Publication: 26th March 2019
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbour has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
A big welcome on my stop on the blog tour of THE GOLDEN HOUR, the new novel by Malia Zaidi. I’d like to thank Emma Welton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this amazing novel.
This is my first novel by Malia Zaidi, but THE GOLDEN HOUR is the fourth novel in the Lady Evelyn Mysteries and I completely fell in love with this character, her family, and her adventures and I already purchased the other books in the series. Who is Lady Evelyn? Living in the London of 1920s, she is a young woman in her twenties, raised by her strict aunt Grace, just graduated from Oxford University, and refusing to get married just because that’s what is expected from her. I really like the character of Evelyn. She is independent and smart, she speaks up her own mind, and she lives with her boyfriend Daniel, not at all concerned that it’s considered a scandal at the time since they are not married. Like me, she loves Agatha Christie novels, but, unlike me, she always finds herself involved in a murder investigation.
This time she literally stumbles on the body of a young girl while visiting her family in Scotland. The victim is one of the maids working at her aunt’s house. She was seventeen years old, innocent, and everyone seemed to like her, so who would want to kill her? Are the veterans living in the nearby retreat involved in the murder? And why Evelyn’s aunt and cousins seem to be hiding something?
I really enjoyed this novel. I liked all the characters, especially Evelyn and Daniel, but also aunt Grace. Even though she seems austere and sometimes cold towards Evelyn and even though she is a bit old-fashioned, she turns out to be open-minded, bright, and entertaining. I loved the beautiful Scottish setting and the small town atmosphere that really kept me captivated. The author perfectly mixes mystery, family dynamics, and the effects of World War I, not only the mental issues that affect veterans after they come home, but also the grief of the families who lost someone in the war.
THE GOLDEN HOUR is a twisty, engaging, and well-written novel and I am already looking forward to read Lady Evelyn next adventure!
Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.