Dangerous Deception at Honeychurch Hall
by Hannah Dennison
All’s fair in love . . . and antiques wars!
Things are going well for Kat Stanford; not only is her antiques business thriving, she’s also got a new date: Piers Carew, Viscount Chawley, who owns the estate next to Honeychurch Hall.
Unfortunately, Kate has a rival. Impossibly beautiful Cassandra Bowden-Forbes is also in town, conducting valuations at the same fairs as Kat – and she makes no secret of the fact she’s got her eye on Piers . . .
And then things start to go wrong: Kat finds herself at the scene of not one but two mysterious deaths, and local tongues are wagging – is it coincidence, or murder? As Kat’s fortunes nosedive it becomes clear that unless she can solve these unexplained deaths then she may just be the victim of the next accident . . .
“Dangerous Deception at Honeychurch Hall” is a quaint and cozy mystery set in Little Dipperton, Devon.
Kat Stanford is an antiques dealer from the telly, specialising in teddy bears. Last year she was working as the host of ‘Fakes and Treasures’ and now she’s back in Devon riding horses and attending country fairs. She’s currently preparing for an appearance at ‘BearFest’.
Cassandra Bowden-Forbes goes by the name Kitten (yes, really) and has recently starred in a scripted reality TV show where she ran her own antiques shop. Glamorous, willowy Kitten has blonde hair with a streak of pink, she’s new in town and and as well as taking her clients, she’s also eyeing up Kat’s new man Piers.
“‘A kitten?’ I said. ‘One of the cats has had kittens?’ The yard boasted at least five feral cats that kept the rates at bay.
‘Where are they?’
‘No!’ Harry hooted with laughter again. ‘She’s not a cat!’
‘I’m confused,’ I said.
‘Here she is!’ Harry waved, and I turned to see the most beautiful woman stride through the archway…”
At first I struggled with all of the characters in this story as there were so many names that I just couldn’t keep up with them all, especially when a couple of them also had nicknames. I found that the only way to follow along was to take notes in the first few chapters, which is not ideal on a cramped commuter train! But then it turns out that several of these characters are never to be seen again. I know that this is series, so I assume that these names pop up in the other books, but as a stand alone read I felt a little overwhelmed in the initial pages.
The story that plays out includes a couple of murders, both in mysterious circumstances. There’s a little bit of who dunnit and revealing hidden secrets but there is also a little bit of comedy and romance to go along side it.
In general this book is well written and the characters you are supposed to like are pretty likable. Another plus point is the cover, which is really cute and was one of the reasons I picked this up in the first place.
So I didn’t dislike this book, but I wasn’t the most entertained by it either. Mostly prim and proper, I felt a little bored throughout the story and think it’s most probably better suited to an older audience, or fans of antiques shows and Miss Marple.
Overall rating: “Dangerous Deception at Honeychurch Hall” is a quaint story but it wasn’t really for me. I’d recommend this one for fans of a light-hearted British mystery.