Sunday 7 June 2015

Time to Review the Evidence - A Dreadful Murder: The Mysterious Death of Caroline Luard

Title: A Dreadful Murder: The Mysterious Death of Caroline Luard 
(US Link)
Author: Minette Walters
Genre: crime, historical fiction
Series: Quick Reads

A few starting notes:

Another of the awesome Quick Reads series (which as always deserves my commendable praise for trying to get everyone reading) this is a fictionalisation of the real 1908 murder of Mrs Caroline Luard.


Mrs Caroline Luard is found dead - shot - in the rural Kent town of Ightham. The neighbours suspect her husband - Major-General Luard, a local JP and well-off snob. But did he kill her? Or is there another explanation?

Best bits:

The pace and depth both pick up from about half-way through, as the author seems to get into her stride. It's from this point - where there's more of the fiction and supposition, rather than the fact, that the book becomes more involving.

The whole story is edible in bite-size chunks, and the atmosphere of early 20th century secrets and poverty is captured in an intriguing and encapsulating way.

Not so great bits:

As always, there are some issues here which may upset some readers - murder (obviously,) poverty, alcoholism, suicide, and domestic abuse are all touched on at various points. If this is a major problem for you, then obviously, read with caution.

The tone sticks a little in places, but not enough to really bother you all that much.


A very readable, short, and digestible fictionalised account of an intriguing and mysterious crime. Perfect for a bit of detective-ness in the middle of your everyday life. 

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