A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball
A Dizzy Heights Mystery, 2
by T E Kinsey
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 27 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 10 Aug 2021
Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer
A locked room. A mysterious death. Just another gig for the Dizzy Heights.
When London’s finest jazz musicians, the Dizzy Heights, are booked to play the glitzy Midsummer Ball at a country house in Oxfordshire, they expect a weekend filled with flappers and toffs having a roaring good time.
But the festivities at Bilverton House take a turn for the worse when the group are stranded by a summer storm. And when a member of the Bilverton family turns up dead in a locked room in an apparent suicide, Skins, Dunn and Ellie realise this is going to be a much tougher gig than they thought.
But here’s the lick. What if it was in fact cold-blooded murder? And what if the killer is still at large? It’s up to the Dizzy Heights to once again put down their instruments and get improvising if they want to solve this confounding mystery.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 54 members
This is my favorite type of mystery. Country house party and inclement weather and a dead body. The killer must be in residence. Absolutely the perfect setting for a murder mystery. Highly enjoyable read
The Dizzy Heights have been hired as the entertainment at the Midsummer Ball at Bilverton House. But, true to form in this country, the weather takes a turn for the worse, and they are stranded there in deepest Oxfordshire by torrential flooding. And, while the house party are cut off from the outside world, there is a death. Ostensibly a simple one, but things just don't add up. So Ellie, Skins and Barty set out to discover the truth before the floods recede and the wrong explanation for how the corpse met their end is taken as gospel. I absolutely adore this fabulous, brilliant gang!
Slight spoiler in review I mean this in an entirely complimentary way,but this was like reading famous 5 for grown ups... I expected there to be lashings of ginger beer... instead there was mention of champagne and other food stuff at regular intervals. A murder occurs after a family party,whilst the family and the jazz musicians are stranded at the house due to weather. I was thrilled when they broke the musicians down into a smaller section,as the first part of book felt like character overload. As the bodies pile up,and secrets are uncovered,there's was always a sense of fun to this book. The second in the series,I'll be looking out for no.3 now
Another wonderful novel from Kinsey. A fun mystery. Who is the killer in the isolated house? Fun characters and our team of Ellie, Skins and Dunn are awesome as always. The conversations are the author's strong suit. I recommend all of both series, but ot would stand ok alone as well.
An Unexpected Turn… The second in the Dizzy Heights series of mysteries and the best jazz band in London have been booked to play at a glorious Midsummer Ball at a country house in Oxfordshire. Not everything is destined to go to plan and, whilst Dizzy Heights are eager to entertain the guests, events are about to take an unexpected turn. Atmospheric country house murder mystery. Fun, entertaining and relaxing escapism from Kinsey, once again, who has created some delightful characters in keeping with the period. Nicely executed and can happily read well as a standalone.
I read the first Dizzy Heights mystery last year and enjoyed it so much that I went on to read most of his other series. I was really happy to be able to read this pre-publication in exchange for an honest review. The story is set in 1925 and is a must for lovers of the roaring twenties and the jazz age. The Dizzy Heights are booked to play at a ball and inevitably get mixed up with a mysterious death. It's a classic locked room mystery and has quite a complicated plot which all gets resolved in a satisfactory manner very reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The author has done his research on the period and it really comes alive with snappy dialogue between the members of the band and their companions.
I loved "A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball" by TE Kinsey so much that I've just bought the first in the Dizzy Heights Mystery books too (The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds). A friend and I were chatting about this book and were both delighted to have stumbled upon this series which we both describe as the Famous Five for Grown Ups. There's secret passages, plenty of meals and plenty of sleuthing to be done when stuck in a country house waiting for the floods to subside. It also has echoes of the Golden Age of crime books which you don't get so much these days - murder but done in a gentile way.
I really enjoyed my time with the first Dizzy Heights cozy mystery earlier this year, so it was an easy decision to read the sequel as well. Add the fact that A Baffling Murder At The Midsummer Ball is basically a locked room murder mystery, and this sequel became even more irresistible... And I definitely ended up having a brilliant time reading it. Both the 1920s setting and the jazz element add extra flavor to what is already an entertaining mystery, and this series is quickly turning into a new favorite. I once again loved just how important music is throughout the story. We have the focus on the Dizzy Heights band and its members of course; they have been invited to play during the event in Oxfordshire after all. It isn't just them performing there though, as music keeps popping up during the rest of the story and there is even some studio recording (with fascinating historical details) going on. I really liked how this musical element was incorporated into the plot, and the same goes for the historical setting as a whole. There are plenty of references to the 1920s jazz world as well as references to WWI and you will also find plenty of phrases in the dialogues that will transport you right back to the 1920s. Both the historical setting and the jazz definitely helped turning this sequel into another success for me! The characters are very easy to like, and I had a great time meeting up with them again in A Baffling Murder At The Midsummer Ball. There are quite a few different characters involved with the band and the members of the Bilverton House, and it is definitely adviced to read the first book before starting the sequel because of this. It makes it easier to keep the members of the band apart and gives you insight in their dynamics too, which always helps. I once again loved the banter between the different members of the band and the members of the Bilverton House (or should I say suspects?) were also an interesting bunch to get to know. The locked room mystery is the star of the show here, and I loved reading about how the different members of the band investigated and slowly tried to unravel the many secrets of the different suspects as well as how the murder could have been done. There are plenty of plot twists and secrets to keep you entertained in between the banter and the music, and I most definitely didn't guess who could be behind it all. The writing is engaging and makes it very easy to keep turning those pages, and the development of the plot was spot on for me. In short, A Baffling Murder At The Midsummer Ball turned out to be an entertaining and cleverly plotted locked room mystery that mixes a historical setting with jazz to give the story that little something extra. Definitely recommended if you enjoy historical fiction and/or cozy mysteries!
