Friday, November 6, 2020

Review: Lady Rights a Wrong by Eliza Casey

by Eliza Casey
Release Date: June 2nd 2020
2020 Berkley
Kindle Edition; 325 Pages
ISBN: 978-1984803900
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Lady Cecilia of Danby Hall feels adrift. She couldn’t be less interested in helping to plan her brother’s upcoming wedding, nor finding a husband herself. Instead, what excites her most is the Woman’s Suffrage Union meeting she has just attended.

Inspired by the famous and charismatic leader of the group, Mrs. Amelia Price, Cecilia is eager to join the Union—if she can hide it from her parents, that is. But when Mrs. Price is found dead at the foot of the stairs of her home, her Votes for Women sash torn away, Cecilia knows she must attend to a more urgent matter: finding the killer. With the help of her lady’s maid Jane and intelligent cat Jack, she hopes to play her part in earning women’s equality by stopping the Union’s dangerous foe.
My Thoughts
Lady Rights a Wrong is the second entry in the Manor Cat Mystery series, and I definitely liked this entry more than I liked the first one.  The first one wasn't bad by any means, but I think this one was better written and the characters felt more fleshed out with developing quirks that are making them a lot more interesting.  

I really enjoy Cecilia as a main character as she is intelligent and quick-witted, but somewhat bored doing 'lady' things that are expected of her.  After her adventures in the first book, she is no longer satisfied with the mundane tasks of a lady, and is looking for something more fulfilling and challenging; she is just not interested in getting married and becoming lady of the manor, so to speak.  The author did have this tendency to dwell on Cecilia's station and lack of opportunities for women quite a bit, which took away from the overall story at times as it came across as a bit preachy.  I don't have objections to reflections on this type of thing, but it was constant, and I think a tad overdone.  I often think an author can get the same message across through actions and storytelling without so much reflection.  Anyhow, Cecelia was a likeable character, often confused about her place in the world, wanting to experience the world, but caught in a web of expectations for women.  Because of this, she becomes fascinated by the suffragette movement.  And I can see the appeal of this movement for her.

And while I enjoyed Jane as a character, I did feel like the relationship between Cecilia and Jane was a stretch simply because a lady's maid would have been restricted in her freedoms a bit more than in this book.  While Cecilia could depend on Jane quite a bit, and have affection for her, there would definitely be a line between them that neither would be allowed to cross.  

The mystery itself was amusing, but it did take a long time for the mystery to really present itself, and it did get a bit slow in the middle.  There were a lot of suspects, but not too hard to figure out if you pay attention.  I was glad to see the cat actually play a role in this one though.

Lady Rights a Wrong is an enjoyable historical mystery with the suffragette movement front and center this time.  The author highlights some of the tensions that existed within the movement during this time period as well as the traditional roles of women and their struggles to free themselves from those roles.  I enjoyed the characters as they were better fleshed out than in the first book. And while the mystery was amusing, I did think it lacked depth and punch.  Will I read the next book in this series? Yes, I believe so as there was enough development from the first book to this one that I am curious to see what the author will do next. 


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