Friday, August 11, 2017

Aloha to Catherine Lloyd and DEATH COMES TO THE FAIR - Book Review


One of the many perks of the RWA Annual Conference is the publishers' signings ... giving me the opportunity to catch up on books I missed last year, including Catherine Lloyd's DEATH COMES TO THE FAIR, Book Four in the Kurland St. Mary's series (a Regency Cozy Mystery):

It’s harvest time in the village of Kurland St. Mary as Lucy and Robert prepare to take their vows—but a murderer has taken an unseasonable vow of vengeance . . .

As Miss Lucy Harrington, daughter of the village rector, and Major Sir Robert Kurland plan their nuptials, the major is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever hear wedding bells. He’s seen complex military campaigns that involved less strategy, and he’s finding Lucy’s meddling family maddening.

When the body of Ezekiel Thurrock, the church verger, is discovered crushed by a stone gargoyle that has fallen from the bell tower, the tragic death strikes a somber note and the wedding is delayed. But the evidence suggests this was no accident, and Lucy wonders if bad blood at the village fair had anything to do with the man’s mysterious demise, since there was much bitterness over Ezekiel’s prizewinning vegetables.

As Lucy and Robert uncover long-standing village feuds, the town’s dark secrets begin to take their toll and the couple soon finds they too are in grave danger . . .

Image result for aloha on my mind gorman farms

County fair, county fair
Everybody in town will be there
So come on, hey, we're goin' down there

- Bruce Springsteen

After three books, Lucy Harrington and Major Sir Robert Kurland are ready to marry.  She helped him recover from a battlefield injury and he inspired her to consider a life away from the rectory. Alas, Lucy's aristocratic family wants a London social wedding while she and Robert would rather marry in the village. The ongoing marriage negotiations are put on hold when the beloved verger is found dead in the bell tower. Was it a tragic accident or the intentional act of revenge?

Catherine Lloyd holds a master's degree in history from University College of Wales. It is not surprising, then, that she hits the mark in this Regency cozy mystery. Catherine incorporates the customs, language, and nuances readers enjoy in Jane Austen books. While the plot focuses on the unusual death of the church verger, the ongoing romance between Lucy and Robert plays out in the background. Catherine adds humor with the secondary characters, including an enemy-turned-friend, an overreaching cook, and the magical Romany. I appreciated that this Regency mystery reaches further back into English history to create an intriguing read. Secret tunnels, unexpected spies, and royal treasure, oh my!

DEATH COMES TO THE FAIR can be read as a stand alone book but I recommend reading the series in order to follow the characters' development.

I received a copy from the Kensington signing.

Image result for aloha on my mind gorman farms

I am giving away a swag pack from RWA17 to four randomly selected commenters from my posts published in the month of August. To enter the giveaway,

1. Trouble begins in DEATH COMES TO THE FAIR with the vegetable contest. What's your favorite veggie, fruit, or special treat from a country fair or farmer's market?

I miss the fresh fruit, especially pineapple, from Hawaii!

2. Comments are open through Thursday, August 31, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3. I'll post the winner on Friday, September 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


More books in the series ...


  1. I'm with you on the pineapples. I can't pass up a market buy.

  2. Like to pick up strawberries and corn at the farmer's market.

  3. I love cherries and funnel cakes

  4. Cherries & peaches and plump Jersey tomatoes
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  5. Corn and tomatoes are two favorites but I love many of them!

  6. love tomatoes...thought we do have a wonderful and local apple festival in October


  7. I love fresh vine-ripened Jersey Tomatoes!

  8. way too many things

  9. I always adore zucchini! I have some great recipes to use it in!

  10. We have our own vegetable garden, so most of what we like we already have. When we go to Farmer's Markets, I usually look for baked goods, honey, or fruit that we don't raise ourselves.