In the midst of World War II, Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh Compton bemoans her lonely existence after the departure of Major Earl Monroe. The American serviceman was billeted at Elizabeth's manor home in the small English village of Sitting Marsh.

Elizabeth keeps busy running her household and vocally supporting the opening of a nearby munitions factory. But shortly after the factory opens, an explosion there kills its owner. Believing it was no accident, Elizabeth seeks out the culprit—and soon discovers that she may be next on the killer's list.

While readers will find the mystery compelling, it's the entertaining characters, including Elizabeth's household staff, that add the most dimension to this cozy mystery. The budding relationship between Earl and Elizabeth, forbidden because he's not yet divorced, brings an element of romantic tension to this well-honed novel. (Dec '04, 224 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick