Date Published: 26th March 2019
Genre: Historical Mystery/Cosy Mystery
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder?
A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
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So this is the fourth in the Lady Evelyn Carlisle mystery series but having not read the first books in the series, I can say it can be read as a stand-alone, as the author gives enough background about the character without spoiling the other books.
At a loose end after finishing her degree, Lady Evelyn finds herself travelling to Scotland to see her Aunt Iris who her cousin Gemma claims is acting strangely. When she arrives at Malmo Manor there is an underlying tension which may have something to do with Elderbrooke Park which has been opened up to injured veterans of the Great War.
In an attempt to win over the villagers, Elderbrooke park is opened up to the public as part of the May day celebrations but tragedy strikes as Lady Evelyn stumbles across the body of a young girl.
Can Lady Evelyn stop the murderer before they strike again?
The Golden Hour really reminds me of the classic whodunnits, especially Dorothy L Sayers, with it’s vivid descriptions, red herrings and an upper class sleuth.
Lady Evelyn is a fascinating character, educated at Oxford, a rarity even for those women with money in those days, she also suffered a terrible loss of her parents when she was young. There’s also a kindness to her, not shying away from the wounded soldiers living in Elderbrooke park, when most people looked upon them with suspicion and scorn.
I do feel however, at times it was a little slow and you get a little distracted from the mystery by Lady Evelyn and her families problems but of course that’s just my opinion.
Overall The Golden Hour is an intriguing story, for those who enjoy a mix of historical fiction and some good amateur sleuthing.
About Malia Zaidi:
Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.