Sunday, July 17, 2016

strictly literary: a murder in time by julie mcelwain

julie mcelwain kicks of a new mystery series with a murder in time.  the blurb summarizes the plot nicely:

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

i picked this up after my library participated in an everybody reads and the blurb intrigued me enough to check it out. the first chunk of a murder in time takes place in the present, and while that is definitely necessary for set-up reasons, at the same time it felt like it took forever to get to the good part, which is basically when kendra ends up in regency england. i really enjoyed the descriptions of a modern woman trying to fit in to early nineteenth century society and the way society reacted to kendra's inadvertent faux pas, which pretty much happened on the regular since an american in the twenty-first century has entirely different sensibilities from a british woman of indeterminate social standing in 1815. 

kendra's specialty is profiling serial killers, and how she works the case without the tools that she is used to is fascinating. the author has done some clear research into the differences in how crime was researched and handled in regency england compared to now. and seeing kendra navigate this too is pretty awesome. luckily, and certainly it's convenient to the plot, the duke whose estate she tumbles onto and his nephew are remarkably progressive. alec, the duke's nephew, is pretty dreamy and his initial distrust of kendra turns into a fascination that can't resist the sparks between them.

honestly this was just such an enjoyable read. i'm psyched that there will be more, and can't wait to see where this series will go.  

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