This week’s Friday Read comes to you from the newest member of the L, B team: I’m the publishing assistant at PCR, having joined in lockdown (and am yet to set foot in the office). A certainly strange time to start in a new role, but exciting nonetheless!
Growing tired of this gloomy November weather, and needing to escape somewhere sunnier? Finished binging The Crown, and left wanting more of the scheming and bizarre British aristocracy? Then Death of a Diva at Honeychurch Hall will be your fix.
As amusing as its title suggests, this book takes us to bright and warm Devon, following the ever-charismatic Kat Stanford as she is drawn into the cutthroat world of amateur dramatics and blue-blooded intrigue. A really laugh-out-loud book, with a grand-estate’s worth of scheming and intrigue, Dennison’s Death of a Diva is both a classic English village mystery and a truly witty read. Refreshingly sharp and hilarious, it’s exactly the book to brighten your glum November weekend (and also make you grateful you’re not a peculiar British aristocrat.)
'Just the thing to chase the blues away' M. C. Beaton
Spring is in the air ... and so, too, is the sound of music as the residents of Honeychurch Hall are stunned to learn that the Dowager Countess Lady Edith Honeychurch has agreed to the staging of a production of The Merry Widow in the dilapidated grand ballroom.
Fears that the fiercely private octogenarian must be going senile are soon dismissed when our heroine, Kat Stanford, learns that the favour is a result of a desperate request from Countess Olga Golodkin. As one of Edith's oldest friends Olga is the director of the amateur Devon Operatic Dramatic Organization.
Just a week before, D.O.D.O's original venue was destroyed in a mysterious fire but since tickets have been sold, costumes made and lucrative local sponsorships secured, Olga is determined that the show must go on. After decades at the helm of D.O.D.O., The Merry Widow will be Olga's swansong and she wants to go out with a bang . . .
Praise for Hannah Dennison:
'The perfect classic English village mystery but with the addition of charm, wit and a thoroughly modern touch' Rhys Bowen
'Downton Abbey was yesterday. Murder at Honeychurch Hall lifts the lid on today's grand country estate in all its tarnished, scheming, inbred, deranged glory' Catriona McPherson
'Will delight fans and new readers alike' People's Friend
'A fun read' Carola Dunn
'Sparkles like a glass of Devon cider on a summer afternoon' Elizabeth Duncan