur. I liked the little bit of interaction we got with the house guests, which gave the story its decidedly golden age manor house mystery vibes, and as they were the main suspects would have liked to have seen them have more "onscreen time". Phyllida herself is a bit of a mystery, a bit past her prime but nevertheless beauty who downplays her looks but still refuses to dress like a house keeper. I think there's definitely bigger secrets to be revealed in her history and look forward to finding out more about her. I would definitely recommend to fans of both Golden Age and Historical Mysteries, as well as those who like Agatha Christie. The mystery was just tricky enough not to be boring, and the cast featured some of the more psychological angles Christie was known for, plus there's just a hint of possible romance that I found intriguing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Imagine working for the famous mystery writer Agatha Christie in her manor house where she lives with her second husband Max Mallowan. Then imagine walking into the library one morning to draw back the curtains only to find a dead body. That is exactly what happens to Phyllida Bright, Agatha’s head of housekeeping in this delightful very British cozy mystery. As an Agatha Christie fan, I absolutely adored this book, sure it wasn’t perfect, but to imagine an actual murder in the Queen of murder my Imagine working for the famous mystery writer Agatha Christie in her manor house where she lives with her second husband Max Mallowan. Then imagine walking into the library one morning to draw back the curtains only to find a dead body. That is exactly what happens to Phyllida Bright, Agatha’s head of housekeeping in this delightful very British cozy mystery. As an Agatha Christie fan, I absolutely adored this book, sure it wasn’t perfect, but to imagine an actual murder in the Queen of murder mysteries library is hysterical, almost tongue in cheek. There was a large number of servants in the home and several house guests spending the night when the murder happened. Because of the large number of secondary characters, there were times when it was difficult to keep up with them all, but I enjoyed that the story was told mostly from the “ downstairs “ bunch instead of the guest that lived “ upstairs “. I did enjoy Phyllida, she was what you would expect from the head of housekeeping and a long-time acquaintance with Ms. Chrisies, a bit cold, a bit above the rest of the staff, precise, capable and confident. I think making her extremely friendly would have taken away from her personality. She admired her employer's greatest detective Hercule Poirot, and she took cues from what she knew or thought she knew he would do to solve a crime. My complaints with the book? There were a few. The choice of murder weapons was a bit of a long shot, and the reveal at the end was as absurd as the weapon of choice. The story was entertaining, the writing was easy to read, and this book had everything in it that you would expect from a good British mystery…..murder in a big manor house, noisy servants and of course Agatha Christie…even though in this story she was a secondary character and not the writer.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz Mannegren

    Murder at Mallowan Hall is a brand new historical mystery series featuring Agatha Christie's fictional housekeeper as detective. Phyllida Bright not only discovers the bodies, she also unmasks the murderer. Curious but efficient, Phyllida is housekeeper and personal friend to Agatha Christie. She's not your typical housekeeper, however, and there's a hint of mystery in past too. (Guess we'll have to wait until the next book in the series to find out more!) While there are a few interactions with Murder at Mallowan Hall is a brand new historical mystery series featuring Agatha Christie's fictional housekeeper as detective. Phyllida Bright not only discovers the bodies, she also unmasks the murderer. Curious but efficient, Phyllida is housekeeper and personal friend to Agatha Christie. She's not your typical housekeeper, however, and there's a hint of mystery in past too. (Guess we'll have to wait until the next book in the series to find out more!) While there are a few interactions with Agatha, the story does mostly focus on Phyllida's investigations. Due to the number of suspects, I did struggle to keep track of who everyone was. However, I loved the downstairs characters and I look forward to getting to know everyone at Mallowan Hall more in the coming books. I also felt that this cozy was very well researched. There was a lot of detail about how a house was run during this time period. This gave a lot of authenticity to the story. In addition, Cambridge weaved numerous facts and bits of trivia about Agatha Christie throughout the novel. As a long time fan of Agatha’s work, I had a lot of fun uncovering these “Easter eggs.” While there were some slower moments / a bit of repetition, this was a really fun premise and I thoroughly enjoyed this light and cozy historical mystery. 3.75 stars rounded up.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rezer

    With the cunning of Hercule Poirot, the busybodiness of Miss Marble, and enthusiastic energy of Tuppence Beresford, Phyllida Bright is the newest shining light in the pantheon of fictional sleuths. What more would we expect from the housemaid and secret friend of Agatha Christie! A rousing good story, complete with plenty of chuckles from the mind of a brash, independent, and headstrong woman who isn’t about to take any guff from anyone to solve a murder in her mistress’ own home. Plenty of dome With the cunning of Hercule Poirot, the busybodiness of Miss Marble, and enthusiastic energy of Tuppence Beresford, Phyllida Bright is the newest shining light in the pantheon of fictional sleuths. What more would we expect from the housemaid and secret friend of Agatha Christie! A rousing good story, complete with plenty of chuckles from the mind of a brash, independent, and headstrong woman who isn’t about to take any guff from anyone to solve a murder in her mistress’ own home. Plenty of domestic attitudes abound and a cracker of a mystery, complete with a expected grand denouement worthy of Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot. A delightful cross between Downton Abbey (or Upstairs, Downstairs for those of a more advanced viewership!) and any number of who-dun-its by Agatha Christie herself! My favorite line is one by Agatha Christie: “Why do people assume that just because I’m a detective writer, I know how to solve a crime?” That about sums up the tone of this book. An absolutely brilliant idea for a mystery series! Three cheers for Phyllida Bright—and pass the Orange-Sage syrup! Highly recommended!

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