Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grace Among Thieves by Julie Hyzy

book cover
Grace Among Thieves
by Julie Hyzy

ISBN-13: 9780425251393
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: June 5, 2012

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
As curator and manager of the Marshfield Manor, Grace Wheaton is delighted to be part of the estate’s magnificent history, but no one told her solving murder was in her job description…

When Grace’s former professor calls to warn her that there have been a rash of thefts at various historical sites, Grace isn’t surprised—because Marshfield Manor has been targeted, too. She wonders if it has something to do with the film crew roaming the grounds, digitally immortalizing the manor, but then she gets distracted by an incident much more dire: the shooting of one guest and the murder of another.

Grace does her best not to go looking for trouble, but with a murderer on the loose, she can’t seem to leave the dirty work to the cops—especially since the killer still seems to be lurking around town, waiting to finish the job of making Grace history…

My Review:
Grace Among Thieves is a cozy mystery. It's the third book in the series (after Grace Under Pressure and Grace Interrupted). You don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the mystery in the first book though it did spoil who wasn't "whodunit" in the second book.

Reading the previous mysteries in this series gave me a good idea from the beginning of how this one would play out, including whodunit. And I was correct, though I didn't see any obvious clue--it should have come as a surprise. I think even if you haven't read the previous novels, this book read more like a suspense novel than a clue-puzzle mystery. The suspense was created by danger to Grace and relationship conflicts. Overall, Grace made smart decisions. Any unwise decisions were because of Grace's...innocence?...rather than author-forced heroine stupidity. The characters were all engaging and interesting, and the setting was described vividly enough that I wished I could actually visit the manor!

There was a minor amount of fake bad language. There were no sex scenes, though there were some intense kissing scenes. It's implied that her two male housemates were homosexual, but I'm beginning to think the author did this simply so that Grace could have some close male friends her own age that readers wouldn't expect her to get romantic with. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written novel.

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.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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