Spring, 1905- Free-spirited like the Thoroughbreds she rides across the Kentucky countryside, Stella takes adventure by the reins when she's asked to attend a mysterious wedding in rural England. But once she arrives at the lush Morrington Hall estate, her cold and ambitious father confesses that he won't only give away his best racehorses as gifts-he has also arranged to give away his daughter as bride to the Earl of Atherly's financially strapped son . . . Stella refuses to be sold off like a prized pony. Yet despite a rough start, there's something intriguing about her groom-to-be, the roguish Viscount "Lyndy" Lyndhurst. The unlikely pair could actually be on the right track with each other . . . until they find the vicar who was to marry them dead in the library. With culture clashes mounting between families, a scandalous murder case hangs over Morrington Hall. Now, Stella and Lyndy must go from future spouses to amateur sleuths as they team up to search for the truth-and prevent an unbridled criminal from destroying their new life together right out of the gate . . .
"In 1905, American heiress Stella Kendrick travels to England with her self-made, boorish father to deliver several Thoroughbred horses and attend a wedding, where she is stunned to discover she is to be the bride. The Earl of Atherly needs an infusion of cash to support his estate, and Stella's father wants a title for his daughter. Stella wants nothing to do with the match, convinced that her intended, the earl's son, Viscount ""Lyndy"" Lyndhurst, is arrogant. Before the wedding can take place, Stella and Lyndy find the vicar, John Bullmore, murdered; then two thefts occur. The two begin an investigation, with Lyndy believing someone close to him may be guilty; Stella ultimately sets a trap to uncover the killer, as the two slowly begin to like and trust one another. While members of the aristocracy find fault with Stella's outspokenness, her familiarity with the staff, and even her appetite, Lyndy finds her refreshing. Well-drawn characters, a richly described historical setting with details of horses and horse racing, and a tentative romance distinguish this agreeable cozy.--Sue O'Brien Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Set in 1905 in Hampshire, England, McKenna's delightful debut and series launch introduces feisty American heiress and horse breeder Stella Kendrick and Viscount Lyndy Lyndhurst, to whom Stella's father hopes to marry her off. Stella is the last to know about her father's scheme, and she's furious when she realizes he tricked her into going to England. When Stella and Lyndy go looking for the Reverend Bullmore, who's to marry them, they discover his dead body in the library of Morrington Hall, the Lyndhurst family estate. This breaks the ice between the two, who decide to investigate the murder together. Stella's longing for Kentucky diminishes as she grows fond of England, and she gradually falls in love with Lyndy, who's already smitten with her. After her stallion, Cicero, shipped over from the U.S. as a bargaining chip to seal the marriage deal, wins the Epsom Derby, its sire, Orson, is stolen. Eccentric, humorous characters add to the intrigue of catching the murderer and rescuing Orson from his captors. Fans of historical cozies will be enchanted. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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