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Death of a Clergyman by Riana Everly ~ Review + Excerpt

Title: Death of a Clergyman
Author: Riana Everly
Genre: Pride and Prejudice variation
Publisher: Bay Crest Press
Release Date: September 14th, 2020
Number of Pages: 244
Version Read: Kindle ebook

Synopsis: Mary Bennet has always been the quiet sister, the studious and contemplative middle child in a busy family of five. She is not interested in balls and parties and is only slightly bothered by the arrival of the distant cousin who will one day inherit her father’s estate. But then Mr. Collins is found dead, and Mary’s beloved sister Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Mary knows she must learn whatever she can to prove Elizabeth innocent of this most horrible crime, or her sister might be hanged as a murderess!

Alexander Lyons has made a pleasant life for himself in London, far from his home village in Scotland. He investigates missing documents and unfaithful wives and earns an honest living. Then one day Mr. Darcy walks into his office, begging him to investigate the murder of Mr. Collins and to prove Elizabeth innocent of the crime. It seems like a straightforward enough case, but Alexander did not count on meeting a rather annoying young woman who seems to be in his way at every turn: Mary Bennet.

As the case grows more and more complicated, Mary and Alexander cannot stop arguing and discover that each brings new insight into the case. But as they get close to some answers, will they survive the plans of an evildoer in the midst of quiet Meryton?

My Review: I'm really not one for mystery books but this one sounded interesting and one of the main characters is Mary Bennet who doesn't get a lot of love. I read the first book in this series and I really loved Alexander. I really enjoyed Alexander and Mary's back and forth banter in the book. I did not see that twist with who the murderer actually was. It was great. This book was great I can't wait to see what happens in the next one. I definitely recommend this book if you love Pride and Prejudice and a good murder mystery then pick this book up. 

Rating: 4 stars

Riana has been kind enough to provide an excerpt from the book for your viewing pleasure. Without further ado here it is. 

“You may think my ideas of little value, Mr. Lyons,” she began, “but I believe otherwise. It is for Elizabeth alone that I offer them to you.” She stared at him, and he was struck by the cold fire in her eyes. For all that she might play the part of the forgotten sibling in the family, she could be a forceful young woman when the need arose.

“The first matter that drew my attention was the disappearing candlesticks.”

Alexander kept his groan internal. A useless skirt who had read too many Gothic romances, he determined. Nonetheless, he dutifully wrote down missing candlesticks upon his notepad.

“Robinson, who acts as butler when the need arises, told me of a series of pieces of silver going astray. They were small items at first, but the most recent was a set of elaborate candlesticks that stood on the floor, and were over three feet in height, of silver and encrusted with gemstones and decorated with the finest artwork. He believes they are worth around eighty pounds.”

Alexander’s head snapped up. This was not idle fantasy. He wrote speak to Robinson, and stared at Mary with raised brows and his mouth agape. She gave a smug grimace and related all that had heard from the butler, whilst Alexander scribbled in his book.

“But it was not only candlesticks that had gone missing,” she continued. “One of the maids has also disappeared.”

“Surely housemaids are known to wander off on some whim or to meet a lover, and then return when their situations require it,” he blurted.

“Polly did not seem that sort of girl.” Her eyes defied him to object again.

Now Alexander’s internal groan was for his own lack of civility. He would never ingratiate himself to Miss Mary at this rate, and he wondered why the thought bothered him. But he turned a civil face to her nonetheless and asked, “In what way, Miss Mary?”

She spoke of the maid’s reputation for avoiding trouble and for working hard and suggested that Mrs. Slougham might relate any particulars the gentlemen—she narrowed her eyes at the word—wished to examine. “What I found most strange, however, was the coincidence of the two unusual events. And then, I realised that there were three such odd happenings, for nobody in Meryton can recall the last time a clergyman - or anybody - was slain in the vicinity. And when I thought further, I realised there were not only three, but rather four strange events at play.” She recounted the suggestion that Lieutenant Wickham had been heard threatening the missing maid, and that later on he may have been involved in an argument at Netherfield with none other than the slain parson.

By the time she had completed her accounting of yesterday’s queries, Alexander was feeling mightily ashamed of himself, a sentiment which he shared with the ladies. “I can only plead self-pity in the face of my recent injuries, Miss Mary. You have learned more to further this inquiry than did all of my investigations yesterday.” He turned to a new page. “Tell me more about Mr. Wickham. What have been your reflections on him?”

Biography: Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

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* I received an advanced copy from the author. All opinions are my own.

2 comments on "Death of a Clergyman by Riana Everly ~ Review + Excerpt"
  1. Thank you for this excerpt... Just thinking it cannot be that easy to figure out who is the culprit , right?Intrigued and eager to read this story.

    I thank Ms Everly posting it her site. I had been looking for site Ms Tina. (Half agone Half hope.. finally I can bbokmark it

    1. Thank you for posting. Unfortunately Half Agony, Half Hope won't connect right now so I had to make a new site. Once I get that one working again I plan to link to it on this site. So this is the new site and that will be the old one.


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