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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Murder Masquerade: A Jeremy Winton Crime Novel, Book One is a police procedural mystery novel written by Steven W. Cotton. Bramburgh Castle was home and hearth to Lord Kensington, and the place where the well-heeled and nefarious alike rubbed elbows in the rarified air of that historic edifice. While the Kensingtons had only come into possession of the ancient castle fairly recently, the current Lord was vigilant in maintaining the proper aristocratic ambiance therein. There would be no tours open to the public. However, a grand masquerade ball, attended by the elite, was a different matter indeed. The invitees would be sure to spare no expense on their costumed finery and were no doubt looking forward to the cruise promised the following day. The cruise never did happen due to the inconvenient demise of the lord himself that night. Colonel Jack Brigham, currently in charge of security, found the lord dead in his stateroom. The autopsy results revealed that two antagonistic drugs were found in his body, a combination that led to cardiac arrest and death.
Steven W. Cotton’s A Murder Masquerade will thrill lovers of classic British detective fiction and encourage new mystery fans to consider looking into the works of the great mystery writers of the past. Cotton builds his mystery in masterful fashion, introducing guests and staff alike in his opening pages, and the buildup to the actual murder is filled with the intrigue, excitement, and gaiety of the masquerade, prompting the reader to anticipate the murder alluded to in the title. Who will it be? Who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crime? Cotton’s characters feel both traditional and freshly drawn as the author moves this classic Scotland Yard story into modern times. The cast of characters is peopled with authentic beings, each worthy of attention by the astute, unruffled Chief Inspector who is not only good at what he does -- he loves it. The plot is a sound one, and the author provides red herrings galore for those who are inclined to conduct their sleuthing from the comfort of their armchairs. A Murder Masquerade is a satisfying and solid mystery novel that introduces a marvelous new inspector via an enjoyable and thought-provoking story. It’s most highly recommended.