Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Grace Takes Off by Julie Hyzy

Description (from cover):

'A trip to Italy's Tuscan countryside is a dream come true for curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, Grace Wheaton. At least until her boss--and benefactor of this whirlwind excursion--becomes the target of a murder...

When Grace and her boss, Bennett Marshfield, turn up at the Italian villa of one of his oldest friends, they're trouble to discover that most of his friend's impressive art collection--including a prized bronze skull crafted by Picasso--is fake. Someone has been selling the real deals and replacing them with skilled forgeries.

Unfortunately, Grace and Bennett have to fly home the next day, so there's no time to investigate. But their troubles are hardly over. On the plane, Grace catches a woman trying to poison Bennett. The woman, of course, isn't talking, but by the end of the flight, there are two dead bodies. Now Grace has to wing it to find a mile-high murderer--especially since she suspects Bennett is still in danger...'

My thoughts:

This is a series that is near and dear to my heart. I love Marshfield Manor and have a sneaking suspicion that this fictitious manor is based on the Biltmore Estate located also in North Carolina. I love these mysteries because they are set in the historical manor that I only dream that I could visit. I love Grace's character and her willingness to make Marshfield Manor a place to visit despite all of the murders that constantly surround it. Julie Hyzy has created a fabulous masterpiece in this series and the setting has to be simply one of my favorites to return to over and over again. I literally pick books up in this series as soon as they are released and I hardly ever find myself disappointed.

I will state that this book was a little different than its predecessors as it doesn't really focus a lot on Marshfield Manor, as the main characters are on a vacation in Italy. Some of the book takes place in Italy and then the rest of it occurs in Marshfield, but I felt that this book deviated from the usual setting of the manor. Personally, I love this manor and would prefer to have all the mysteries set in this fabulous historical house, but I can see that the author wanted to take a fresh approach and introduce the reader to something different. This would probably be my least favorite of the series, but it doesn't by any means mean that I didn't enjoy this book, because quite honestly I really did.

Grace is up to her usual snooping activities and when it involves Bennett or Marshfield Manor her defenses are raised defending something near and dear to her heart. I will say that I did not see the solution ending the way it did and it completely caught me off guard. Mysteries that keep me on my toes make me enjoy a book so much more and this one was definitely a shock to this reader. I love this series and can't wait to get my hands on the next one. If you have yet to read this series, please do yourself a favor and begin this one immediately. Simply put, not the best in the series, but still a fun read and superb addition to an already amazing series.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  Grace Takes Off
Author:  Julie Hyzy
Series:  Manor House Mystery #4
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  July 2, 2013
Pages:  305
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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