Twelfth Night by Deanna Raybourn
Rating: 3 Stars
Description: The March family has gathered at Bellmont Abbey to perform the Twelfth Night Revels for the village. Since this is a once a decade tradition planning has reached fever pitch. In the midst of it is all is a ghost in the woods, an abandoned baby in the stable yard and the whole household comes down with food poisoning. Luckily Lady Julia and husband Nicholas are still on their feet to get the whole thing sorted out.
Why I Picked This Book: What caught my eye first was the cover which is I think is stunning. I had read the first Lady Julia mystery and enjoyed it but for some reason I'd never gotten back to the series. Also, I've read City of Jasmine (review) and liked it so I was definitely looking forward to this novella.
Pros: The mystery was on the small side so this was a good way to meet the rather large March family without also having to keep track of a complicated plot as well. There's a lot of really great characters between Julia and Nicholas themselves, Julia's sister Portia, her niece Perdita and Julia's maid Morag. As usual Raybourn draws a beautiful fleshed out setting for her characters.
Cons: Since this is a novella there isn't much character development. While I'm not new to the Lady Julia series I haven't read all of them so I wasn't as invested in the characters as a regular reader would've been. Also there were a few kind of random references to Julia and Nicholas's sex life. I probably wouldn't have noticed in a a full length book but in a novella where there is so much less space it seemed unnecessary.
Overall: This is a well drawn mystery series with unusual characters. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of this series - especially the full length novels.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes definitely! I've enjoyed both books that I've read.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes but I think I would recommend reading the series in order.