I'm delighted to be on the blog tour and sharing my review of Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...
Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.
Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.
But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.
An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?
Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?
I have to say that I definitely have a soft spot for cosy/cozy crime and after reading the first book in the series Death Plays a Part and getting to know the characters I couldn't wait to re-visit Cornisea. After reading the description for the book I was intrigued and wondered how everything would play out.
Guinevere is a great character she is determined and yet again I enjoyed her interactions with Oliver. Their friendship is a little shaky at times in this story which adds an extra depth but they still work brilliantly together. I always enjoy the moments where they talk through everything that they have learnt so far and try to put all the clues together. I like that you get to see more of Guinevere's feelings in this story so it felt more personal in that respect. There was definitely a deeper character development with her character and there is a vulnerability that pulled at my heart strings a little.
The focus isn't just on the people who live on the island in this story but we also get a few "outsiders" who all come to the island to try and discover the goblet. There is a good mix of characters with differing personalities who all pretty much have hidden agendas but is there a killer amongst them? A special mention yet again has to go to Dolly I loved how she has her own little personality making me smile on quite a few occasions.
Even though it is the second book in the series I still think you could get by without reading Death Plays a Part. However it really is worth a read as you do get a great introduction to Guinevere and Dolly and not forgetting missing out on a brilliant closed door mystery.
Trying to figure everything out was half the fun of reading Rubies in the Roses and with a good range of suspects the story kept me on my toes. The pacing is good with the right amount of clues revealed at certain points in the story to intrigue the reader. I love the setting of Cornisea I really wish it was a real place as I would love to visit especially to meet all of the locals and to have a look around the castle.
Rubies in the Roses is entertaining and will have you trying to piece everything together throughout. There is a special charm about the characters and the setting that will have you turning the pages to discover if you figured it all out correctly.
Charming with wonderful characters!
With thanks to Vivian Conroy, HQ Digital & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Vivian Conroy writes the Cornish Castle Mysteries for HarperCollins, with Death Plays a Part releasing in July and Rubies in the Roses following in late August. Her Lady Alkmene Mysteries, of which the first instalment A Proposal To Die For became an Amazon USA and Canada best seller in five categories, will continue with a new instalment in October, Fatal Masquerade, set at a Venetian style masked ball where every guest has a secret and some of these secrets prove lethal. For all the latest bookish news, with plenty of dogs and desserts, follow Vivian on Twitter via @VivWrites. You can also find her books on Goodreads, Library Thing, Book Bub and Fantastic Fiction.