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Death comes to the fair por Catherine Lloyd
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Death comes to the fair (edição 2016)

por Catherine Lloyd

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6213335,949 (3.67)10
It's harvest time in the village of Kurland St. Mary as Miss Lucy Harrington and Major Sir Robert Kurland prepare to take their vows--but a murderer has taken an unseasonable vow of vengeance, crushing the church verger with a stone gargoyle.
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After winnning the majority of the vegetable prizes at the local fair the church verger, Ezekiel Thurrock, is found dead.
As the organisation for the London wedding proceeds Lucy Harrington and Sir Robert are concerned that it was not an accident, and during their investigation uncover long-standing village feuds, bringing danger to themselves.
Another well-written, enjoyable mystery in this series, with some lovely rounded characters. Can't wait for the next in the series. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
An intriguing story with the addition of the Turner sisters, wise women in the neighbouring village of Kurland St. Anne. The mystery was more complex although a bit clumsy in the telling, compared to the earliest stories. In this saga, the backstories of the villagers had been so concealed that the reveals were a bit of a letdown because the reader doesn't have enough clues to put the information together. However, the dastardly-behaving culprits have their comeuppance even though the final twists were only marginally surprising.

Supporting characters Dr. Fletcher, Miss Chingford and sister Dorthea alternate as either annoying or amusing participants. For once, a likeable character we are teased with as a new staff member at Kurland Hall, remains on good terms with the major. The Kurland romance is moving along satisfactorily.

I do recommend this sequel in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series, because the writing is even and the descriptions of small village life in Regency England are interesting. If you are engaged in the fates of the main characters, this book is fun and a lovely cosy-style of entertainment. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Oct 30, 2020 |
Death Comes to the Fair is the fourth book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. The story is set in the small village of Kurland St. Mary in England, 1817. Major Sir Robert Kurland is engaged to Miss Lucy Harrington, the daughter of the local Rector. After the judging at the local fair awards most of the prizes to Ezekiel Thurrock's vegetables, he is found dead in the local church where he is the verger (an official in a church who acts as a caretaker and attendant). A stone gargoyle has fallen on his head, and although first declared an accident, it soon becomes clear that he was murdered.

Lucy and Sir Robert become involved in solving the mystery. Things become complicated when Ezekiel's brother, Nathaniel begins investigating old records, trying to determine land ownership in the area. His delving into old events causes problems with the other land owners in the area. There are concerns about witchcraft and rumors of buried treasure.

The story moves along at a pretty slow pace. I don't know if this is common for other Regency books, because this is not a genre I usually read. The action doesn't really pick up until the last 1/4 of the book. At that point, it becomes pretty exciting. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and a lot of interbreeding between the local families. It felt like everyone was related to everyone else.

I didn't feel like I was missing much by not reading the first three books. I think they would be important for the back story between Robert and Lucy, to see how they progressed from friends to fiances, but as far as the central mystery goes, not necessary.

This book was ok, but didn't really resonate with me. The pacing was too slow for my liking. I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

I received a ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
Death Comes to the Fair is the 4th Kurland St. Mary mystery. As in the third book, Death Comes to Kurland Hall, there's a wedding. The last time Major Sir Robert Kurland's best friend married Miss Lucy Harrington's best friend. Now it's time for their wedding. Robert and Lucy would prefer a small wedding in their own village. Lucy is the granddaughter and niece of earls (her father was the younger son). Her family wants her to have the big London wedding they feel is due her family. Lucy keeps putting off going to London to help her Aunt Jane with the arrangements.

In the meantime, Sir Robert is doing his duty and judging vegetables at the village fair. Sadly, he doesn't listen to Lucy. She knows enough to share the prizes around because the competition is important to the villagers' pride. Sir Robert awards the prizes based on the actual merit of the vegetables. Instead of verger Ezekiel Thurrock winning one prize, he wins them all. The anger and resentment Lucy feared results. Is that why the poor man is soon found dead?

The death is supposed to be taken for an accident, but it soon becomes apparent it wasn't. There may be five bells in the church bell tower, but Lucy can't find any gargoyles such as the one the storm wind was originally have assumed to blown down on top of Ezekiel. Ezekiel's brother, a lawyer and amateur historian named Nathaniel, was visiting, but doesn't seem terribly grieved. Shouldn't he care more about losing his brother than searching the ruins of the Kurland St. Anne priory?

Lucy and Robert are both handicapped in not knowing all the village gossip from way back. We're told that Robert went away to school when he was seven and spent much of his life in the army. Still, he's the lord of the manor and the local magistrate. The further we read, the more we learn about how many generations animosity can go back in this nice English village. I enjoyed the local history lessons, especially about the Kurland twins who lived through England's Civil War during the 17th century.

I liked the local wise women, sisters Abigail and Grace Turner. It's too bad that they, and the Romany family, have to worry about being falsely blamed for troubles. .Robert is absolutely certain that charms are rubbish and can't believe that Lucy thinks they might have an effect on persons who believe in their power.

