Rating – 5/5
New York City, 1919. Lillie Mead is a husk of her former self as she mourns the loss of her beloved in the war. She stays with her married sister and struggles to carry on with her life. A proposal, from a wealthy British friend, to investigate and report the possible murder of a British aristocrat gives her a glimmer of hope – of rebuilding her life.
What initially transpires as an open-and-shut case soon spirals into something more sinister. Can Lillie expose the truth before she follows the deceased aristocrat’s way? Read An Unfortunate End by Lisa Zumpano to find out.
An Unfortunate End is an incredibly addictive, fast-paced historical cozy mystery.
To describe it as charming is merely touching the tip of the iceberg. Zumpano treats her readers to fabulous glimpses into the life of past-century New York and England (Oxfordshire and London, to be exact). Her vividly descriptive writing transported me to the ostentatious parties in the elegantly decorated ballrooms as well as to the stately manors situated in the quiet countryside.
The murder mystery was a tough nut to crack and was brilliantly executed. The identity of the killer was indeed an unexpected revelation and so was the murder weapon. Hats off to Lillie Mead and her accomplices for deducing the mystery. Although there are tinges of romance in the novel, they don’t dampen its thrilling pace by any means. Rather they provide welcome relief to our protagonist from a grueling day at work.
Lisa Zumpano has crafted believable characters from Lillie (our protagonist) to Rumple, the butler. Lillie’s transformation from a spiritless person to an inspired woman determined to apprehend the killer was well-written. The supporting characters manifest themselves in the form of a motley crew of friends who help Lillie in every way possible to crack the case.
“ARTHUR STUART HADN’T WANTED to be a footman for a number of reasons.”
With an attention-grabbing opening line, An Unfortunate End starts with a bang and rapidly transforms from a cozy mystery to a danger-riddled, grab-the-edge-of-the-seat thriller culminating into a satisfying denouément with all the loose ends neatly tied up.
An Unfortunate End is a stellar beginning to the Lillie Mead Historical Mystery Series. Highly recommended. Mystery and thriller fans – Don’t miss it.
I received an e-ARC of this book via Reedsy Discovery. I opted to provide an honest review. Here is the link to the review on Reedsy Discovery.
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