Release Date: Jul 14, 2020
Series: A Lady Adelaide Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen
Lady Adelaide (Addie) Compton was certainly not looking to be involved in another murder investigation, but… such is the way of the world, one does not always get to choose our best circumstance. With the current state of affairs, a house in unrest and an exuberant, meddling ghost for a late husband…mischief, murder and mayhem are sure to transpire. Just Make Believe by Maggie Robinson delivers an endless and entertaining murder-‐mystery that will leave you guessing until the last minute.
Set in 1925, in South West England, a recently widowed Addie, finds herself accepting an invitation to a party at Fernald Hall, home of Lady Pamela and her husband, Sir Hugh Fernald. Troubled by her connection to her dead, yet haunting ghost of her late husband and a recent failed love attempt with a certain Detective Inspector, Addie sets off with resolve to have a splendid couple of days amongst acquaintances; old and new and perhaps… a bit of flirtatious fun.
The festivities at Fernald Hall, start off with a horse ride through the beautiful grounds of the estate. Not the most enthusiastic rider and a bit out sorts on a horse, Addie takes a fall and conjures the unwanted reappearance of her late husband’s ghost. Laden with the task to protect Addie in order to ascend, Major Rupert Charles Cressleigh Compton, will once again aide Addie in the murder investigation soon to befall over Fernald Hall.
Leading an ambitious investigation, Detective Inspector Devenand Hunter of Scotland Yard, knows he mustn’t be distracted by the presence of Lady Adelaide. It’s been three months since that memorable kiss and one he won’t permit himself to repeat. Besides, with the number of guests and the household staff, the list of suspects is sure to entail all of his efforts.
An assortment of reserved and unforthcoming characters lends to an extensive (long) plot filled with complicated developments in the investigation. I was highly entertained by the amusing Rupert and his jocular relationship with Addie, much to her objection and disapproval of his presence. I enjoyed reading the dialogue of the time period and the customs the characters still practiced were interesting. The relationship between the composed, Detective Inspector Devenand and Addie’s intemperate thoughts make for an anticipated narrative. Overall, the story was good, if a bit long. When murder-‐mystery is the theme, how many murders in one storyline are too many? Personally, I’d like to enjoy a cup of tea with the spirited, Rupert.