Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a fun Historical Fiction Cozy Mystery that is a quick and easy read. Set in Scotland in the 1930’s while a mysterious illness is spreading through the country, the Inverkillen family and their servants are dealt a terrible blow when Lord Inverkillen, Earl and head of the family, is found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Except, the family doesn’t seem too bothered with the Earl’s death. They are more concerned about the fact that less tea cakes will be served at tea time because a number of servants are sick and the remaining ones are struggling to maintain the house in their absence. Although the inspector declares the Earl’s death an accident, Mrs. McBain, the head housekeeper, isn’t convinced and decides to investigate in between her duties.

Mrs. McBain is an astute and clever woman who slowly begins to unravel the mystery of the Earl’s death, in addition to uncovering long-hidden family secrets and lies that will alter everyone at the Abbey’s future. Mrs. McBain is a well-formed character, as are several of the minor characters. The book has several very funny bits and is full of wry, sarcastic observations of the elitist, selfish, entitled upper class occupants of the manor. Most of the secrets and surprise endings are fairly obvious, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. If you’re looking for a light, fun, quick and easy read, this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton. All opinions are my own.