One of the subplots is Penelope Chingford, once Lucy's enemy, now her friend. Penelope and her younger sister, Dorothea, were left homeless and pretty much penniless orphans in Death Comes to Kurland Hall. They may have aristocratic blood and have rich relatives, but none of their kin are willing to take them in. They're still living in the rectory. Penelope is developing a tendre for the new local doctor, Patrick Fletcher (do enjoy Penelope and Lucy discussing the doctor in chapter two). Other men may have decided that Penelope's beauty isn't enough for them to overlook her personality, but Dr. Fletcher is up to dealing with her. Will Robert want to help his friend marry Penelope? Patrick saved Robert's leg from being amputated after the injuries he suffered at the Battle of Waterloo. Perhaps Robert will want to save Patrick in turn.

The conventions of the period are really crimping Lucy's attempts to investigate. It doesn't matter that she and Robert are respectably betrothed. Oh, the consequences of being out at night with her man. Of course they weren't having sex, but try to make her father believe that! At least Penelope, one of three persons with whom Lucy needs to have with her when she leaves the house, benefits from the rector's decree.

Unlike Lucy, I have heard of Matthew Hopkins, portrayed by the great Vincent Price on screen. That historical figure will have a role in this affair.
Before it's over, Lucy and Sir Robert are going to find themselves in most unpleasant situations (even worse than being harangued by the rector).

NOTES:

Chapter 3: The current rectory, which Lucy's father had built, is made of golden stone and has an Adams-style frontage.

Chapter 4:

a. Sir Robert wishes to go into Parliament to help reform the government.

b. There's a description of the interior of the Kurland St. Mary church.

Chapter 6: The village undertaker is Alistair Snape.

Chapter 7: Lucy and her maid, Betty, discuss Sir Robert's plan to have a school in the village. (See book 5, Death Comes to the School)

Chapter 16: Lucy reads letters by the 17th century Kurland twins.

This is a good historical mystery series, the kind that makes me eager for the next book to come out. There were a few things in this entry that took me by surprise, but were quite logical once explained.

Cat lovers: we get a bit of the Turner sisters' large black cat, Angus. ( )
  JalenV | Jun 4, 2019 |
This is the first book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series I have read. I did not have a problem following the story, but I believe that the development of the characters that I missed in the prior books might have made this one more interesting to me. I did not really get to know the characters in this book, it seemed like they were supposed to be old friends that I really didn't know well. Not the author's fault, just a warning if you have not read the others in the series.

Miss Lucy Harrington is betrothed to Sir Major Robert Kurland and they are the main characters in the story. Lucy is the vicar's's daughter and has to be careful not to be seen with her betrothed without a chaperone. Unfortunately, she is also a very strong woman and puts herself into that situation often during the story, causing some gossip. When the verger (an official in a church who acts as a caretaker and attendant), Ezekeal Thurrock, of St. Mary's church is found dead after winning several prizes at the local fair, Lucy and Sir Robert become convinced that the death was not an accident. They begin to uncover evidence that the Thurrock family has some skeletons in their closet as well as many enemies. As some strange occurences come to light and more evidence emerges, Lucy and Robert uncover a centuries old vendetta that may have caused the deaths in present day.

This series is very character driven. The dialogue and the relationship between Lucy and Robert carry much of the book. The secondary characters such as Lucy's father, the staff as well as the sisters acting as chaperones also add to the story and the background. When the verger was first found dead, the story was a bit slow, but as the investigation moved forward, I found myself much more vested in what was going to happen. I did not figure out who the murderer was as was a bit perturbed at one point as there was mention of the characters but not many clues or motivation given, but as the story unfolded, it cleared up the issues, but not to my satisfaction. I am going to go back and read the previous books and see how I feel then. A good read for cozy mystery lovers with a Victorian setting. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
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Kurland St. Mary, England
October 1817

'But the thing is, Andrew, how long does it take a female to organize a simple wedding?'
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[When Lucy asks Sir Robert if he is still sulking.]

'Gentlemen do not sulk. I merely chose to disagree with you about the arrangements for our wedding. I am maintaining a dignified silence until you come to your senses, and realize I am right.'

'About the benefits of eloping?' She was leading him toward one of the tents. 'Surely that was a jest.' (chapter 1)
[Lucy opened the rectory door when Robert knocked. He's just told her she should be in bed.]

'I am quite well, sir.'

'You just found a body.' He searched her even features, noting the paleness of her skin. 'I doubt it was a pleasant experience.'

She touched his arm. 'It was not, but I didn't swoon or fall into hysterics, so I don't think I need to lie down, do you?' (chapter 3)
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It's harvest time in the village of Kurland St. Mary as Miss Lucy Harrington and Major Sir Robert Kurland prepare to take their vows--but a murderer has taken an unseasonable vow of vengeance, crushing the church verger with a stone gargoyle.

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