Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.
But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.
An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?
Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Rubies In The Roses by Vivian Conroy is the second book in the Cornish Castle Mystery series (the first being Death Plays A Part) and follows Guinevere Evans, a costume maker for a theatre in London, as she embarks on a summer job cataloguing books for Lord Bolingbrooke at the castle on Cornisea Island, off the coast of Cornwall. Whilst she’s there, there is a claim that a jewelled goblet is hidden on the grounds and a dead body is found, so Guinevere, along with her Dachshund, Dolly, go on the mission of uncovering this mystery.
I was a huge fan of this book! I don’t usually read many mystery novels but both Death Plays a Part and Rubies in the Roses offer a well-built island with intriguing and memorable characters that urge me to want to continue reading. The whole “who done it?!” and “What happened?” scenarios, with the various clues throughout, which are uncovered throughout the novel (with the help of Dolly) are so cleverly intertwined within the story that when I’m reading along, I’m forever guessing what the truth is, and that’s what makes such a great mystery book. Vivian has done an excellent job!
In terms of characters, we get to know Guinevere better than in Death Plays A Part, which was great to see her character development, as well as see some familiar faces such as Cador, Lord Bolingbrooke and Oliver. There are also a few new characters, but they are all so distinguishable that I sometimes think I’m actually on Cornisea Island itself (not always the case in some mystery novels as there is a pure emphasis on plot) and this allowed for a great balance when reading it. The plot and characters are equally as intriguing, which makes this such a great read!
The book is also very fast paced in that a lot happens in the book (which is only just over 200 pages), yet is all explained with such precision and detail. Vivian has a great writing style that is easy to read and understand – and I can definitely see the similarities between her books and the Agatha Christie books I have read!
Rubies In The Roses is an excellent mystery novel, and is so compelling, yet a short read, that you cannot miss it! Even though it is the second book in the Cornish Castle Mystery series, it can also be read as a standalone (although the first book is just as great, so why not read both!!!). The characters are well developed, as is the setting and plot. Rubies In The Roses grabs your attention from the very first page and I can’t recommend it enough! I will definitely be checking out Vivian’s other mystery novels and I can’t wait!
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