I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball, the second novel to feature Ellie, Skins and Dunn of the Dizzy Heights jazz band. Summer 1925 and the band is engaged to play at Bilverston House in Oxfordshire. The event goes well but the next day floods prevent them from leaving. Then one of the family dies in a locked room with a bullet to the temple. Suicide is presumed but Ellie, Skins and Dunn aren’t so sure and start investigating. I thoroughly enjoyed A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball, which is a lighthearted novel with a seriously fiendish puzzle and a convoluted solution. I have not read the preceding novel in the series, but I have read all the Lady Hardcastle novels so I had a rough idea of what to expect. This is not as laugh out loud funny, but it still has a lovely, light touch and as I said the howdunnit is fiendish. The novel is told mostly from the band’s point of view, so what they know the reader knows. Having read the solution I can say that most of the clues are there to reach the same conclusion they do, but I defy most readers to put it together. I certainly had no idea of the perpetrator or motive. It’s ingenious and wonderfully over complicated which suits the tone of the novel perfectly. A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is a fun read that I can recommend.
I did not read the first book in this series, which actually did not hinder the reading of this book at all. This was a really good book. A dead body behind a locked door, but there is no way that this was suicide! The Dizzy Heights are stuck at their latest gig with bodies piling up. I liked the interaction of the characters. It did feel realistic to me. I wasn't a huge fan of the dialogue, I know that it was most likely true to how people would talk at the time, but just wasn't really my style. I won't describe them, but there were a couple of instances that I was really taken aback by a situation, wondering why the author included that and what they really added to the book, other than to make me look at a character in a less favorable light. While I didn't have evidence of who the culprit was, I did pick him/her out at some point. It was just a gut feeling I had and I turned out to be right. The mystery was cleverly done and I would consider reading the next book in the series. Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
There's something about setting a murder in the interwar years that makes it seem somehow fun and harmless - it must be years of exposure to Agatha Christie. It's not so much a literary convention as a literary commandment that if you have a party at a country house in the 1920s or 30s then a murder must occur. And ideally everyone is trapped there, reducing the field of suspects. All of whom have a motive. Oh, and the murder needs to have been committed in some fiendishly complicated way. In this novel, three members of the jazz band hired to play at said party appoint themselves as sleuths when their host is found dead in a locked room, and a flood renders the roads impassable. The dead man was roundly disliked by his large, quarrelsome family, and there were concerns about his will (of course!). So which of them decided to kill him - and how did they manage what appears to be an impossible feat? Like all stories of this type, it's not meant to be taken too seriously. It's fun and escapist, decently written and with likeable characters. If you enjoy a roaring twenties setting and a good Christie-style plot then you can sit back and enjoy. The plot is reasonably good - it hangs together without any major holes and it wasn't very easy to guess - although I did identify the murderer a fair time before the big reveal. That's satisfying though rather than annoying. It also didn't rely on anything too ridiculous, and the clues were there. For me, part of the pleasure of a detective novel is knowing I might be able to work it out myself before the characters do, so it pleases me when the author allows that possibility. Saying that, I wouldn't say it was obvious, or that it spoiled the enjoyment of the book - I wasn't completely sure so the tension was still there. If you like a good whodunnit then I can recommend this. It's light, easy to read, and fun. I'd certainly read another in the series.
This was my first Dizzy Height mystery and I really enjoyed it, interesting characters, a well thought through an interesting complex story set in a country house isolated by a large storm. A fun read, am downloading the others now!
A locked room murder of a rich man at a country house, it’s the stuff of classic golden age mysteries. The Dizzy Heights jazz band are doing their first paid gig outside of the clubs for biscuit barons in their swish country mansion. All goes well until the head of the family is shot in an apparent suicide. However all is not what it seems and when the band are trapped at the house by flash flooding they are on the case. This is the second of this series and I have to say it didn’t enjoy i as much as the first. Mostly because a lot of the things I liked about the first were dropped. This one was mostly lead by Ellie and I’m not that interested in her. She’s alright but she’s happy and rich so...meh. I am much more interested in Barty and Puddle. Barty hardly got to do anything this time out and Puddle was barely there but when she was she was delightful and I love her very much so am dismayed beyond belief that it looks like she won’t be in the third book at all! So this was ok, the mystery was entertaining enough but the interesting characters weren’t given enough to do.
