How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 2)
by Elizabeth C. Bunce
5 out of 5 stars
Myrtle is traveling by train for a holiday at the seaside, when a priceless tiara is stolen and one of the train passengers is murdered. The local police are incompetent, and only Myrtle and her irrepressible governess, Miss Judson, can solve the case and bring justice to the murderer. But how is a Proper Young Lady supposed to adhere to the Rules of Etiquette AND have the freedom to run around the beach solving crimes? Especially with mean Aunt Helena criticizing her every move.
I cannot describe how much I loved this second book in the Myrtle series!
One of the things that made me fall in love with this book is the incredible character development. I love how the main characters change their minds, discover new information, grow in their personalities and abilities, and suddenly realize that their relationships with other characters can be different.
I was fully invested in the character growth and the story from the very first page. The writing drew me in, and emotionally hooked me into the lives of the characters. Myrtle herself is a fantastic main heroine. She is energetic and emotional and incredibly intelligent. I absolutely adored her strong relationship with Miss Judson, and her evolving relationship with her Aunt Helena.
I was massively curious about every clue. I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter and the next! I wanted to see how all the disparate clues could possibly come together to a rational conclusion. I was so pleased with the complexity of the mystery, and yet it all made sense in the end with everything explained and every loose end wrapped neatly in a bow. At one point, I thought that I had figured out who the murderer was, but I was completely wrong! I was genuinely surprised at the ending.
The secondary characters are wonderful as well, with the townspeople, train staff, hotel clerks, and local fishermen all playing their part. The setting of the beach, the hotel, the pier, and the ships all give a creepy or homey atmosphere to the story that adds so much to the action of each scene.
One of the things I really loved was how the history of the town was a big part of unraveling the murder mystery. Myrtle had to find out about the past in order to understand what was happening in the present, and it gave the story so much depth. Brilliant writing!
Another nice feature of this book is the gorgeous cover art, which gives little clues to the contents of the book with scissors, the pier, and a cat on the beach. All these things feature strongly in the plot, and I love how the artwork incorporates them.
I wish I could give this book 10 stars, and I look forward with extreme eagerness for the next books in the series!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts and are not influenced by anyone.