Prompt: A genre hybrid
Lots of books can be considered a genre hybrid. Great stories are often more that one thing and lots of the books I have already read this year could be included in this prompt. Because of that, I wasn’t in a rush to tick this one off. The book I’ve gone for in the end is Loch Down Abbey by Beth Cown-Erskine because it was such a fun read.
What it’s about:
No one in. No one out.
Family can be murder . . .
It’s the 1930s and a mysterious illness is spreading over Scotland. But the noble and ancient family of Inverkillen, residents of Loch Down Abbey, are much more concerned with dwindling toilet roll supplies and who will look after the children now that Nanny has regretfully (and most inconveniently) departed this life.
Then Lord Inverkillen, Earl and head of the family, is found dead in mysterious circumstances. The inspector declares it an accident but Mrs MacBain, the head housekeeper, isn’t so convinced. As no one is allowed in or out because of the illness, the residents of the house – both upstairs and downstairs – are the only suspects. With the Earl’s own family too busy doing what can only be described as nothing, she decides to do some digging – in between chores, of course – and in doing so uncovers a whole host of long-hidden secrets, lies and betrayals that will alter the dynamics of the household for ever.
What I think:
This book had me at the title! and it lived up to it’s promise.
Part country house mystery, part historical fiction, part pandemic with a lots of humour, this book is a mixture of everything.
It starts as a typical locked room mystery – an eccentric and large family gather at the family estate of Loch Down Abbey a sprawling mansion and large estate in the Highlands, when Lord Inverkillen is found dead.
with no one entering or leaving the house due to a mysterious illness that has the villagers staying inside and only leaving for essentials (sound familiar) suspicions fall on the family. And what a suspicious bunch they are!
Eccentric, selfish, money-grabbing, title-hungry this family has it all. No one really likes each other, the children are wild things running rampant across the estate, the heir shows a complete lack of interest in the survival of the estate and there are far too many rooms for the dwindling staff to maintain.
Most of the characters are hateful and ridiculous, complete caricatures of Downton Abbey style aristocrats.
The servant are completely running the show and are clearly more competent than most of the family put today.
This a fun parody with lots of 2020 twists such as toilet roll hoarding to add to the madness.
A silly, funny but thoroughly enjoyable read.
Thank you to Netgalley for the gifted copy.