Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Murder by the Minster by Helen Cox

First Line: The corner of Kitt Hartley's mouth twitched.

It's just another ordinary day for librarian Kitt Hartley in the Women's Studies section of the University of the Vale of York Library. Well, it is until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is the prime suspect in the murder of her former boyfriend.

Although all the evidence points to Evie, Kitt knows there's no way her friend could murder anyone. Since the police have got it all wrong, there's only one thing for Kitt to do: conduct her own investigation fueled by all the mystery novels she's read. How hard can it be?

Finding that her assistant Grace can be a lot of help-- and receiving help from some of the more eccentric library patrons whether she wants it or not-- Kitt discovers that there's a lot more going on in the quaint streets and snickelways of York than she's ever dreamed. Not only that, but she must be careful. The murderer has a list of intended victims... and Kitt is being watched.

Trilby-wearing Kitt Hartley is definitely a character to watch. She's got all her librarian scowls and stares down pat as well as a sharp tongue that she's not afraid to use. It's also good to see that Helen Cox has given her main character an excellent mystery to solve. Any time that I haven't put all the pieces together-- or at least some of them-- is a rare day, and I was certainly kept guessing as I read this book.

There was only one thing wrong with Murder by the Minster for me-- and it may be the one thing that makes this book perfect for some of you-- it went way overboard on the romance. Once Kitt has seen the handsome detective inspector, her thirty-five-year-old hormones go into hyperdrive, and when the attraction heats up a notch, I found myself skimming a page or two. But, as I said, this may make this book the perfect cup of tea for some of you.

Even though I turn up my nose at romance, the author has done such a good job with her setting and the story that I'm willing to read the next book in the series. Maybe Kitt will have her hormones in therapy...

Murder by the Minster by Helen Cox
eISBN: 9781529402223
Quercus Books © 2019
eBook, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 Kitt Hartley Yorkshire mystery
Rating: B
Source: Purchased from Amazon.



  1. You had me at the library setting and the librarian protagonist, Cathy. And the premise does sound interesting. Like you, I'm not much of a one for romance in a novel, but it can work very well when it's done right.

    1. I'm such a romance curmudgeon that very few authors can write that into their book and win my approval. (As if they need it!)

  2. And I don't mind romance as long as it doesn't overtake the mystery. This one sounds fun and the librarian aspect is a draw for me as well.

    1. That librarian aspect turns so many of us into Pavlov's dogs, doesn't it?

  3. The library and the librarian got me and then you put me off with the too much romance! I like romance but it seems to have overshadowed the detection.


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