A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is T E Kinsey’s second Dizzy Heights novel. The action starts a few days after the end of the first book. The London-based Dizzy Heights band have been booked to play at a Midsummer Ball in Oxfordshire. As you might expect from the excellent Tim Kinsey, there is murder and a consequent investigation by band members Barty Dunn and Skins Maloney, together with Skins’ wife, Ellie. And it’s a proper “locked room” mystery with a closed cast of suspects, which will excite a large bunch of mystery enthusiasts. I read the first Dizzy Heights novel because I love Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle books. I hoped we would see a lot of Lady H and her wonderful Welsh maid, Flo. The two women did feature but didn’t really sparkle. I thought the book was great overall but was disappointed with their cameo. Now, I have read A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball because it was a Dizzy Heights novel. As far as I’m concerned, this book is the equal of any Lady Hardcastle novel (and they have been by far my favourite series for a few years). The dialogue is witty, the pacing is tight, the characterisation is excellent. I love the cross-talk between Barty, Skins, and Ellie; and the way that Ellie is a full member of that little gang. Whilst Barty gives Ellie the respect due to her as Skins’ wife, he and Ellie are quite happy to banter with each other. For the example, Barty is invited into the couple’s bedroom to discuss developments whilst Ellie is still in bed (in a chaste nightgown, with her husband sat near her – don’t worry!). That dialogue made me snigger a lot, possibly with an embarrassing snort at the end. Yes, I did guess who the murderer was. Yes, there might be some minor implausibilities in the plot. I don’t care – it was a most enjoyable book. Tim Kinsey, please write the third book soon. No, on second thoughts, write another Lady Hardcastle. No, belay that – we want another Dizzy Heights book. Oh, dear, my allegiance is so torn! #ABafflingMurderattheMidsummerBall #NetGalley
I loved the Last Hardcastle books and now I love the Dizzy Heights books too. This one picks up just after the end of the first and Ellie,Skins and Dunn now consider themselves equipped enough to try and work out who is the murderer in the house they are staying in. This book has everything locked room mysteries, secret passageways and of course Jazz music. Another fine outing for the trio and the rest of the band. Please can we have another soon.
This is quickly becoming one of my favourite series; it’s unusual, but might book 2 be even better than book 1? The characters are fun, dialogue is witty, and the mysteries are intriguing. Even more, they actually work to solve the mysteries by looking for clues and not just bumbling into them. And, just it’s the right length being neither too long nor too short; I cannot wait for the next one!
The Dizzy Heights mysteries are fun, entertaining stories with interesting characters and a unique look into the Jazz Age in London during the 1920s. This particular mystery kept me guessing until the end with secret passageways, a plethora of suspects, and a victim no one likes. I look forward to the next Dizzy Heights book. Thank you to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of #ABafflingMurderatheMidsummerBall.
A new novel in the series of the adventures of the Dizzy Heights Jazz Band. It's 1925 and Ellie, Skins and Dunn of the Dizzy Heights jazz band have a new manager and scored a great gig at a family party at the Bilverton Estate. Following the festivities there is a violent event. But is it a murder, or is it a suicide? Hidden passages, secrets, clues, and foreshadowing lead you on a merry romp through this charming mystery novel. If you like locked room mysterious and charming cozy (but murderous) scenes with incredibly witty dialogue than this is the book for you! A Baffling Murder At the Midsummer Ball is book 2 in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. Ellie, Skins and Dunn of the Dizzy Heights jazz band. and 1925
The Dizzy Heights are hired for the Midsummer Ball at the Bilverton Estate. While the weather cooperated for the ball, the rain caused flooding stranding the Dizzy Heights at the manor. On par for the band mates, there's a murder to solve. While there were times that I really felt like the book just needed to get on with it. But the banter between band mates is actually quite fun. Thank you #NetGalley for allowing me to give my honest and voluntary opinion of #ABafflingMurderAtTheMidsummerBall.
I did read book one in the series, so was familiar with the delightful performers of the Dizzy Heights, their relationships and the banter amongst them. This aspect of the series is most enjoyable. This is a much more of a typical cozy mystery than the first and there were many elements that didn't surprise me (could be because I read more in this genre) with a couple of red herrings along the way. I guessed. whodunnit, you can follow the clues, and I love that! I like an author that provides 'bread crumbs' for the reader to follow, although I do still find it a bit of a stretch that the jazz band identifies clues and resolves the murder so effectively. The rest of the ensemble of characters were OK, I struggled a little with the lack of mourning amongst them, they also felt a little hard-hearted. Hmm! I really do enjoy this period, the author's style and his exploration of the rhyming Cockney slang etc. I think the next in the series will benefit from the change in scenery. With thanks to Thomas & Mercer, #Netgalley and the author for my advance reader copy in return for an honest review.
