Title: A Baffling Murder At The Midsummer Ball
(A Dizzy Heights Mystery #2)
Author: T.E. Kinsey
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
First published: July 27th 2021
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: July 14th 2021
“The clever ones never think they’ll get caught so they always leave something.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
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!