Accomplished in Murder

Accomplished In Murder: 1 (The Accomplished Mysteries) - Dara England
I had some issues with this one. The writing, in terms of putting words together to form coherent sentences, was fine (except for the fact that the victim’s household boasts “a hoard of servants”); the setting was adequate; the storytelling was okay … except for the fact that, as far as I can remember, Drucilla showed up at her friend’s door and whoever opened it to her expected her to know the friend had been murdered. Although “The death occurred only this morning, during the early hours”. Which means it would be literally impossible for Dru (or anyone outside the household) to have known.

But I was surprised when I realized that only an hour and change into it I was nearly finished. It felt like the setup for a much longer (i.e., novel-length) story. And in fact the ending did come rather abruptly: so, this happened, and Our Heroine did something rather stupid, and that happened, and the murderer was – through no actions of Our Heroine, and quite to her surprise, if not the reader’s – revealed and taken care of in one fell-ish swoop. And then she went home, after considering a contextually bizarre romantic attraction. Considering the murder victim was Our Heroine’s very bestest friend from wee pigtailed girlhood, to visit whom Dru traveled a pretty fair distance, it was a little odd that ne’er a tear was shed (unless I missed it). There was one rather nice line about her trying on the idea of life without Celeste like tentatively trying on a glove. I like that a lot. Otherwise, she spent a little time wondering what happened, then accidentally met the murderer, and then went home.

The blurb describes this as the first of a series of “historical mystery novelettes featuring intrepid Victorian heroines up to their bustles in crime”. It’s a great teaser – I’d read that series, happily. I didn’t feel that was what this was: no bustles, no intrepidity, and none of the implied involvement in crime-solving. It was free on Kindle; it was brief; I doubt I’ll pursue the rest of the series on purpose.