Note: A huge thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me with an ARC of the book. This is the first book that I have read by author T.E. Kinsey. Of course this is the second book in the Dizzy Heights Mystery series, but it can be read as a stand alone book. This story follows the Dizzy Heights band as they arrive at Bilverton House to play at the Midsummer Ball. What is expected to just be a band performance for an evening turns into a situation of house arrest due to the rains. With the Bilverton family members and the Dizzy Heights band stuck together, the plot becomes more interesting when there is a death - in a locked room that is almost ruled a suicide. As the story progresses, we are introduced to the various members of the band as well as the Bilverton family. It is indeed quite a mix of interesting characters, each with their own quirks, personalities and habits. It also looks like everyone in the Bilverton family is up to something and is keeping secrets. When Ellie hears a gunshot and finds the dead body, she along with Skins and Dunn agree that the circumstances are suspicious and suspect murder. This turns into an interesting investigative few days for them while the band also plays music and mingles with the family to pass the time. I love how the plot unravels and Ellie's perceptive nature. She is one of my favourite characters in this story. The author has done a great job in building up the atmosphere and describing each situation and person to the readers! It feels as though we are involved in the investigations and discussions along with the band. I would also like to point out that there are some great references to music from the time period of the setting ( a lot of which I don't even know), but I felt like I could relate anyway due to how it was described. This is one murder mystery I would recommend to all fans of the genre and I cannot wait to join the Dizzy Heights band on their next performance and adventure!
England, rural, murder, murder-investigation, amateur-sleuth, situational-humor, verbal-humor, jazz-age, jazz-musicians, family-dynamics, friendship***** It's 1925 at a country house in rural England the Dizzy Heights jazz band is there to play for a party and meet someone who is just getting into the business of creating phonograph records. But then a man is found dead in a locked room (and the rain is causing severe isolating flooding) but the band members who had been in The War knew that it wasn't suicide. There is a lot of fun (including a bit about a city guy chasing a chicken around the kitchen to get eggs) and there is a rabbit warren of concealed doors and secret stairs to confuse things as they investigate everyone and everything. The story is really good and full of jazzy cant and references to musicians and films from America. I loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Thomas & Mercer/ Amazon Publishing UK via Netgalley. Thank you!
Oh, how this book made me giggle! The wit is just unreal, as it is in the Lady Hardcastle series by this author. Locked room mystery elements in an isolated manor house, puzzles, passages, quirky characters, raucous shenanigans and peppy music adds up to tremendous fun. It practically induced me to frolic around the garden! Set in Oxfordshire in 1925, a kaleidoscope of a band called Dizzy Heights travels to Bilverton House to play for an eccentric family and guests. Murder interrupts the jocularity and the band members and their two helpers/followers inveigle and search the house and the family's brains. I just love the buildup to the murder. In fact, following the thoughts and conversations of the characters is as as delightful as figuring out the guilty party. The wound-coloured hole, "Regency Ghastly" and the Hamlet bits are brilliant...and the wit is all over the place, yet not over the top. The characters are just...well, you'll find out. Don't miss reading the author's notes about his inspiration and touches of history. Historical Fiction, Mystery and General Fiction readers, especially those hankering for smart and snappy writing really should read this. I'm now going to read everything by this author I can get my hands on. My sincere thank you to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the pleasure of reading this charming book. Pure joy.
This is a good follow up to the first book in the series, and it is equally well written and entertaining. The Dizzy Heights jazz band have been hired to play at a country house and the whole gang travel there in a charabanc. (when was the last time you used that word ?) I love the way Kinsey brings 1925 to life with references to small things like songs which have just become popular and the latest Agatha Christie book just published. The main characters are beginning to win me round especially Ellie, who takes control of the detective work and the whole book in a delightful fashion. There is a lot of witty dialogue too which always keeps a good story rolling along. Of course there is a mystery - this time a locked room murder which has a fairly complicated solution, involving secret tunnels and a slightly crazy murderer. The author peppers the story with clues and makes it entirely possible for the reader to discover the guilty party before the amateur detectives do. All good fun and I look forward to the next book:)
Rating added here, as there is a spoiler towards the bottom of the review. 3 out of 5 stars. I love T E Kinsey's Lady Hardcastle series, and enjoyed Skins and Dunn in those books. I admit, though, that I'm struggling to enjoy this spinoff series as well as the original one. "A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball" is the second Dizzy Heights mystery. Kinsey's writing is witty, the characters are engaging, and the story well-told. I adore country house and locked-room mysteries, and this combines both. But... I figured out whodunnit about 22% of the way in. Normally, that doesn't bother me too much, but since the quality of the writing is so high, I think I expected the puzzle to be a bit more, well, puzzling. The band and entourage comprise a large number of characters, which, in addition to the family and servants at the country house, sometimes made it hard to keep up. Also, some of the characters, such as Skins and Izzie, are called by both their given and nicknames by other characters. Spoiler question: How did the murderer know there would be someone by the study when the gunshot sounded? I received an advance copy from Amazon Publishing UK/Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
<i> Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me an ARC for this book! </i> A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is a cozy mystery in which a band, stranded at a mansion because of a flood after playing at a party for the rich family that owns it, tries to solve the murder of the family patriarch. There are enough pieces in this to keep the reader guessing and suspecting everyone, but after a while it's pretty obvious who the murderer is. Still, the investigating bits in itself are engaging and fun, moving from one member of the Bilverton family to the next and delving into all the intrigue that families produce best. The cons in this book are what keeps the excellent writing from shining through: first, the fact that it spends so much time focused on the band and its members, which are honestly not that interesting to someone who decided to pick up a thriller, especially considering that it takes a huge leap of faith already to accept that their investigation isn't a hell of a meddling job already. Second, there is a lot of repetition, especially when people retell stuff to one another and excruciatingly at the end, in which a narration of events by the main character tries to mimic Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes, except we already knew everything being told because every single information had been revealed before. Overall a fun experience, do check this out if my complaints don't sound like the sort of stuff you'd mind. The overall mood and mystery are worth overlooking those details if you're looking for a cozy thriller to spend the time.
