A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

May 1st, 2017 Kimberly Review 42 Comments

1st May
A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
A Murder in Time
by Julie McElwain
Series: Kendra Donovan #1
Narrator: Lucy Rayner
Length: 18 hours and 39 minutes
Genres: Time Travel
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 3.5 cups

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates. While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place-Aldrich Castle-but in a different time: 1815, to be exact. Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

well written MURDERMYSTERY SUSPENSE historical

A MURDER IN TIME by Julie McElwain narrated by Lucy Rayner introduces us to Kendra Donovan, in this time-traveling 1800s whodunit. At times brilliant, this intriguing tale kept me listening even if this was not my favorite narration.

We meet FBI agent Kendra Donovan in the hospital. She is in a coma as we learn about the undercover case that left her wounded and her teammates dead. Once recovered, Kendra is intent on revenge and goes rogue. She travels to England to seek out the killer.  While in the Aldrich Castle, she finds herself in peril. In her efforts to escape she slips into a hidden stairwell and soon finds herself in the same castle but in the year 1815.

McElewin quickly pulls us into the tale, as Kendra Donovan comes to term with her surroundings and soon finds herself working as a lady’s maid. She is determined to find her way back, but a murder soon pulls her into this world when she realizes they are dealing with a serial killer.

I loved the attention to details, although for me I found a few discrepancies in descriptions and quite a bit of head hopping. However, these were minor. Kendra, of course, stands out from her mannerism to speech garnishing the attention of the Duke of Aldridge and his nephew Alex. When the body of a young woman is found in the fountain, the agent in her cannot help but become involved. A Lady of the ton who is outspoken on the rights of women elevates Kendra’s position to companion and she soon finds herself actively working the case. Secondary characters like Rose, Rebecca, and Molly added depth and interest.

The murder-mysteries and Kendra’s inclusion in the investigation were wonderful and engaging. While she stumbled a few times with her knowledge, Kendra tried to use her skills, steer the investigation and catch the killer all why avoiding Bedlam. I loved how open minded the Duke and eventually, Alex was with Kendra’s knowledge. Kendra even managed to impress the Bow Street Runner. This was a clever mystery with a cast of suspects and multiple murders. All of it, kept me listening as Kendra tried to apply her 21st-century knowledge and skills. It was fun seeing her back peddle or use her knowledge of history to explain terminology when the group questioned things she said or did. She was quite the eccentric.

There was a romantic thread, but it was never in the forefront as Kendra hoped to return to her time.  There was a turning point and we see the potential for their relationship to become more. Either way, I was not invested in this thread. The tale is truly a time-traveling murder mystery case and we will have to wait and see if more develops.

The tale was narrated by Lucy Rayner and she did a decent job despite my dislike of her male voices. I thought she captured Kendra well.

The 1815 murder mystery wrapped up nicely with a satisfying conclusion but things don’t go as planned for Kendra. We do get an update on happens in the 21st century and if left me anxious. I cannot wait to listen to A TWIST IN TIME. Even though I am not thrilled with Rayner’s male voice, I will continue to listen as she is the voice of Kendra.

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain delivered a compelling story in this time-traveling murder mystery Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

42 Responses to “A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain”

  1. Trish

    Time travel and whodunnits are both firm favourites of mine! So yay for a book that combines both. Think I’ll be skipping past the audiobook though and going for ebook. Great review Kim.

  2. Lorna

    This sounded really good except for the narration. I am listening to one now and I hate his female voices. Takes me right out of the story every time. But historical time travel murder mystery? I love that whole premise!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, I just ended up DNFing a book because of the narrator. However, the narrator is good, just didn’t care for her male voices. It was listenable. LOL

  3. Melanie Simmons

    This sounds interesting. I’m glad that you enjoyed it, even if there were a few things that just weren’t there. I’m glad the narrator nailed the main character, if not the male voices. That can make listening difficult sometimes.

  4. Debbie Haupt

    This one intrigues me Kim, thanks for the review and I also fall victim to a narrator who doesn’t live up to all the characters.

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    Lovely review – sorry it only merited a three star from you though! I know that means you liked it, but still! haha I loved this one. I need to get the sequel ASAP.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      3.5 almost a 4..lol I did enjoy it, but there were a few issues. However, I have already grabbed audio two, so that it itself says something.

  6. Christy LoveOfBooks

    I think traveling back in time would be cool, especially how I’d be more knowledgeable about how things work and such, but then think about how frustrating it would be. lol. So it would be interesting to see how the author would handle an FBI going back, especially a woman.

  7. Michele & Mckenzie

    FBI AND TIME TRAVEL! Eeeep! The discrepancies would bother me a bit, but you mention so many wonderful things (serial killer, women’s rights, awesome secondary characters!) that we will have to have this on our list. I hate that the narrator’s male voice didn’t work, but I love that she captured Kendra! Great review, Kim 🙂

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Hm… I may have to mark this one as a non-audio since you didn’t care for the narration of the male voices. Sometimes that bothers me and sometimes not. I also think reading it may… just may get me past the story niggles you had.

  9. Heidi

    I don’t think this is one for me. The discrepancies you mentioned would bother me and I really dont’ like when you get a narrator that doesnt; do the opposite sex voices well.

  10. Angie

    Oh, wow. That is one heck of a blurb. I’m sorry the narration was a bit of a miss for you. Sometimes that hinders my enjoyment of the book and I’ll need to switch to print.

    Great review!

  11. kindlemom1

    Multiple POVs can be hard, they really have to be well done. Great review for this Kim, glad you stuck with it and it turned out to be a pretty okay read in the end.

  12. Quinn's Book Nook

    I don’t think this one is for me. I’m not super into time travel (even though I’m a huge Doctor Who fan). I am trying to remember if I’ve ever listened to anything Lucy Rayner narrated. I think I have, but I can’t remember!

  13. Nick

    Fun! I always think historical mysteries are so much interesting than modern ones because they wouldn’t have technology to rely on. It sounds like a good book overall, though I think I’d want more romance too. Glad you enjoyed it though, Kim! 🙂

  14. Nadene

    I am still on the frnce about audiobooks., however I do like the sound of this one. I think I may try the print version. I love the idea of time travel and mystery intertwined. This should be not only interesting but intiguing.

  15. cindy

    This book is my type of book! I love a mystery and time travel! Great review, thanks for sharing. I am putting this one on my to read list!

  16. Geybie's Book Blog

    This sounds good but I understand sometimes the narrator can be the factor that sells the book or not. Awesome review, Kim, as always.