Here's an extra for readers who enjoy Golden Age mysteries: a story, set in an English village around 1930, with a cast of standard British stock players: a young English lord, some other upper-class types, some well-trained English servants, a number of colorful village residents, all caught up in a mystery and a probable murder. Sounds like standard Golden Age fare? It's not. It's a brand new mystery, first published in 2015 by Dorothy Cannell, honored last year with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Malice Domestic. In fact, you'd have to call it a historical mystery, as it is set 85 years in the past.
Death at Dovecote Hatch is the second book in Cannell's new series from Severn House publishers featuring Florence Norris, housekeeper at the mansion known as Mullings, who becomes involved in two tragedies. A local gentleman named Kenneth Tenneson takes a fatal tumble down a flight of stairs at his home - an accident, according to the coroner, but perhaps not so, according to Scotland Yard Inspector LeCrane. And Mrs. Norris is deeply disturbed when a woman who is a fellow passenger aboard her train apparently commits suicide. From those beginnings, Cannell weaves a tale involving a mysterious will that contains some unpleasant surprises for several of Dovecote Hatch's residents, both upstairs and downstairs. And, of course, there is always murder.
The first book in the series, Murder at Mullings, was published two years ago, and I posted a brief review of it here. These books certainly qualify as "cozy" in nature and in style - violence is off-screen and sex is virtually non-existent (there are a couple of significant romances, but for the most part they're kept remarkably chaste, even for 1930). I would suggest reading the books in order, as there are references back to developments in Murder at Mullings which will make more sense if you read that one before Death at Dovecote Hatch. They're both quite enjoyable, and they provide a useful demonstration that the old complaint, "They don't write them like that any more," is not necessarily valid. Dorothy Cannell's books prove that point quite nicely.