In 'The Pryce of Conceit', the first book in 'The Arabella Pryce historical cozy mystery series', Kari Bovée masterfully combines historical charm with chilling intrigue and delightful humor. This book is a must-read for lovers of suspenseful mysteries and strong, ambitious heroines.
Arabella Pryce, our protagonist, is an accomplished theater performer with a recent personal loss and an unwelcome demand that shifts her life's course. Compelled by her late husband's will, she embarks on a journey from her familiar stage to refurbish her namesake hotel in Colorado. Bovée portrays Arabella’s journey with exceptional detail, her writing immerses the reader in the bustling theatre life of the 1880s, only to lead them to the eerie quietude of a dilapidated Colorado lodge.
As if the transition wasn't dramatic enough, Arabella soon finds herself entangled in a murder mystery. The town's beloved beauty is found dead in one of the hotel's rooms, and Arabella is promptly named the prime suspect. What follows is a whirlwind of events where Arabella, despite the community's disdain, sets out to prove her innocence.
Bovée brilliantly includes an unexpected ally in Arabella's quest for justice - a mischievous cryptic ghost. This spectral companion adds an exciting, supernatural twist to the narrative, lifting the tale from a mere historical whodunit to an exhilarating ghostly adventure. The interplay between Arabella and her ghostly sidekick is filled with humor and wit, making the tension of the murder mystery delightfully bearable.
As Arabella navigates her way through suspicious evidence, a charming sheriff, and slanderous journalists, the stakes get higher. Bovée’s expert storytelling keeps readers hooked, creating suspense that builds up to a crescendo.
In conclusion, 'The Pryce of Conceit' is a superbly written historical cozy mystery. It flawlessly intertwines atmospheric historical settings, a ghostly sidekick, and an ambitious heroine for a heart-pounding, page-turning experience. It’s the perfect start to what promises to be a thrilling series.