Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Aloha to Hannah Dennison and A KILLER BALL AT HONEYCHURCH HALL - Book Review

26114591

When antique dealer Kat Stanford stumbles upon the partially mummified body of a young woman in an abandoned wing at Honeychurch Hall, suspicion falls on those who had been living there many years ago. And it appears that the deceased had been murdered. Given her mother Iris’s checkered past, Kat is not surprised to learn that Iris knew the victim.

Meanwhile, the unexpected appearance of former lothario Bryan Laney sets female hearts aflutter. Despite the passing years, time has not dampened his ardor for Iris, but the feeling is not reciprocated.

With stories of hidden treasure and secret chambers, past and present collide. As Kat becomes embroiled once more in her mother’s mysterious and tumultuous bygone days, she comes to realize that life is never black and white, and sometimes it is necessary to risk your own life to protect the lives of the ones you love.


Teversal Manor in Nottinghamshire
It inspired Wragby Hall in LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER
Image by Alan Heardman (link)


“A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.” ― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

Kat Standford settles into the carriage house at Honeychurch Hall in the third book of this British cozy mystery series. She left behind her TV career as an antiques appraiser, her not so divorced boyfriend, and London's face paced lifestyle to reinvent herself in the Devon countryside. In the first two books, she discovers her mother's connection to Honeychurch Hall. the ancestral home to an earl struggling to keep the estate in the black.

Book Three brings a black mark in the family's history - Kat finds the decaying body of an American heiress who disappeared during a summer ball at Honeychurch Hall over three decades ago. As Kat uncovers clues to the murder, she also learns more about her mother's checkered past from carnival child to accountant's wife to romance author.   

Dennison promotes the preservation of historic houses by incorporating key events of the English Civil War into the plot. Likewise, she gives us a glimpse of how the aristocracy protect their legacy. The mystery brings lords, ladies, and commoners together as they relive the glory days of the estate while touching upon class distinctions.  Finally, Dennison draws upon pop culture - Downton Abbey, Antiques Roadshow, and Fifty Shades of Grey (along with Lady Chatterley's Lover) - to explore themes of family discord, community spirit, and even the sexual revolution with a touch of humor.

(Teversal Manor in Nottinghamshire was passed to the Carnarvon family through marriage.  The Carnarvon family's ancestral home is Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downtown Abbey).

A KILLER BALL AT HONEYCHURCH HALL can be read as a stand alone novel.  However, I recommend reading the books in order to appreciate the ongoing humor.  I recommend this book for those who appreciate manor homes, English history, British culture, and honorable heroes from an era gone by.

I purchased a copy of A KILLER BALL AT HONEYCHURCH HALL since I enjoyed Book 1, MURDER AT HONEYCHURCH HALL, and Book 2, DEADLY DESIRES AT HONEYCHURCH HALL

File:Dartmoor Clapper Bridge mod.jpg
Dartmoor Clapper Bridge
Image by Wigulf (link)

I am giving away British swag to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,

1. What would you wear to a costume ball?  The American heiress "borrowed" an Egyptian costume.

2. Comments are open through Saturday, May 21, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, May 22.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Hannah and her books at hannahdennison.com.

1840410323014574

17 comments:

  1. I'd love to wear a Regency ball gown.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would go as a Roman goddess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think a lady Pirate. This sounds like a great read but I would want to read the first two in the series. Going to see if the library has them in. Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would dress like a princess in a beautiful dress :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would would love to wear one of the gowns that Claire wears in Outlander.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to have and wear a really nice medieval dress with all the trappings.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like to wear scary costumes.
    Karen T.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't have to dream about going to a costume ball, I'm going to one! I just bought a 1920's style Nataya dress for the Historical Romance Retreat. I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd wear a sparkly sorceress costume

    ReplyDelete