I met Julie Hyzy at the Midwest Writers Workshop last summer in Indiana. She impressed me enough that I purchased several of her books. I just finished Grace Under Pressure, the first in the Manor House Mystery series, so I thought I’d share my review with you.
| Grace takes a job at Marshfield Manor. Her boss is killed and suddenly she is running the elegant mansion. The small town police department isn’t well equipped to investigate a murder, and they think she might be a suspect. The employees of the Manor are suspicious of her also. Grace takes it on herself to figure out who killed Abe. In doing so, she learns more about the Manor’s employees and her own family’s connection to the Manor, while juggling home repairs and a couple of roommates (the roommates get scammed by the same woman who scammed Grace at Marshfield – a nice subplot). Grace is also struggling personally – her flighty sister and her ex are peripherally mentioned, and there is groundwork laid for a potential romantic interest in Jack, who works at the Manor.
The plot was interesting, though a bit unwieldy at times (I’m still not sure why the inept private detective was mentioned so much) – but perhaps that will all become more clear later in the series. The characters were interesting, particularly the annoying Frances (who I hope gets hers at some point). The setting was delightful.
I look forward to reading more by this author.