Murder Manor, a self-published short murder mystery e-book by Brenda Brown.
Characters/Setting/Plot: Darcy Denine is employed as “a simple maid and housekeeper” at the purportedly somewhat upscale retirement home Woodwhyte Manor, owned and administered by Woodruff Woodwhyte, who seems to be of some vague English landed lineage. It is an imposing structure of a long ago era, not in the best physical condition and particularly interesting because it has secrets included it its design and is attached through underground tunnels to an adjacent Medical school. Besides Darcy, characters include: the house physician, Dr. Meehan; Vince Cole, a resident physician in the school next door; Fiona, the actual Major Domo; Lily, fundamentally the laundress; Hannah, a newly hired part-time helper for Darcy with half of her time to be spent helping the owner with his books – she is just short of obtaining her CPA; and several elderly residents, one of whom is murdered. The story line eventually leads to apprehension of the perpetrator.
Discussion: According to the material provided, this is the author’s first foray into the mystery genre and regrettably it is quite evident to most and definitely anyone who reads the genre. When the victim is discovered by Darcy, who had run to her aid when she heard the woman cry out “Don’t.! Don’t!”, she is on the floor and “parts of the skull were visibly cracked, and blood oozed out on the floor. Like cottage cheese, brain tissue billowed out of the wound.” Dr. Meehan arrives to her call, checks the body, refuses to listen to Darcy’s statement of what she had heard, and says “Her heart gave out and she fell’ “I’ll sign the death certificate.” As a one-time professional in writing instruction, there are a number of other suggestions I should like to offer this basically talented author if contacted, but they are not pertinent here. Suffice it to say at least a basic knowledge of police procedures/forensics is required for those wishing to write in this genre.
3* for effort; far less for results.