Hello Readers! I’m pleased to share my review of The Quality of Mercy, 5th book in A Lady Evelyn Mystery as a part of blog tour organized by damppebbles blog tours. Many thanks to Emma for tour invite and author for providing review copy. Please check out the book details and my review in this post.
The Quality of Mercy (A Lady Evelyn Mystery #5) by Malia Zaidi
Publication Date : August 25th 2020
Publisher : BookBaby
Genre : Cozy Mystery
Pages : 418
After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer. It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.
Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future. From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?
Previous books in Series I read-
The Quality of Mercy was intriguing cozy mystery, set in 1920s London, revolved around two murder cases that Evelyn’s new detective agency solved. It was about dysfunctional family, secrets and scandals, fallibility of humans and their complex nature, friendship, and love.
Writing was beautiful, medium paced, and detailed. Book was written in first person narrative from Evelyn’s perspective. Like previous books there were lot of wisdom and monologues that made the book slow and if you are not in mood for such book it might make you want to skip those portion but at the same time it made characters and plot realistic as anyone’s mind often wonders around and on particular subject like Evelyn’s did.
It started with upcoming wedding of Aunt Agnes and Harold and former not happy with Evelyn announcing the opening of her ‘Carlisle Detective Agency’ than her and Daniel’s marriage. Evelyn struggling with people not having faith in her new venture and their worries about her safety looking at her past encounters, moreover no work in initial week of starting the detective agency but soon enough she got her case and not just one but two- or should I say she stumbled upon one, again, – Devlin’s murder case and West murder case. Both were so different from each other but as difficult to solve. I was curious to find out how Evelyn will catch the culprit and how Stanton’s presence in the city will affect her relationship with Daniel.
There were many characters in book some old, some new, we know a little more about older characters, feel a step close to knowing them but Evelyn took the centre stage. She was as inquisitive, clever, observant, sensitive, and gentle soul as previous book. A modern woman who didn’t like the rules and customs of society. She was engaged with Daniel and yet would take her time in getting married with him and move to his house. I must say I was a bit worried when she hired that maid without any refence and also was amused when Evelyn thought might be hiding something and was taking breaks to go somewhere without informing. It was another small mystery for Evelyn to solve and I must say thought the worst and also admired Evelyn’s instinct in knowing whether the person is good or bad and yet I liked how author showed like all humans she was not perfect. She received her fair share of surprises while uncovering the truth behind two murders.
I loved Daniel in this book even more. He was sweetheart and I loved how he reacted and behaved in company of Stanton, keeping his jealousy apart and accepting Evelyn’s friendship with him even though he knew Stanton loved Evelyn. Men like him are rarity and I loved Evelyn could see that. I admired him for fighting for Wilkin’s release and proving his innocence even after knowing all Wilkin’s secret.
Evelyn’s relationship with Agnes was much improved in last book and yet there was disagreements and bickering between those two like mother and daughter and yet Evelyn didn’t easily gave her the title of mother. In fact, it irked her at some moment which I didn’t appreciate about her. Agnes was really cool, smart and admirable. I loved her whenever she made entry in book. I thought there will love triangle but I’m glad author didn’t include that part. Stanton solely remained friend and I’m glad all characters were wise and civil in that matter. Romance was not huge or important part in story but I enjoyed Evelyn and Daniel’s relationship. Understanding, and support between them was lovely to read.
There were layers along with them main theme about impact of war on people and businesses, how it changed them, class differences, unemployment, upper class drama, fault in justice system and Christianity. Streets of London, difference of East and South and West London was as important as everything else in the book.
The twist and turns were brilliant. In case of Devlin’s case, I thought the prologue gave the idea why Devlin was murdered and I was sure I know the name of the culprit at 50% of the book but I was totally wrong about it. As for West case, it was clear Wilkin was innocent but I couldn’t figure out what he was hiding and who the real culprit was until it was revealed. Climax was surprising. I couldn’t guess what happened in last 20% of the book. The end, after harrowing revelations and encounter, was sweet with a wedding and announcement of upcoming wedding. I can say this won’t be the end of the series so I hope author don’t prove me wrong in that case.
Why 4.5 starts-
My small complain is the book became slow and dragging in the middle part. It felt too long than required.
Overall, it was fun and compelling cozy mystery that captured 1920s London and culture aptly with fascinating characters and mysteries to solve.
About Malia Zaidi:
Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford.
Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my review, have you read this book already or going to add it to TBR. Which is your favourite cozy mystery?
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