Friday, October 28, 2011

Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy

book cover

Grace Under Pressure
by Julie Hyzy

ISBN-13: 9780425235218
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: June 1, 2010

Source: Borrowed from my local library.

Book Description from Back Cover (slightly modified):
Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, who is receiving letters from someone claiming a right to his money. The elderly, reclusive owner trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, it's clear the person is deadly serious.

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 if she's going to keep her job, she must find out who the murder is before he succeeds in killing her boss! She'll have to investigate a failed Ponzi scheme, some Wheaton family secrets, a scam artist, and more...

My Review:
Grace Under Pressure is the first cozy mystery in a series. I reviewed the second novel in the series and liked it enough to read this one, too.

While all the needed clues were there to guess "whodunit" at about the same time Grace did, the whodunit wasn't obvious. I also wasn't entirely clear why the person thought Mr. Marshfield owed them money. Someone did, yes, but not really Marshfield. The suspense was mainly created by the tensions of Grace's job--working with difficult people and customers--as well as wondering whodunit and if they would strike again.

The characters were varied, likable, and acted like realistic people would to the situations. The details about the setting, the people, and the job made the story come alive without slowing the story down.

Grace's two housemates are men. In the second book, it's only hinted at that they're a gay couple. In this book, it's clearly implied, but a big deal wasn't made about it.

There were no sex scenes. There was some explicit bad language (just one word used on several occasions: "h-ll"). Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Read more of Chapter One using Google Preview.

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