Murder at the Victoria & Albert Museum begins with the newly married Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton are commissioned by Queen Victoria to solve the murder of Andrew Page, a curator whose body was found near the foundation stone she laid at this monument to her great love, Prince Albert. Just imagine how handy a royal commission letter can be to investigators. They are aided by a friend in Scotland Yard while that friend’s supervisor fumes about their involvement but sees the value in sharing information, especially if he thinks it’s a one-way street.
Andrew Page, the murdered curator, is a perfect murder mystery suspect. Was he murdered by a romantic rival, German spies, an unscrupulous embezzler, a philandering colleague, or a jealous coworker? The red herrings abound and the story is such that you think if Daniel and Abigall just turn one more corner, they will find another. This is complicated when there is another murder.
Murder at the Victoria & Albert Museum is the eighth book in the Museum Mysteries series. [Here’s the author introducing the series in 2020.] The mystery is fair in that the readers are provided the clues as the detectives gather them. I haven’t read the first seven in this series but don’t think that decreased my enjoyment of this one.
The book is fast-paced and focused heavily on the plot. There is very little character development which is a weakness, particularly with Chief Superintendent Armstrong who is a very flat character. He hates the Museum Detectives and his unnecessary competition with them leads him to make one poor decision after another. He becomes a malignant buffoon and I am sure deserves better. But even the protagonists, Daniel and Abigail, are relatively flat. They feel as if they were unpacked from a box where they are stored between murders.
The mystery itself was well-plotted, complicated but fair. I love the abundance of red herrings though I do think too many were too quickly dispatched. It would be good to see several balls in the air at one time, so to speak. Still, I am thinking of reading the seven that preceded this book because I do love a good cozy.
I received an e-galley of Murder at the Victoria & Albert Museum from the publisher through NetGalley.