Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy

In Grace Under Pressure, Grace Wheaton wanted to work at the Marshfield Manor ever since she was a little girl. Now she's getting her chance. She's recently acquired the position of assistant curator, but when the curator is killed, she assumes his role. She suspects that a Ponzi scheme and the nasty demanding letters that Bennett (the owner of Marshfield Manor) has been getting have something to do with the death, however, she's having a hard time convincing the understaffed police force of this. Grace has her hands full with her new job, but somehow manages to find time to assist the police in tracking down the culprit and solving the mystery.

This was such a good book. Once I picked it up and I didn't want to put it down. It was fun, entertaining and a joy to read. The story contained plenty of suspects, motives and red herrings, which kept the story moving along at a steady pace. Along with the main storyline, Hyzy threw in some interesting side stories. I liked learning more about Grace's roommates, their business and the history of the house in which they live. I also enjoyed the mini mystery involving Grace's grandmother. Both of side stories give the reader more background information about Grace and her family and provided a base on which to build the series. I can't wait for the next instalment.

I love the idea of a big old house having secret compartments and hidden away rooms. It's a little scary when I think about it. but it makes a ideal setting for a mystery. Hyzy does a good job of utilizing the setting in this story.

New words:
coffee klatch (page 77): informal social gathering
asperity (page 123): roughness
fiduciary (page 134): trustee

Highly recommended. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Also, I'm definitely going to check out the White House Chef Mysteries, Hyzy's other series.

For more information about this book or to take a peek inside, please visit Penguin's website.

For more information about the author and her other works, please visit Julie Hyzy's website.

Thanks to Dana Kaye from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.

Grace Under Pressure: A Manor House Mystery by Julie Hyzy, The Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin), ©2010. 9780425235218(mass market), 310p.

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