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Murder at the Castle (A Dorothy Martin Mystery) Hardcover – June 1, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The latest Dorothy Martin mystery finds the retired American schoolteacher (now living in England ) and her husband, former copper Alan Nesbitt, invited to a Welsh music festival. Excitement turns to concern when a passenger on a tour boat falls to his death. Later, when one of the music festival’s performers dies under similar circumstances, Dorothy realizes it’s time to start sleuthing. Like earlier series volumes, this one is firmly in the Agatha Christie mold: a mystery, a cast of likely suspects, an interesting setting, a brook-no-foolishness heroine. Sure, it’s a pretty strict formula, but a Dorothy Martin novel always delivers good fun for lovers of traditional mysteries. --David Pitt

Review

Anglophiles, music lovers, and cozy readers will sing “alleluia" (Publishers Weekly)

A Dorothy Martin novel always delivers good fun for lovers of traditional mysteries (Booklist)

Dams, well-known for her classic British cozies, supplements a solid mystery with current and historic details of the Welsh border area (Kirkus Reviews)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Dorothy Martin Mystery (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727882597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727882592
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an avid reader of numerous series, I've found that some books are better than others, no matter how capable the author. The latest in this Dorothy Martin series was better than her last, more on par with earlier novels.

Dorothy and Alan, her husband retired Chief Constable, accompany Nigel and his wife Inga to a Welsh music festival where Nigel is to perform. The Welsh take their chamber music quite seriously and to that end, a world famous conductor (Sir John Warner) is to lead the performances in a castle in Wales. Naturally, murder is involved, which means Dorothy and Alan are as well.

This saga begins with Sir John's tragic backstory: losing his wife during evacuation of a sinking cruiseship 10 years prior. Fast forward to Wales where Dorothy and Alan witness the first murder whilst on a canal boat tour. Once the diva enfant shows up, more mayhem and murder ensue. Once Dorothy and company cotton on to the diva solosist's true identity, the investigation begins in earnest, complete with stepping on the local police's toes and endangering the lives of children! A very passionately written book, with a plot to rival any opera.

The biggest drawback for me was the heavy detail (nearly ad nauseum to me) Ms. Dams wrote into the storyline...I love music but am not a chamber music or chorale enthusiast, so it quickly became overkill. Otherwise the novel was a good read, even though the reader quickly figures out the diva's identity, which doesn't immediately reveal the murderer, as the plot is more complex.

I was glad to read this installment of Dorothy's sleuthing and even more pleased that Alan played anever-increasing role in the book. This novel was much better, the plot more complex than her last efforts. The series remains on my 'must read' list andI recommend this novel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed all of the books in the Dorothy Martin series, and as a classical musician myself, I especially looked forward to this one. Its setting, a music festival performed in a Welsh castle, forms an excellent backdrop for the mystery, and the singers and instrumentalists are very much front and center in the mystery. Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired policeman Alan Nesbitt, are visiting Wales and are welcomed there by the owners of a B & B, who (according to the author's note) are real people. I thought this feature was an interesting departure from what one normally finds in cozies, where characters are usually entirely fictional. Another interesting point was the cameo appearance of Penny Brannigan, the sleuth from Elizabeth J. Duncan's mystery series in which Ms. Brannigan is a young Canadian who has relocated to a Welsh town. Elizabeth Duncan and Jeanne Dams have exchanged cameo appearances by their sleuths in the last few mysteries they have written, and I thought this one was nicely done.

In other ways, I was slightly disappointed with this book. The last few Dorothy Martin mysteries seem to show a less appealing side of Dorothy: she is testy at times, somewhat snide with her comments, and rather secretive, even with her husband Alan. As in other recent books, they are away from their home, and readers must begin to wonder if they ever will go back there. Each book takes place in a new location, and their home seems to have been abandoned while they explore the sights in each new location. Each time, this situation results in numerous meals in pubs and cups of tea which tend to stall the action.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoy the Dorothy Martin books. The characters are very real and I can relate to them. I feel like I know them well by the end of the book. The descriptions of the scenery and historical places are interesting and not overdone so it keeps my interest.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read her books for years. She feels like part of my family. Her detail to the character, surroundings make me feel like I personal know the characters and envision myself, living there.she never disappoints.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Murder at the Castle" by Jeanne M. Dams.

Nigel & Inga Evans have invited Dorothy & Alan to a Welsh Music festival. Nigel will be performing as the tenor soloist. The gala event will take place at a Welsh castle with Sir John Warner as the conductor. This time their lovable dog, Watson, will not be traveling with them. So this will be a very special getaway for Dorothy & Alan as well as their close friends the Evans. Dorothy is especially excited to be going to a medieval castle, the Tower, while staying at a B&b.

The book doesn't exactly begin there...rather it begins ten years earlier when the conductor Sir John Warner, was aboard an ill fated ship with his then wife Delia. Delia did not make it off the ship with her husband and was presumed dead.

I so enjoy this series due to an excellent author. J.D. brings the situation to life by introducing the characters and how they interact with each so clearly the story is never boring. This is another delightful Dorothy Martin cozy that educates us, the reader, about the British lifestyle while never overwhelming us. Excellent reading.
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