Saturday, July 10, 2010

Book Review: Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy

Book Review: Grace Under Pressure 
By: Julie Hyzy 
Berkely Prime Crime Mystery 
4 Heart Review 


Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield. owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations.  The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes...


Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe's job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions - or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace's home, she and handsome grounds-keeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets - and sour grapes out for revenge...

As much as I love my romances, I do have a soft spot for really good Cozy Mysteries. Now, when the two genres mix it up, I'm all over it. When I found out that Grace Under Pressure wasn't only a Cozy, but that it also contained a little romance, I really couldn't wait to read it.

The opening scene really pulled me in and was a great introduction to our main character Grace Wheaton and Marshfield Manor, the grand estate where she works as a curator. The scene was a perfect set-up for showing Grace's character and also a little slice of info on the estate.

Julie did a wonderful job tying what were seemingly random events together to create a tangled web of a mystery for Grace to solve.  I loved how Julie expertly placed small nuggets of information that would pop up again as major clues and also the red herons she throws in along the way keep you guessing.

While there is just a hint of romance in this book, I found the growing relationship between Grace and Jack to be extremely interesting and I really want to read the next book to see how it develops. There is a hint of mystery surronding Jack and it not only intriques Grace, it does me too!

A well-written twist of a mystery, Grace Under Pressure was a satisfying cozy that already has me ready for the next in the series. Cozy fans will find much to love about this book and will appreciate some of the larger plot points that will come as a complete surprise.

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