This historical fiction mystery takes place in England in 1911, with a few interspersed chapters devoted to the solving of the mystery a hundred years later. The story was compared with those of Kate Morton, one of my favorite authors, but I think therein lies my disappointment. Although it was an alright story, I really expected more.
I enjoyed the “whodunnit” mystery aspect, but as the plot progressed (a bit slowly, in my opinion), it became very apparent who the mystery man was, which left only to wonder who it was that had been murdered and by whom. With limited main characters, the ending — while a shocking event — wasn’t really as shocking for the reader, who could have seen it coming for awhile.
I also had trouble relating to any of the characters. I found myself irritated by Hester’s timidity and Albert’s obsessiveness. Robin was believable as a deceiver, but (view spoiler) Cat perplexed me (though maybe that was the point?) — fluctuating between strong and opinionated in the Rectory to feminine and somewhat delicate while with George.
The modern-day storyline was a bit unnecessary, except as a means which to introduce the mystery. Leah’s reading of the letters revealed too much; as the story went on it became obvious too quickly whom she was writing to and why. Leah herself hardly did any sleuthing at all; so many of the “clues” fell right into her lap, it seemed, and her love interest felt more like a rebound relationship than a true romance.
Overall, it was still an interesting story; I really feel my expectations were too high going into it, leaving me more disappointed than intrigued.