Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a fun, cozy historical fiction/mystery set in England during the 1930s. Phyllida Bright is the housekeeper of a great manor owned by Max Mallowan and his wife, Agatha Christie. She is smart, elegant, efficient and runs the house with an iron first. When a guest is killed during a dinner party, Phyllida determines she must solve the mystery herself when she sees how inept the local police are in investigating the case.

It’s quickly determined that the unanticipated guest arrived under false pretenses. Phyllida must try to solve the crime, while also dealing with demanding guests with secrets of their own, an upset staff, and a hoard of photographers at the gate. Luckily Phyllida is well versed in the tactics of Christie’s hero Hercule Poirot, and she’s on the scent of the killer.

This is a well written, interesting and fun historical fiction mystery. I really liked Phyllida and her strong, non-nonsense manner. She has secrets of her own, and I look forward to finding out what they are in future books. Agatha Christie plays only a small part in the book, and her husband an even smaller one. I am glad, because the staff have more than enough depth and personality to sustain the book. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Kensington Books. All opinions are my own.