Monday, May 2, 2016

A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall - Review

A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Rating: Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  When antique dealer Kat Stanford stumbles upon the partially mummified body of a young woman in an abandoned wing at Honeychurch Hall, suspicion falls on those who had been living there many years ago.  And it appears that the deceased had been murdered.  Given her mother Iris's checkered past, Kat is not surprised to learn that Iris knew the victim.  Meanwhile, the unexpected appearance of former lothario Bryan Laney sets female hearts aflutter.  Despite the passing years, time has not dampened his ardor for Iris, but the feeling is not reciprocated.  With stories of hidden treasure and secret chambers, past and present collide.  As Kat becomes embroiled once more in her mother's mysterious and tumultuous bygone days, she comes to realize that life is never black and white, and sometimes it is necessary to risk your own life to protect the lives of the ones you love.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I have really enjoyed the other 2 books in the series and there's a mummified body in a secret room in an abandoned wing of an old house.  This book was basically written for me!

My Impression: This is the 3rd book I've read in this series and while I enjoyed this one I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected too.
There are a few plot lines that I'd like to be wrapped up - specifically the relationship between Kat and David and the 30 year old case of insurance fraud that they're hiding from the Honeychurch family.  I'm also about ready for Iris and Albert to come clean about their past and their motivations.  I'd like Kat to be direct about her feelings to her mother and Albert and they could probably use more time away from the Honeychurches as well as needing to take a good long look at what they're willing to do to protect that family and why.  With the exception of the little boy I wouldn't trust the rest further than I could throw them.

All of that aside I did enjoy this.  The setting is an English countryside manor house that I would love to explore and while there are times I want to give her a good shaking I really like Kat.  She's intelligent, knows a lot about antiques, and tries to do the best she can.  Her intentions are always good even though the results are sometimes not quite what she was going for.

The mystery itself was interesting.  How had the body gotten in the double keep?  Who knew about it in the first place?  And what does it have to do with a modern day murder and a kidnapping?  I really had no idea how it was going to wrap up though I was starting to work out some theories when we did get to the reveal.  I liked the bits of history about the English Civil War but never thought that the details got in the way of the actual murder mystery.

While, this probably wasn't my favorite I did enjoy it and I am looking forward to seeing what happened when Kat gets her antique store up and running.  This is a fun mystery with a big dash of quirk.  With all the different subplots and secrets I definitely think this is a series that is best read in order but it isn't one that takes me awhile to remember what happened in the last book if it's been awhile since I've read it.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of mess Kat gets in next.

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you haven't read any of this series go back and pick up Murder at Honeychurch Hall - it was one of my favorites of 2014 and is a great mystery.  If you have been reading this series this is a fun new addition.


  1. Honeychurch Hall! I want to live in a house called Honeycurch Hall. How fabulous is that? Sorry this book didn't quite live up to your expectations.

  2. I am going to read this at some point I think- all of them sound appealing and I love the cover. The idea of the big house along with the treasure and secrets room angle looks fun. And nice that the mystery is good as well. Maybe I'll binge these now that there are three out- I haven't read a cozy in a while.

  3. I like it when you can pick up a book in the series and fairly quickly pick up from the last one, even though it's been awhile. Helpful little hints from the author help of course, long as it is not over done.

  4. Mummified bodies? Yes, please :) This sounds like a book that I would enjoy even though it sounds like some of the plot points are being dragged out. Great review!

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life

  5. The mystery sounds good, but i understand you wanting some closure on some of the threads. Great review Katherine.

  6. Ah that can be a bit frustrating when you enjoy but there are some big elements you'd changed or do away with at that point. Yay for it still being entertaining overall though :)

  7. The cover of this book reminded me of the Kurland St. Mary Mysteries by Catherine Lloyd. Have you read any of those? They are set in regency England.

  8. I saw this book on Netgalley and considered requesting it, but that it was third in the series kept me from requesting it. I'm I decided that since it sounds like it's better to read the first books in the series.

    Thanks for a good review, Katherine. I'm looking forward to getting into this series.