I really wanted to like this book. After all it should be right up my alley: Early 1900s England, murder mystery, female protagonist and the author Jessica Fellowes is familiar to me from Downton Abbey companion books that she wrote. My expectations were really high!
Louisa felt her shoulders relax and realized she had had them hunched over for so long.(I think I never got over Louisa’s guarded character.)
I’m sad to say that I struggled to read it. Mitford Murders didn’t let me down in setting, or the way author Jessica Fellowes writes, but the main characters were just so bland in this book that I just lost interest way too soon and almost did not finish it.
It’s a first book in a series and I get that I’m only starting to get to know who the characters are, but there really should’ve been more personality in place or something of a promise that this character will become interesting really soon and has a promising character arc.
Louisa Cannon is the protagonist and she clearly has a difficult past which looms above her in everything she does. It is understandable that her motives are all about safety and stability., but this also makes her a very guarded, timid and frankly boring character. She did not seem lively or curious about life at all and I’m still quite surprised that she even got involved in the murder investigation. I would’ve hoped that towards the end she would’ve gotten more courage to handle and confront her personal life issues but no, she has someone else do it for her which was an unsatisfying way of handling that.
When reading a mystery I expect a believable setting, memorable roster of characters (especially those who will be recurring characters) and a well built mystery to solve. Mitford Murders has the setting and even the murder was interesting enough but I can’t say that any of the characters made an impression and I just did not get the usual feeling of really caring what happens to a character. The Mitford family felt distant and the police character/possible romantic interest, Guy Sullivan, was also a character with a troubled past so to me that was just too much combined with the boring protagonist Louisa.
This book also has its place in the Reading Challenge:
12. A book connected to Great Britain
Honestly I think most of the books I read are connected to Great Britain. 🙂 I have a preference it seems, but already I can see the Reading Challenge breaking some of my reading habits in the other books that I read.
What Reading Challenge? Check out my post about it here.
As said, I really wanted to like this book, but I did not find it interesting. It wasn’t totally bad either, but it lands on a middle ground that just makes it unmemorable. I’m unsure if I should give the second book of this series a chance.