A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is the second instalment in The Dizzy Heights Mystery series set in 1925 Oxfordshire. The unstoppable, prominent jazz band known as the Dizzy Heights are back on the road performing concerts and touring when they are invited to the Bilverton Estate to play at the lavish annual Midsummer Ball for a family members birthday in the grand house situated in the grounds, all thanks to their intrepid new manager. Ellie, Skins and Dunn, the members of the band, arrive expecting it to be an evening like any other; everything goes to plan and the guests seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves dancing their way through the evening despite the balmy temperatures. However, the following day, the weather becomes horrendously stormy leading to flash flooding and the roads are deemed impassable in the current circumstances so they must all sit tight. Everyone ends up stuck inside Bilverton House whether they like it or not and this prevents anyone, including the band, from leaving. When their host is found dead in a locked room in the house the band put down their trumpets and trombones and put on their amateur sleuthing hats to investigate. He has been shot in the temple and whilst others believe it could've been at his own hand, the musicians know, due to their wartime experiences, that this was no accident or suicide. The family are all pretty eccentric and through investigating the band members discover the man was disliked by the rest of the extensive, argumentative family of millionaires who accumulated their fortune through the retail of biscuits. It becomes known that there was some kind of family ruckus over the dead patriarch’s will, so now all the band have to do is ascertain which one of them was desperate enough to murder him and how exactly they locked the door behind them, a seemingly impossible feat. This is a compelling and richly atmospheric cosy style mystery set in the hot summer days in the mid-Roaring Twenties. The characters are an idiosyncratic bunch who are all engaging and developed well. Laced with drama, secrets and ill intent, the author leaves a trail of clues and a puzzle for you to follow and the mystery element is taut and thoughtfully plotted. It very much reads like and has the zeitgeist and atmosphere of a Golden Age locked room mystery. Lighthearted, charming and thoroughly entertaining escapism. Highly recommended.
More Jazz Age mayhem in the UK... A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is the second in TE Kinsey’s historical mystery series featuring the Dizzy Heights, an eight-piece jazz band based in London. In the first book, the band’s founders, Skins Maloney and Barty Dunn, together with Skins’ American wife, Ellie, tracked down a murderer among the clubs and nightlife of London. For their second outing, however, the Heights are visiting Oxfordshire, where their brand-new manager, Katy, has booked them to play at Bilverton House’s midsummer ball. I had read and enjoyed the first in this series when it came out (see my review here), so I was happy to receive a review copy of this second title as well. And I liked it a lot, even a bit more than the first one. At first, it seems that all is going to go well with the Heights’ venture to the country, aside from a spot of travel sickness for the band’s singer, Mickey Kent. Sure, Ellie overhears some rather tense bickering between some of the members of the Bilverton family (of Bilverton’s Biscuits). And with all of the guests staying in the main house, the band ends up sleeping on some cots in a converted chapel on the property. But the party goes well, the food is good, and they get a chance to riff with a new singer with a great voice. Even cooler, Malcolm Bilverton has set up a very professional first-generation recording studio in part of the former chapel, and he makes some records of the band the next morning. Then things start to go wrong. The bus that is supposed to take them back to London doesn’t show up, and John, the patriarch of the family, is found shot, inside his locked study. Everyone assumes he committed suicide, but when the youngest Bilverton, Howard, tries to go for the doctor and the police, he discovers that the estate is surrounded by floodwater. So when Skins and Barty, who saw some grim stuff during the war, recognize that the gunshot wound doesn’t look self-inflicted, thus begins a classic locked room mystery, neatly wrapped inside an isolated country house mystery. Author Kinsey provides a lot of motives and clues, and even more red herrings, but eventually Barty, Skins and Ellie figure it out. As I mentioned above, I liked this book even a bit more than the first one. The characters are more developed, and Ellie (a nurse during the war) has a bigger role, which she fills nicely. I especially liked learning more about the early days of music recording - it’s easy to tell that once again, TE Kinsey has done a stellar job of research for the background of his book. Kinsey also slides in occasional spots of wry humor as when he comments after the patriarch’s final exit before his death, “The band, as bands do, played on.” And finally, the plot kept me guessing until the end, as mysteries mostly should. Please keep in mind that I try not to give too many 5-star reviews, so my 4-star rating for A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is a solid “read” recommendation. I very much hope that there are more titles to come in this series. And finally, my thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the advance review copy.
