Clara McKenna: Murder at Morrington Hall

This book will be available May 28, 2019.

The first book in the Stella and Lyndy series, Murder at Morrington Hall, is not your typical rich-American-heiress-marries-broke-English-aristocrat story. Kentuckian Stella Kendrick loves horses more than anything in the world. It’s 1905, and she’s excited to journey with her father to deliver thoroughbreds to an English Earl. Upon arrival at Morrington Hall, the Earl and his Countess are appalled at Stella’s straightforward America manners and her lack of understanding of their aristocratic titles and way of life. Their son, Viscount “Lyndy” Lundhurst is utterly charmed.

Stella soon learns her father pre-arranged her marriage to Lyndy with the racehorses as her dowry without telling her. Stunned, angry, and alienated in a foreign country, Stella’s situation grows more complicated when the vicar chosen marry her and Lyndy is found dead in the Morrington Hall library. To avoid being the most obvious suspects, Stella and Lyndy investigate the case. Along the way Stella makes friends and explores the beautiful New Forest area of England with its wild ponies and dramatic geography, the landscape dotted with villages and an ancient Norman church. I knew little about this area before reading the book but the beautiful descriptions are so vivid I felt compelled to learn more.

When the offspring of one of her thoroughbreds wins the Derby, Stella is introduced to King Edward VII, who finds her charming. No surprise there, but Stella is surprised and overwhelmed when the Royal approval suddenly leads to all the aristocrats wanting to meet her. Fleeing society’s attention, drawn together by their mutual love of horses, and their need to solve the case, Stella and Lyndy focus on their investigation. As they begin to discover shared interests and values, it’s clear they make a good team. Unlike Stella’s obnoxious father and Lyndy’s snobbish parents, the young couple are open honest with each other and focused on what matters most life: horses.

I can hardly wait to see where Stella and Lyndy’s adventures take them next. Clearly there is a wedding in their future and heaven only knows what else! — Cathy Akers-Jordan


Cathy Akers-Jordan is a writing instructor at the University of Michigan-Flint where she teaches composition, business communications, and technical writing. She also works with independent study students who are writing fantasy and science-fiction. Her current works-in-progress are crime fiction.