I've edited my original review, but I have no idea how to push that up the feed without reblogging (which I don't want to do), so I'll just copy/paste here for convenience.
THE CASE IS CLOSED: 2.5*
I’m having trouble rating The Case is Closed. It’s entertaining, it’s charming . . . and it’s really, really similar to the previous book in the series.
Much like Grey Mask, this book has:
- Hardly any Miss Silver
- Quarreling lovers
- Shady servants
- A pale, too-thin, tragic damsel in distress who scratches out a living as a fashion model
- Shenanigans with wills
- A worthless nephew who collects art and directly benefits from the will shenanigans
I’m not bothered by formulaic patterns in cozy mysteries. That’s part of what makes them cozy. The only thing I found truly annoying was the repetition. As the book starts, it’s nearly a year and a half since the titular murder case was tried. A man was found guilty, and the details of that trial and the evidence given are repeated ad nauseam. And as the characters investigate, looking to clear the convicted man, the details of their discoveries are also repeated ad nauseam. SO. MUCH. REPETITION. Miss Silver, when she does appear, is a mere expositional tool for revealing information the other characters weren’t in a position to discover on their own.
But I found Hilary and Henry far more likable than Margaret and Charles. And the author did a better job creating suspenseful scenes this time around. But if you cut out all that repetition, this book would be a good fifteen chapters shorter and the story wouldn’t suffer for it.