I was delighted to see another adventure in this entertaining series, see my review of The Magic Chair Murder, so requested it and was thrilled to get an arc…
BLURB: 1930. Frances Black is worried – divorce proceedings are under way and her solicitor has learnt of a spiteful letter sent to the court claiming that there is more to her friendship with her sleuthing partner, Tom Dod, than meets the eye. Fran takes Tom’s advice to get away, travelling down to Devon to help the Edgertons with their family mystery. After meeting the charismatic Eddie Edgerton and arriving at their residence, Sunnyside House, Fran soon learns that Eddie’s grandfather, Frederick Edgerton, died in mysterious circumstances when his wheelchair went off a cliff. Was it really an accident? And what happened to Frederick’s precious diamond which went missing at the time of his death? As Fran investigates, she uncovers family scandal, skulduggery and revenge, but can she solve the mystery of the missing diamond?
This time, Tom takes a back seat as Fran takes centre stage with this one, as it becomes important for the pair of them not to be seen together, due to a nasty note which has the potential to hold up Fran’s longed-for divorce. As a result, this is a classic country house mystery – and the upbeat, cheerful nature of this story isn’t inappropriate as the possible death she is investigating happened a while ago. In the meantime, Fran finds herself swept up by this open-hearted family. I really liked the fact that most of the characters came across as genuinely friendly and welcoming. It was a nice change seeing Fran enjoying herself and appreciating the luxurious surroundings and glorious scenery. We get to see another side to her character, which is always a bonus with a protagonist I’ve grown fond of – and I very much like Fran Black.
As for the investigation – while I didn’t foresee the way it turned out, I sort of got there a bit before Fran did, which was just fine. Because one of the main plotpoints in particular story had nothing to do with the investigation, but to do with Fran’s own future. And I was on tenterhooks to see what she would do – and desperately hoping that Janes wouldn’t make us wait until the next book before revealing her decision. I’m delighted to report that at the end of the story, we do discover what Fran intends to do – and I have to say that I was a tad disappointed with her choice…
Altogether, this was another solid addition to this excellent series and one I highly recommend to any fans of classical country house mysteries. As each story encompasses a separate mystery, it can be read as a standalone, though in order to get the most out of the characters, I would recommend you read the books in order. However if you, too, make a hobby of crashing midway into series, you certainly wouldn’t flounder with this one.
The ebook arc copy of The Missing Diamond Murder was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.
I think I would start with book one, simply because I’d love to get to know the characters slowly😁 Lovely review, Sarah!
Oh if you ever feel like a break from all those awesome sci fi reads – this is a cut above the rest in the quality of the writing and the scene setting…
Oh this sounds like a book and a series that I would love but I’ve never heard of it. I’m adding this and the previous books to my TBR. They look great!
Thank you, Katherine:). It had become my favourite current cosy mystery – I love the character progression and the lovely way Janes braids the historical backdrop within the murder mystery:)
This sounds like a ton of fun, Sarah, and I definitely want to check out the series. Lovely review!
Thank you, Jennifer. This is a series I think you’d thoroughly enjoy – and I’d love for it to get some love as I think it has been somewhat overlooked.
I love a good historical mystery so this is a series I definitely need to keep in mind. Glad to hear they’ll work as standalones too.
Thank you Suzanne:). They do work as standalones, but I recommend they are read in order as there is a narrative arc that is worth following.
Glad it wrapped up like you hoped. This sounds like a fun adventure and mystery.
It’s a really classy series – I’m thoroughly enjoying it, Kimberly.
This sounds like such a good read! I’ll make a note of the author and see if I can buy the first book. I generally do prefer to read series books in order. I’m glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did.
It is a great series, Hayley:)). And well worth reading in the correct order as the narrative arc is an interesting one:)
NIce review Sarah. It sounds like a lovely Victorian cozy mystery.
Thank you, Carla. This one is actually set in the 1930s, which is an interesting time.
Oh, I might like it more then.
I think you would, Carla:)
A murder mystery in a remote location – with no less than a wheelchair falling down a cliff!!! – sounds like a great book for a cold and rainy afternoon… 😉 Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Maddalena:) It’s a lovely read for a miserable afternoon – because Janes is very good at pulling the reader right into the heart of the story really quickly.
I like this sort of thing Fantastic review!
Thank you Anne – this series has become a solid favourite:)
I saw this on NG and really liked the look of it but was put off by it being book 3 – pity really, I should have just ‘crashed’ in!
Oh yes – this is a series where you can crash in. You certainly won’t flounder if you do.
Oh no! Why are you disappointed? I feel like I need to read the series just to catch up with this one and find out what’s up.
Lol… I wanted Fran to have some peace and luxury in her life:)). I hasten to add there is no problem with the writing, rather a case of my over-identifying with the main character, who I LOVE.
I understand! It just makes me wonder about the writer’s choices, then. I mean, I’m all for shaking things up–the occasional “subverting of expectations,” as it were–but that subversion still has to make sense as far as the story-world goes.
To be honest, as far as the character arc is concerned, the author is probably right. But I just wanted to see her having… fun! However, I’m intrigued to know if my reaction is an outlier, or if others who read the book felt the same way…
That would be interesting to know!