It is a really wonderful book. I couldn't stop reading it because I really liked the main characters, the whole atmosphere and there was a huge desire to figure out what had happened behind the closed door. If you like the locked-room mystery and jazz, it is a perfect choice for you. I really hope that the author will continue this serie and I can enjoy the next book. Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for a digital copy of this amazing book in exchange for an honest review.
A locked room. A mysterious death. Just another gig for the Dizzy Heights. This is the second in this delightful series involving the musical group, Dizzy Heights. Yes it takes place in a country manor house (so overdone) but this author keeps it fresh and original and it was a really fun read and a great mystery! Looking forward to book #3. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
The Dizzy Heights jazz musicians go by bus to Oxfordshire to perform for a gala party hosted by the Bilverton family at Bilverton House. However, a storm with lots of rain has caused flooding all around the home, and they are stuck there for longer than planned. They are housed in the old chapel on cots. There is also a recording studio in the chapel run by Malcolm Bilverton, the brother of the owner and a former army officer. The day after the ball, the band entertains the entire family with their music, and Malcolm records several of their pieces. That afternoon, when Ellie, wife of Skins who with Dunn founded the band, goes to the main house to see about tea, she hears a gun shot from John Bilveton's office. The door is locked, and it appears the key is in the keyhold on the inside. John's daughters Veronica and Elizabeth help Ellie break into the office, and find John dead with his gun on the floor nearby. There is also an almost full glass of Scotch on the desk. They find the phone isn't working. As long as they are stuck at the Bilverton's, Ellie, Skins, and Dunn decide they might as well try to solve what happened to John Bilverton. They get help from Veronica. They are sure that Bilverton was murdered, because the wound in his head would have been worse if the gun was closer to his head. However, how did a murderer get out of the study without Ellie seeing him or her. The house is very big, and parts of it are very old, so they begin to try to find secret tunnels and or rooms. That night when Ellie goes back to the Chapel, the rest of the band is all asleep on the floor. They had the decanter of Scotch from the house, and Ellie quickly realizes that the Scotch must have been drugged and John must have been asleep when he was shot. However, it still takes quite awhile before they figure out how the murder could take place in a locked room, and meanwhile someone else is dead and a third person fell or was pushed downstairs. They continue sleuthing while the floods hold. Finally, the doctor gets through to the house, and the coach is hired to take the Dizzy Heights home to London. Suddenly as the amateur sleuths have figured everything out, the the guilty killer shows up with his gun. This is a great second Dizzy Heights book, with with humor, suspense, and great characters.
This is the second book in a new series by TE Kinsey. I read both book 1 and book 2 back to back, making for a great few days being immersed with the Dizzy Heights, a highly regarded jazz band in London.. Dizzy Heights has been engaged to play at a country home Midsummer Ball. Unfortunately, the family patriarch is found in a locked room, apparently a suicide. The band searches for clues, and another death occurs. Due to flooding, the band remains stranded at the estate for a few days allowing them to find the killer, and how they managed a murder in a locked room to look like a suicide. This was an engaging read, and I liked the characters immensely. Besides the funny puns that pop up frequently, these characters seem very real for the time and place, making the situations they find themselves in, believable. I am also a fan of Kinsey's Lady Hardcastle and Flo series. Now i have another one to highly recommend in the English cozy realm. Thanks to Net Galley for the eARC.
The Dizzy Heights are playing a private party this time at a pretty swank out-in-the-country house in Oxfordshire. And though some of the family are welcoming (notably the youngest son and the music producer uncle), there are definitely undercurrents of animosity as the wealthy father has recently remarried and the new wife is only a year older than his oldest son. With a fortune built on biscuits, he has money to divide up and there is some indication that he may be changing his will and that most of his children (if not all four) seem to have a problem with that. No surprise, of course, that he ends up dead. It appears to be a suicide at first glance but Skins and Dunn quickly realize that there is more than meets the eye. A highly enjoyable story, as usual from Kinsey. The author capture the feel of the time and place and acknowledges things like "Oh, we couldn't possibly find ANOTHER secret passage.." Four stars This book came out March 1, 2021 Follows The Deadly Mystery of the Missing Diamonds ARC kindly provided by Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley Opinions are my own
I’m enjoying this series of books and it’s the cozy Sunday afternoon reading treat you can enjoy after a hard week. Love it. Keep them coming.
