Major Robert Kurland went through some nightmarish experiences during the Battle of Waterloo and, unlike many other soldiers at the time, he was lucky enough to return to his home, a small village named Kurland St. Mary. But he had many injuries. His horse fell on him during the battle and fell and seriously injured his legs. After months of healing, the Major still cannot walk and doubts he’ll ever be able to. He is also very depressed and refuses to leave his bed and does not take interest in the village which was named after his family and of which he is the magistrate.
From his window he can see the Rectory where the Rector and his children live. The Major grew up playing with the Rector’s sons and knows the Rector’s oldest daughter, Miss Lucy Harrington. Lucy’s brother, Tom, was the Major’s best friend but Tom died at Waterloo.
When Kurland returned home Lucy helped nurse him back to health and visits him often as her duties as the Rector’s daughter. Lucy’s mother died in childbirth and Lucy now has to care for her four siblings, the two youngest are rowdy twins. She’s also in charge of the household staff, argues with the cook about which foods to cook, watches the staff on laundry day, and also visits the people who live in the parish.
Lucy is afraid that she will never be able to find a husband because her father needs her to stay with him to run the household. At this point, Lucy is in her late 20’s and fears she will be a spinster unlike her younger sister who is beautiful and has many suitors.
One night, Major Kurland had trouble sleeping and thought he saw something odd out his window. It looked like a man was walking by the graveyard holding something large in his hands. The Major tried to get to the window and ended up falling.
The next morning Lucy Harrington paid him a visit and he told her what he saw the previous night. Lucy is concerned too because one of her maids, Mary, has packed her belongings and left the Rectory without telling anyone. No one has heard from Mary or knows where she went. Making matters worse, many of the wealthier homes and businesses in the village have noticed that things have be stolen. Even the Major’s home is missing items.
Major Kurland and Miss Harrington decide that they have to find out who is stealing all the items and find out where Mary is. Lucy is sure the two matters are connected but she doesn’t realize how much danger she is putting herself in. The Major is upset that Lucy has to investigate on her own because he can’t walk. But people know that Major Kurland is suspicious and and might have noticed a thing or two so his life just might be in danger as well.
“Death Comes to the Village” by Catherine Lloyd is the first book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. It’s a very nice, fast reading cozy that surprisingly held my interest.
It’s obvious that there’s a little something something going on between Major Robert Kurland and Lucy Harrington. But Lucy is a proper young lady and the Major is due to marry a young woman so the reader sees the problem but kind of suspects that the problem of the Major’s upcoming nuptials might not play out.
The other characters are the very interesting, especially Lucy’s father the Rector and his relationship with the cook.
Robert has two servants that help him but something appears odd with them. Do they really care about the Major’s health or are they trying to make him worse?
The murder mystery part of the book is pretty good even though you don’t really know if a murder was committed or not until the very end.
I did enjoy “Death Comes to the Village.” It’s a good cozy and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series just to see what happens between Robert and Lucy. They would definitely make an interesting couple.