Monday, August 9, 2021

Death at Castle Dark - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:   Death in Castle Dark (A Dinner and a Murder Mystery #1) by Veronica Bond

Rating:  Loved It!
Source:  Publisher

Description:   Actor Nora Blake finds her dream job when she is cast in a murder-mystery troupe that performs in an imposing but captivating old castle. When she stumbles upon a real murder, things take a nightmarish turn in this first book in an exciting new series.

Maybe it was too good to be true, but when Nora Blake accepted the job from Derek Corby, proprietor of Castle Dark, she could not see any downsides. She would sink her acting chops into the troupe's intricately staged murder-mystery shows, earn free room and board in the fairy tale-like castle, and make friends with her new roommates, which include some seriously adorable kittens.

But something sinister lurks behind the walls of Castle Dark. During Nora's second performance, one of her castmates plays the part of the victim a little too well. So well, in fact, that no one can revive him. He has been murdered. Not ready to give up her dream gig--or to be the next victim--Nora sets out to see which one of her fellow actors has taken the role of a murderous real-life villain

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  Murder in a castle - how could I resist that?  Plus, I love starting a series at the beginning.  

My Impression:   Oh I loved this one!  There's a castle filled with gorgeous antiques, a huge dog, kittens, interesting characters, and a solid mystery.  I've never been super interested the dinner mystery theaters but if Castle Dark really existed I'd be first in line for a ticket.  It sounds so fun!  Nora is a strong main character.  She's a bit dramatic (she's an actor after all) but relatively sensible and willing to listen and evaluate explanations and apologize when she gets something wrong.  

I read a lot of mysteries and for the most part I've got a pretty solid guess as to the who even if I don't have everything figured out but I was surprised here.  Almost all the characters seemed like possibilities and as soon as one was scratched off the list another motive seemed to surface.  The rest of the characters were most of the time likable with always the hint of being more then what they seemed until the very end.  My favorites of course were the gigantic black lab mix named Hamlet and the three grey kittens named after the Bronte sisters.  

I really loved reading this book - in fact I read the bulk of it in one sitting and finished up at about 2 AM - and I absolutely cannot wait to see how this series develops!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I cannot wait for the next book in this series and I also really enjoy another series by this author under another name.  

Would I Recommend this Book? Definitely!  If you enjoy cozies or mysteries in general I think you'd enjoy this one!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Oh my, this sounds good and that cover, in some ways, makes me think of the old Nancy Drews.

  2. What a wonderful positive review! I hope you enjoy the entire series.

  3. This sounds like another new series to add to my overflowing list. Thanks for highlighting it!

  4. Umm, this looks awesome!! I need to add it to my list!

  5. I loved this one too. My review will be up later in the week.

  6. I do love castles, and a mystery set in one sounds so awesome! I also enjoy reading the first book in a series. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am really glad to hear that you enjoyed this one, I really need to get to it!

  8. Sounds fantastic and love the idea of all those animals and a castle. And love that you loved it!

  9. I'm so glad this was a winner for you!

  10. I like how it sounds the animals have a prevalent role in this cozy.