Thanks to Netgalley for A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball by TE Kinsey, book two in the Dizzy Heights series which is a spinoff from the previous series. This story is a combination of a locked room mystery and a stranded house party story. It was pretty easy to know who was the culprit but it really didn’t matter to the enjoyment of the story. Looking forward to more of Ellie, Skins, Barty and the rest of the crew. They’re the bee’s knees.
The Dizzy Heights are back and booked for their next performance at the Biverton’s country house as the entertainment at their Midsummer Ball. The Jazz is loved by the party guests and everything seems to be going well until morning brings the realisation that a storm has stranded the band and one of the Bilverton’s family members is found dead, murder or suicide? The Dizzy’s are asked to investigate the mystery and find themselves trying to understand the complex web of familial and friend relationships. It’s the ideal set-up for a good cosy mystery, all the guests in the house and no way to leave, more motives than can be counted but no opportunity, how will they unravel it? Not all the steps in the solution felt entirely plausible to me but then, it is a mystery being investigated by a Jazz band so perhaps that’s not entirely surprising! Mingled into the detective work is lovely banter amongst the band and a lot of fun to be had on the journey! It’s a four out of five on the enJOYment scale and I’m looking forward to the next one!
What an interesting and captivating read. I could see the grandeur as the historic home was described in each chapter. How wonderful looking for hidden doors and rooms, trying to find clues as who is the killer. Amateur sleuths who play in a band, added a little fun to this book. A great read.!
Who doesn't love a locked door mystery?! This mystery had me guessing until the very end. Only in the last few chapters did I finally start to put the pieces together. The characters are witty and full of personality and the relationship between the main trio is just remarkable.
An amazing cozy mystery who-dunnit that was full of glitz and glamour from the era the book was set in. Flamboyant characters. These type of reads are one of my favourites.
3.75 stars This second installment in the Dizzy Heights historical mysteries is as delightful as the first. The story centers around a jazz band and is set in England in the mid 1920s. Main characters Skins Maloney and his brainy wife Ellie and the band are at a ritzy country house to provide music for their midsummer ball. The patriarch of the family is found dead, shot inside a locked room. He was an irascible old character, not much loved by his kin, and they are ready to accept the verdict of suicide. But Skins and Ellie are sure it's murder and start investigating and looking for a will. And in the way of British cozies, they are marooned and cut off from communicating by bad weather. The relationships among band members and Skins and Ellie is a bit madcap and highly entertaining. This is a highly enjoyable series. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is the second book in the Dizzy Heights series, so I took a risk as I'd not read the first. That didn't matter one jot though! It's a 'locked room' mystery, very much written in the era of Poirot, Miss Marple and their ilk, which helped anchor the story in time. The setting and time period was obviously well-researched, so at not point was anything jarring or anachronistic. My initial concern was at the size of the cast: all of Dizzy Heights jazz band, plus the various - and mostly unlikeable - Bilverton family. However, once past the introduction stage, there were fewer characters involved in the main plot and these were easily identifiable and easy to keep track of who was who. The dialogue was fun and the clues subtle. I did work out the murderer and method, well before the investigating team of Ellie, Skins and Barty from Dizzy Heights, plus Veronica 'Ronny' Bilverton. It didn't spoil the book in any way as there was still the motive to work out. Plus, why the various Bilverton family members were behaving in such a way. A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball resolved very nicely in a period-suitable manner and was a far better read than I initially suspected from opening chapter. Highly recommended. I am voluntarily leaving this review after receiving an ARC from Netgalley.
With their invitation to play at the Midsummer Ball at Bilverton House in Oxfordshire, the Dizzy Heights jazz band were keen to participate. The guests had a great time, with the festivities lasting well into the night, and once everyone left, there was just the band and the family. Skins and Ellie, along with Barty and the rest of the crew, were billeted in the chapel which the family had converted. When they woke the following morning, preparing to leave by lunch time, the rain had become relentless – it wasn’t long before they were flooded in. But it was when everyone was in the main house, that Ellie heard a gunshot. John Bilverton was dead. But was it suicide, as it looked to be? The three sleuths, Ellie, Skins and Barty set out to discover whodunit – before the floodwaters subsided and the police announced it to be a suicide. Would the three be able to solve this latest mystery? A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball is the 2nd in A Dizzy Heights Mystery series by T.E. Kinsey (of Lady Hardcastle fame!) and I quite enjoyed it. Light and entertaining, it’s filled with jazz music and old fashioned tunes which I always hear in my head – I’d love to hear them play! Ellie is a great character – she puts up with a lot! I’m looking forward to #3 already (but I hope he writes some more Lady Hardcastle first 😉) Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Another hit by T.E. Kinsey. The author has now taken on the 1920s in his new series but with some old friends from the Lady Hardcastle series. Dizzy Heights, a group of jazz musicians, have proven to be almost as good at solving mysteries as they are at playing music. When asked to play at a Midsummer Ball, the group also discovers a mysterious death, a locked room and…well that would be a spoiler. Read this charming and fun book to find out! I switched back and forth between reading and listening to this. I found it hard to distinguish the different character voices at first—though, I could understand what was being said just fine—but I picked it up eventually. Lady Hardcastle and Flo are still my favorites but this is well worth the time to read it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Another fun caper with the Dizzy Heights band! This novel is set in one beautiful country estate where the band was invited to play for a family of famous biscuit makers. After a torrential downpour, the host is found dead of what appears to be a self inflicted gunshot. But the Dizzy Heights group senses that something is awry and an investigation ensues. This mystery had a lot more moving pieces to it and I loved all the real detective work that went into solving this crime!
