On Christmas Day in 1796, a frozen corpse is found frozen into the ice of the horse pond at New Hall. With no murder weapon, no motive and the victim’s identity unknown, Reverand Hardcastle, his trusted friend (Amelia Chaytor) and a new captain (Edward Austen) are summoned to the scene to investigate. It is only then that they realize, the secrets of New Hall are more dangerous than they initially appeared.
I don’t often dabble into historical fiction, but every so often, I make an exception! The Body in the Ice by A.J Mackenzie (a pseudonym for a husband and wife Anglo-Canadian writing team) had all the components of a novel I would read to escape my everyday life. Unique characters, a mysterious plot and cheeky humour, made this one a slow and easy read.
Upon picking up the novel, I realized right away it reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes novel, Downtown Abbey or Clue! Relying purely on old-school detective work and amateur sleuthing, each character in the novel brought their backgrounds and, in turn, they became invested and focused on the investigation. I found myself getting lost in the language and in the time period; Mackenzie does a brilliant job at ensuring you are planted firmly in 1796 during the entire read! It was nice to be able to read a mystery that is character driven and plot focused instead of relying on flashy technology.
Although this was a second novel in the series, there would be no issue reading this one as a standalone.
Overall, although not my first choice in genre, I enjoyed this one as a switch up! I gave it 3/5 stars.
Be sure to check out an excerpt of this novel from my blog tour post HERE.