Title: Peril at Somner House
Author: Joanna Challis
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Fresh off her adventures in Murder on the Cliffs, Daphne du Maurier travels to an island off the coast of Cornwall for the winter. She doesn’t really want to go, but her sister Angela clearly wants her there, even though she won’t confide in Daphne to tell her what is going on. When a body is discovered on the grounds of Somner House, Daphne calls her sleuthing skills back into action as she tries to identify the murderer.
I absolutely loved Joanna Challis’ first book about Daphne du Maurier, Murder on the Cliffs, so reading the second one was a no-brainer. I was looking forward to another atmospheric, gothic-style mystery, and I am pleased to say I got it. While Peril at Somner House isn’t quite as gripping as the first in the series, it’s definitely a fun book that is worth reading.
It was wonderful to revisit with Daphne in this book and see how she’s changed since the first. Happily, she is just as feisty and independent. In some ways, she is a reluctant detective, but her curiosity always gets the better of her. She forms some real friendships over the course of Peril at Somner House, and it’s wonderful to see her break out of her shell a little. Most of the secondary characters in the book are also well developed, which makes it more difficult to tell who committed the murder.
The mystery takes the reader through twists and turns as Daphne explores the victim’s life. She learns a lot of dark secrets in her investigation, but happily, she isn’t a gossip. She is, however, a bit nosy, but that comes with the territory of trying to solve a murder. The end result is one that I did not expect, and as a result, it is a very satisfying conclusion.
Peril at Somner House is a wonderful historical mystery featuring an intriguing main character. I love the idea of a mystery series with Daphne du Maurier as the main character because she had such an interesting life. I highly recommend this book and the first; each can stand alone, but you will miss out on delicious reading if you neglect one! I really hope Joanna Challis continues with this series, as I am very curious to see what Daphne will do next.