Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review - The Body on the Doorstep by A.J. Mackenzie

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Review by Suze
It's 1796 and reverend Hardcastle finds a body on his doorstep. The reverend has the honor to hear his last words and then he dies. Nobody knows who the man is, but the rumors are that his death has something to do with smugglers on the coast. Because he doesn't think the case is being thoroughly investigated reverend Hardcastle starts researching the matter on his own. He's soon being told off, but he decides the crime is important enough to keep going. Reverend Hardcastle might even be in danger himself, but he doesn't want to stop until he finds out exactly what happened. What kind of dangerous games are being played?
The Body on the Doorstep is a gripping story about a reverend who likes drinking a little too much. Reverend Hardcastle is a smart man and he uses his addiction to his advantage and as a disguise. I immediately adored him. He isn't afraid to admit he has flaws, he has a great sense of humor and he's creative and clever. I loved reading about the smugglers, the complex game that is being played and the snooping of reverend Hardcastle. The case doesn't stop with the body on his doorstep, there's something sinister going on and the story becomes more and more compelling while the plot thickens.

Reverend Hardcastle is the perfect main character for an old-fashioned mystery, because he's delightfully imperfect, can be a little naïve and is definitely cunning at the same time. It's a fantastic combination that I enjoyed a lot. I also really liked that he's getting help from a woman, the reverend's outlook on life is modern for his time and firm. Even when he's in danger he doesn't let people get away with the games they are playing and he can be tough when he needs to be.
A.J. Mackenzie has a beautiful writing style and I loved every single sentence of this book. The Body on the Doorstep kept me glued to my seat from the start. The story is interesting, the history aspect is well researched and fascinating and the main characters are fabulous. The story has a nice steady pace that suits the time it's set in, while at the same time there's a lot going on and every aspect is equally intriguing. I highly recommend this brilliant book, it's an absolute must-read for anyone who likes historical mysteries. 


  1. Thank you for bringing this novel to my attention Suze!

  2. This book sounds very interesting. I love to read books that take me back in time.

  3. What a unique main character! I have read many books based in the late 1790s but never from a reverend's viewpoint.

  4. Ooh, this sounds thrilling and I really like the cover art too:)

  5. This book sounds really interesting! I love good mysteries and reverend Hardcastle sounds like a great character!
    Loved your review!

  6. Sounds like a good historical mystery :)
    Great review Suze :)

  7. Wow, sounds great! Thank you for reviewing and posting this!

  8. I had not heard about this book prior to reading your review, but it definitely sounds like a book I need to check out. I love a little historical mystery.

  9. Been a while since I read a great historical mystery, although it's one of my favourite genres. The Body of the Doorstep sounds pretty good and it wasn't on my radar.