The Dallancy Bequest. Tessa Barclay. PURLEASE! This book was labelled as a mystery. It was a more a soppy romance with a bit of historical detective work thrown in. Did not really impress me at all.
I pick up these books and I read them, and then I wonder why I wasted my time. Romance novels. My goodness, could the world get any more cliched than a romance novel.
The basic plot. Laura and her father run a geneological firm - they research your family history for you. Very convenient. They live and work at home. Laura somehow has time to run a business and cook meals four or five times a day. Lots of references to home cooked biscuits and scones and so forth.
A Canadian chap (surrounded by mystery, of course) turns up with a piece of lace and some documents and wants to find his relatives - a number of generations removed. In between whipping up biscuits and stews, Laura finds said relatives. They were (of course) land owners.
One of the things that really REALLY irked me about this book was the constant references to Laura's diet. Maybe being on diet that works is all part and parcel of the fantasy? But it bugged me - just eat already!
I've heard Tessa Barclay described as one of Britain's best-loved storytellers, but she's not made it anywhere near that high on my list. I give the book about a 3 only because at least the romance took place over weeks, instead of hours.