Grace Takes Off by Julie Hyzy is the fourth book in the “Manor House” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, July 2013
A trip to Italy’s Tuscan countryside is a dream come true for curator and manager of Marshfield Manor, Grace Wheaton. At least until her boss—and benefactor of this whirlwind excursion—becomes the target of a murderer.
When Grace and her boss, Bennett Marshfield, turn up at the Italian villa of one of his oldest friends, they’re troubled to discover that most of his friend’s impressive art collection—including a prized bronze skull crafted by Picasso—is fake. Someone has been selling the real deals and replacing them with skilled forgeries.
Unfortunately, Grace and Bennett have to fly home the next day, so there’s no time to investigate. But their troubles are hardly over. On the plane, Grace catches a woman trying to poison Bennett. The woman, of course, isn’t talking, but by the end of the flight, there are two dead bodies. Now Grace has to wing it to find a mile-high murderer—especially since she suspects Bennett is still in danger.
This was a very enjoyable read. Grace jumps into action when she see someone trying to poison Bennett’s food while on a flight home. Fearing for his safety, Grace begins an investigation involving the occupants on that ill-fated flight and once that can of worms gets opened, everything that was believed comes into question. This story had a good plot that had me quickly turning the pages to see how it will all end at the conclusion and what a tangled web was weaved when the it was all said and done. Grace is a strong and determined heroine who does what have to be done and if it means get involved to protect a loved one, so be it. The best part is that Grace got help from an unexpected ally that I hope to see more of. I can’t wait to read the next book in this pleasantly appealing series. The ending left us with possibilities that I can’t wait to see explored.