Author: Margaret Addison
This is the first book in the Rose Simpson Mysteries series.
Murder at Ashgrove House is set in 1930. The country estate mystery begins when Sir William and Lady Withers invite three guests at the Ashgrove House over the weekend. But along with Lady Lavinia Sedgwick, Rose Simpson and Mrs. Edith Torrington, the weekend party takes a fateful twist when other guests turn up at the party uninvited. The consequence of which is a murder.
The police investigation that follows throws suspicion on every person present at the Ashgrove House. Who could be the killer? Is it the shop girl, Rose or the only daughter of the Earl of Belvedere, Lady Lavinia? Can the absent-minded hostess, Lady Withers or the vulnerable Mrs. Torrington commit such a horrendous act? The obnoxious Lord Sneddon could very well have reasons to murder the victim or was it Rose he wished to kill for snubbing his advances? Did Lord Cedric Sedgwick lose his temper after his altercation with his friend, Lord Sneddon, to commit a murder? Did the past hold any reasons for the Earl of Belvedere or Sir William to take extreme measures? Even butler Stafford and housekeeper-cook Mrs. Palmer were not beyond suspicion. An interesting mix of personalities getting together over the weekend that resulted in a disaster makes this whodunit pretty intriguing.
The quiet country manor along with the traditional aristocratic upper class setting gives a glimpse of the life of the privileged world of the bygone era which is appealing in its own way. I love the Agatha Christie vein of the story and enjoyed reading it. It is full of red herrings and clues as the blurb suggests. A good book to curl up with and enjoy. Margaret Addison has succeeded to build up a good plot and the characters are well-etched.
The next book in my reading list definitely includes the Rose Simpson Mysteries Book 2 : Murder at Dareswick Hall.