Review By Kayleigh

The Framed Women of Ardemore House is a cozy, delightful debut mystery. 

Favourite Quote:

“Emery Lane, or Rupert Selkirk and Associates, made tea. Jo had met him the day before; pencil thin mustache, pencil thin man; there was something distinctly No. 2 Ticonderoga about him.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Jo Jones has always had a little trouble fitting in. As a neurodivergent, hyperlexic book editor and divorced New Yorker transplanted into the English countryside, Jo doesn’t know what stands out more: her Americanisms or her autism.

After losing her job, her mother, and her marriage all in one year, she couldn’t be happier to take possession of a possibly haunted (and clearly unwanted) family estate in North Yorkshire. But when the body of the moody town groundskeeper turns up on her rug with three bullets in his back, Jo finds herself in potential danger—and she’s also a potential suspect. At the same time, a peculiar family portrait vanishes from a secret room in the manor, bearing a strange connection to both the dead body and Jo’s mysterious family history.

With the aid of a Welsh antiques dealer, the morose local detective, and the Irish innkeeper’s wife, Jo embarks on a mission to clear herself of blame and find the missing painting, unearthing a slew of secrets about the town—and herself—along the way. And she’ll have to do it all before the killer strikes again…

Jo Jones is not having a good year: her mother has just died, her marriage has imploded and she’s lost her job, so when an opportunity comes up to take care of a house she’s suddenly inherited from a family she didn’t really know about across the world, she jumps. She moves from the big city world in the US to a small sleepy UK town. 

Jo’s inheritance isn’t so great. It’s been let go – the house is crumbling, the gardens overgrown, and Jo isn’t sure what the groundskeeper has been doing. To top it off, the house is in deep debt and there’s a lot of taxes owed on the property. And then, a portrait she discovers vanishes. Just when Jo thinks things can’t get worse, she finds a dead body in the cottage on the property. 

Jo is a delightful character. She’s neurodivergent and works hard to understand how she needs to be behaving and is hyperaware. Because she’s so aware she notices things that others miss. 

She gets involved in the murder and meets Detective MacAdams who is skeptical about Jo, the missing photo and her motives for being in England. Thrown into the mix is Jo’s interest about the family home and the people who she comes from. The past and the present mix as Jo tries to discover about her family’s past and what her future will hold at Ardemore House. I enjoyed watching Jo figure out the mysteries, deal with the quirky characters she keeps meeting and figuring out her life. The mysteries were twisty and there were lots of red herrings and it kept me guessing to the resolution.

The Framed Women of Ardemore House is perfect for fans of Nita Prose and Anthony Horowitz. 

Thank you Hanover Square Press for the ARC in return for an honest review.