Loch Down Abbey

 Loch Down Abbey by Beth Cowan-Erskine

Listening to the audio version, narrated by Eilidh Beaton, got me through this one. I wasn't drawn into the story for the first hour or so, but her voice and accent were so appealing that I wanted to keep listening, and before long found myself more interested. 

Set in 1930s Scotland in the massive Abbey of Loch Down, it's the story of a wealthy family whose financial future becomes precarious when the head of the household dies. His death leads to a police investigation, and that leads to the uncovering of some uncomfortable family secrets. I think the mystery around his death was meant to be the main story line, but the more memorable story turned out to be the family's financial problems and how to solve them. 

It reminded me of Downtown Abbey in many ways, only this family is far less likeable. Most of them have never done a moment's work in their lives or considered anyone's needs but their own. The supercilious attitudes will have you both laughing and longing to slap faces. You'll like the housekeeper though; she's much like Mrs. Hughes, and the Bulter somewhat like Carson. 

I can't say it was a very good story, but it was mildly entertaining. I enjoyed the setting but I'm not a fan of the wrap-it-all-up-in-a-convenient-package ending. It seemed almost too neat, and rather unlikely. All that said, if you enjoy a mystery - I think it could be called a 'cozy mystery' but that description makes me cringe - set in a fabulous house with a haughty family and sensible staff, you'll probably like Loch Down Abbey.


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