Clues to You by Claire Huston

Clues to You is the third book in the ‘Love in the Comptons’ series, but can easily be read on its own as each story has different main characters, with only the occasional appearance of characters from previous books. Primary school teacher Kate Brannon is attending a 1930s Murder Mystery Weekend in a country mansion with her friends Bella and Ethan, and is not pleased to find that Max Ravenscroft is also on her team. They have history, but she gradually comes to realise that she has seriously misjudged him. With Bella and Ethan distracted by visits to the spa and a wedding venue, Kate and Max are left to try and solve the murder and win the prize money. At first, Kate is a bit uptight, but she gradually loosens up, and she and Max get to know each other better. They make a good team, and they seem to be the only ones taking the murder mystery seriously.

The setting in the Victorian manor house adds atmosphere to the story. Claire Huston weaves the two strands of the narrative skillfully together, and you forget that the characters in the murder mystery are actors, who are supposed to stay in character, but don’t always manage it. Unlike the first two books in this series, this is a combination of cosy mystery and romance. There are doubts about the competition being fixed as the prize money has not been won for many years, and this adds an extra layer of intrigue.  I was vaguely aware of references to Agatha Christie’s books, and if you are a fan it would be fun to spot them. The plot is complicated, with lots of twists and red herrings thrown in, and the ending rounds it all off nicely. Clues to You was a bit slow to get going, but once it did I was riveted and had to keep reading to find out the identity of the murderer.  I shall certainly be keeping an eye out for the next book in this thoroughly enjoyable series. Thanks to Claire Huston for a digital copy that I review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT