Murder at the Playhouse by Helena Dixon

The body of a young girl has been found on the local golf course, strangled with a bootlace. Captain Matthew Bryant comes forward with information that he believed the girl to be one of two who came to his house as part of a scavenger hunt, asking for a bootlace. Now he’s “assisting the police with their enquiries.” Enter Kitty Underhay, proprietress of the Dolphin Hotel, and Matt’s sometimes partner in investigation. She knows Matt is innocent and that something is very wrong with the situation. It’s up to her to clear his name.

In a story involving murder, potential blackmail, and budding romance, not one of those things stood out. Kitty’s investigation, which is more passive than active, involves overhearing conversations, picking up tidbits of information while handing out tea and coffee, and garnering facts from Inspector Grenville. 

I loved the idea of the characters, but had a hard time connecting with them. There were plenty of facts given, but nothing that made me want to know them more. I can only assume that they were developed more fully in the first two books of the series? 

The murder investigation often takes a backseat to Kitty’s search for answers concerning her mother, who disappeared at some point early in her life. Those sections of the story devoted to that subplot, and Matt’s investigation into the disappearance, were much more interesting than the search for the murderer. But as it seems to be a running theme through all of the books, I was left unsatisfied for this particular read. 

So, all in all this was a pleasant, but meh kind of read for me. But definitely not unputdownable as advertised.

Rating – 3/5

Source – Review copy (Bookouture via NetGalley)

Publication date – June 30, 2020

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