I must confess that I downloaded this title thinking that it was part of the Lady Hardcastle series. I stuck with it after realising and still enjoyed it. I hadn't read the first in the series but soon became familiar with the characters. I liked the setting and the contrast between the younger 'modern' characters and those who were more traditional. It wasn't the most baffling mystery and I did guess the perpetrator before the end, but it's still worth a read when you don't want anything too heavy.
I really enjoyed this book and it gave me a well needed lift to my day. The insight and humour spoke volumes about the experiences and challenges that we were guided through as the audience. I am very glad I read this book and would highly recommend..
I enjoyed this more than I expected and really got to enjoy learning more about the band members. I am a big fan of the Lady Hardcastle series and this spinoff is good but not quite as much fun.
A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball (A Dizzy Heights Mystery book 2) by T E Kinsey 📓Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Suspense Star: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 🔖A nice little mystery that was both fun and interesting. 🔖London’s finest jazz musicians, the Dizzy Heights – find themselves in the midst of a tricky situation when a murder is committed in one of the rooms of the Bilverton House in Oxfordshire – the very place housing the Midsummer Ball, where the talented group of musicians had come to perform. 🔖When the locked room crime baffles all, the members of the Dizzy Heights resolve to solve yet another crime. 🔖The writing style was engaging and the whodunit kept me guessing. There are several characters – some mysterious, some hiding secrets, but the main protagonists belonging to the musical group were all likable. 🔖Music also plays an important role in the story and it added a nice touch to the storyline. 🔖Overall, this period-style murder mystery was a delightful read! 🔸Final Verdict: Good 🔸Book Cover: It's similar to a classic mystery novel 🔸Writing Style: Fun and engaging 🔸Character Development: Good ✨Many thanks to Amazon UK (Publisher) and Netgalley for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. #ABafflingMurderattheMidsummerBall #NetGalley #arc #bookreview
Another very fun read from T.E. Kinsey, this time with the heroes of the extended Lady Hardcastle universe, the Dizzy Heights. The characters feel more fully realized and the location and mystery swing along nicely; I'd like to spend a bit more time with Barty Dunn and less with Skins, who I think the author finds more entertaining than I do, unless he is meant to be kind of annoying? That being said, we are firmly in country house mystery territory and while the novel does integrate some of the tropes of the genre quite a few are also turned on their head and the potential tiresomeness of class warfare between the aristocratic family and the normie detective/policeman is avoided (which I appreciated because how many times can you read a variation of "How DARE you ask me that, sir? I know the Prime Minister!" without wanting to backhand slap everyone in the scene). All in all, a recommend.
I’d give this book a 2.5/5 stars, and overall, I did enjoy the idea behind this book. The murder mystery was very Knives-Out and the characters in Dizzy Heights were full of banter. I didn’t actually realize this was the second book in a series when I read it, but I appreciated that you didn’t need to read the first book to vibe with the characters in this one. There were fun twists and turns throughout the book, and with each murder, it drew you further in. However, I felt the ending was rather lackluster for me. I was expecting a huge twist and I did not get that. It felt too easy. Overall, enjoyable, but forgettable.
What a fun book! The jazz band was full of interesting characters. They land a gig for a ball but when the rain starts they are stuck for several days. The host is murdered then more death and chaos ensues as the not so perfect life of the rich family unravels. Ellie, Skin and Dunn (doesn't that sound like a good name for a band) begin to hunt for clues. Nothing like a good mystery to avoid boredom while they wait for the rain to cease and the water to recede. Excellent reading!
It was a pleasure to read this book, Kinsey did not disappoint! There aren't many instances when the second book is just as good as the first, but dare I say, I think this one if up to snuff. The tone and overall writing was enjoyable and capturing. The characters were loveable, amusing and teeming with life. Not to mention, the mystery was perfectly intriguing! I enjoyed this book tremendously, and I am eagerly awaiting the next.
Entertaining read and sent me searching out the first book in the series. I picked up a copy of copies to August birthday gifts.
The usual humour and murder solving with this brilliant spin off from Lady H and her cheeky companion (also highly recommended series). This is the second book with these characters and is just as entertaining as the first. Kinsey creates the most likeable characters and entertaining storylines you won't help enjoying them. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book.