Monday, July 4, 2016

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

The premise of this novel is preposterous, but if you can get past the implausibility, as I did, you might enjoy it.

Kendra Donovan is a present day, tough FBI agent. After a mission goes horribly bad, she goes rogue and takes off for England to exact revenge on one of the men to blame. While taking part in a reenactment dressed as a 19th century maid, she escapes into a secret passageway in an old English manor. Something happens, and she emerges in the same manor in the 19th century.

She plays the part of a Lady's maid at a manor house party while trying to figure out what has happened to her. She is absolutely hopeless, of course, and very American to boot. (That is used as an excuse for almost everything she does wrong.) Then a woman is found murdered, and her FBI training kicks in.

As I said at the beginning, it's preposterous to think that upper class English men of the 19th century would allow a woman, a servant no less, to investigate a murder, interview her betters, and watch post mortem exams. But the writer did a good enough job convincing me to play along that I quite enjoyed it.

There were some plot twists I did not see coming, and the interactions between the modern day American woman and the 19th century English men were a hoot. Kendra is a strong female lead who foolishly allows herself to get trapped in  a dangerous situation but gets out of it without any help from a man.

If you like mysteries, Regency romance, historical fiction, time travel, strong female leads, or some combination, you might want to read A Murder in Time.

A Murder in Time is the current Big Library Read through the Alliance Digital Media Library, the Galesburg Public Library's download service from Overdrive. Borrow and download the book now through July 7 with your Galesburg Public Library card here: