Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy is the first book in the new ” Manor of Murder” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), June 2010

Meet Grace Wheaton, lover of history and mystery—both of which can be found in her hometown’s palatial Marshfield Manor

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations. The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes.

Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge assuming Abe’s job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions—or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace’s home, she and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers must protect dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they’ll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets—and sour grapes out for revenge.

This is a great beginning to a new series. Grace is working towards her dream job as curator of Marshfield Manor, never suspecting the job would be hers, sooner rather than later. With no arrest forthcoming, Grace investigates and discovers secrets both inside and outside the manor that may have an effect on her job and personal life. The trail leading to the killer and the mystery surrounding her family ties to the manor had me quickly turning the pages until the both killer and the secrets were fleshed out. I look forward to reading more in this series. My rating: 5 stars

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