Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland #Review

Posted June 20, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 30 Comments

Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland #Review
Murder in Thrall

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #1 A New Scotland Yard Mystery
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Kensington
Released on July 30, 2013
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback

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I had the opportunity to read one of the author’s regency era books and loved her writing, the characters, dialogue and suspense so I was eager to give her contemporary detective romantic suspense a try. This Scotland Yard police procedural was a lovely surprise and a fantastic reading experience and I definitely want to keep going with the series.

The story opens with Detective Constable Kathleen Doyle out on a new case with her lead, Detective Chief Inspector Lord Acton. She has been his junior partner and mentoree for the last six months and they’ve done well as a team. He is brilliant and deductive and she is intuitive. His star is already high in the sky and he is highly respected and high profile amongst the powers that be while she is pretty much an Irish upstart. Her fairy gift, as she calls her ability to sort lies and motives, and his genius keep them isolated from others, but share an understanding between them. And it will take all their combined gifts to sort out this latest death and what follows. Doyle discovers that Acton has one big surprise among many up his sleeve that gives her more than their case to keep her busy. Then the case turns dangerously personal and they must work to solve it before the killer gets to them.

When I started reading, I had that sense that I was dropped into the middle of something and it was a little dizzying, but I got my feet under me and caught the rhythm of the writing. Many murder mysteries do that so it wasn’t a huge surprise. I found the murder mystery a nice little challenge though sadly I cottoned to the killer nearly from the moment I encountered the person and figured out the motive not long after. Fortunately, there is much more going on and I was vested in the characters and all the little extras that I had plenty to keep me reading. I could sense that while this was a complete story and the case does get solved, there was also the sense that this was setting up for a series story arc, too.

The main characters are a wonderful tribute to older detective teams including the famous Sherlock Holmes. The author doesn’t shy away from the comparison though I have to say that Doyle is no Watson. She’s intuitive and can be brash in her words, but she is a capable detective who doesn’t miss the clues or their significance. She might be inferior as to class and education, but Acton sees beyond that and treats her with respect. They are not full partners in that he is essentially her boss and he has the lead which she occasionally chafes under, but they don’t get acrimonious about it. They also become romantically involved and that was a source of enjoyment the way the author developed that aspect. Doyle is the predominant narrator and she cracks me up particularly after they become involved. She has a wry wit and a prosaic outlook which stands her well with a personality like Acton’s that intimidates and steamrolls lesser people.

All that being said, I had a wonderful time with this new detective series and I will definitely be going back for more. I would recommend this for those who enjoy romantically involved detective teams and a moderately challenging murder mystery.

I received this book as a giveaway prize, but this did not influence my honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I knew her name looked familiar ! This novel looks completely and absolutely up my alley : romantic suspense, a police procedural in New Scotland Yard, I had to refrain from buying this book right after I finished reading your review. But it wouldn’t be reasonable. I’m reasonable. Am I not ?… (I’m still trying not to hit the 1-click button here)

    • I gave up, I bought it…

      • Buahaha! I’d say sorry for tempting you, but I know how it is. You guys all tempt me and I have clicked quite a few times after a review.

        • An eye for an eye, lol 😉

          • Oh, you know it!

            • From now on, I’m going to keep a count of all the books you made me add to my damn list or buy :p 😉

              • Mmm, that sounds ominous. I don’t dare keep track. I already have a long list of what is on my pile to read.

                • Oh yes, I hear you ! Well, time to turn the computer off, it’s “apéro” time here in France and it’s sacred, I’ll make a toast in your honor 😉

  • I do love a good mystery book and this one, from your review, seems like it had a ton in it!:) and oh no! You skipped ahead in the book a little. Gosh, this has happened to me before and I had to clamp my eyes shut really quick and try to flip back to where I was with my eyes closed. Hehe I can so relate Sophia!♡

    • Oh yeah, this one is a ticklish mystery. It also gets pretty exciting and there’s a different sort of romance. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  • At first, I thought that said “Detective Chief Inspector Lord Action” instead of Acton,lol. I was like well that’s quite a name! Murder in Thrall sounds like it was a compelling mystery that has a likeness to Holmes:) Great review, glad you enjoyed it! Are you gonna read more in this series? If it is a series.

    • Oh yes! There are two more books already. There is a series arc that has to do with their relationship and mysteries that are solved with each book.

  • Now this I would totally enjoy Sophia. I love old school detectives and of course Holmes, Thanks for bringing this one to my attention

  • This sounds like an exciting murder mystery. With murder mysteries I always like figuring out who is the killer and why and while I like to be surprised, sometimes it’s also nice to figure it out before the characters do. Although I prefer to only figure it out slightly before the characters as else it makes the characters feel dumb. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this book despite figuring out the murderer and motive early on. It’s nice when a series has an individual plot line for each book, while setting up a larger story arc as well. And the romance sounds well done! Great review!

    • I love trying to work out the solution, too. Just to reassure you if you’re interested, the characters are pretty smart so you wouldn’t have to be disappointed about that. The reader does get a little more from both their narratives than they have.

  • I like the nod to Sherlock Holmes even with the nuances. Also, a good mystery is a good mystery, sherlock or no sherlock.

    • For sure! They are original characters and I loved tagging along as they solved the case.

    • For sure! They are original characters and I loved tagging along as they solved the case.

  • Lindy Gomez

    I’m glad that you enjoyed this detective mystery! Though it’s a bit disappointing when you’re able to figure out who the bad guy is as well as their motive at the beginning of the story. I’m glad that there were other aspects of the story to keep you entertained 🙂 Great Review Sophia!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • It was fun. Outside of romance, reading mysteries is one of my other two favorite genres. I have such a good time trying to solve the murders. Glad to find this new to love series.

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  • Sounds really really good! I am glad you loved it 🙂

    • I did have a good time with this one, Lorna.

  • That’s really great that despite figuring it all out early on she kept you entertained and reading 😀 Sounds like a fun read 😀

    • I did. I really enjoyed their characters and how they worked and romanced together so the mystery was just a plus.

  • That’s really great that despite figuring it all out early on she kept you entertained and reading 😀 Sounds like a fun read 😀

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