Wednesday 6 September 2023

Lucy and the Deadly Rule - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Lucy Mysteries 01 - A Harwood Mysteries Short Story

Lucy and the Deadly Rule
A Harwood Mysteries Short Story Book 2
The Lucy Mysteries 01
Antony Barone Kolenc

Lucy and the Deadly Rule - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Lucy Mysteries 01

I have read the first two novels in the Harwood mysteries and greatly enjoyed them, and I intend to read the other three. But when I stumbled across this and another short story focused on Lucy I had to give it a try. This story is historical fiction set in medieval England in the summer of 1182. Lucy is a strong willed child, with a lot of questions, an inquiring mind, and simple honest faith. But good intentions are often not enough. And Sometimes Lucy crosses a line. The description of the book is:

“Lucy and the Deadly Rule is the origin story of Lucy--one of the most admired characters in the award-winning YA medieval series, The Harwood Mysteries. In Summer 1182 A.D., young Lucy wants nothing more than to be treated like her older brothers, but the rules of her manor place limits on girls. When a thief plunders the manor in the night, will the rules prevent Lucy from saving a life? Fans of The Harwood Mysteries, as well as new readers to this historical fiction series, will cheer on Lucy as she struggles against fear and her community to solve the mystery and to do what is right and just.

Lucy and the Deadly Rule is the first in a series of Lucy short stories. It takes place two years prior to Shadow in the Dark, the award-winning Book 1 of The Harwood Mysteries series, when Lucy still lived in her manor before she arrived at Harwood Abbey. Future Lucy short stories will be released that take place prior to Book 2, The Haunted Cathedral, as well as Book 3, The Fire of Eden.”

Chronologically this would be the first time we encounter Lucy. But if you have already read any of the Harwood Mysteries you will be familiar with her. This is sort of her back story or her origin story. We meet her, her father and her siblings. We also get a glimpse into life in the 11 hundreds. There have been thefts of the town supplies. And the locals blame a man and his son. Lucy is convinced of their innocence. And even though she gets in trouble, she is determined to prove that. Sometimes it is who we least expect. And sometimes the reasons are as important as the act. But to find out the what, the who, and the way, you will need to read this excellent little mystery.

Writing short fiction is very different than novels. And not all authors can pull off both, especially authors like Kolenc who write epic historical fiction. But he pulls it off. This is a masterfully written story. It leaves me desperate for the second, Lucy and the Hidden Clover, which I have already picked up. And for the third which would fall before the next novel in the main series I have to read. 

The story and main Harwood series is marketed for Middle grade readers but would also be great for tweens and teens. I am in my fifties and I loved it. It is a very well written story and one that will leave you excited for more stories set in this work Kolenc has created. Antony ‘Tony’ Barone Kolenc is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He currently teaches law. In this story, he has shown that he has great skill as a story teller. It is a story certain to entertain, reader young and old alike. And leave you desperate for the other Lucy stories and the 5 novels in the Harwood Series. A great story I can easily recommend. 

This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Antony Barone Kolenc:
The Harwood Mysteries:

Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden
The Merchant's Curse
Murder at Penwood Manor

Harwood Short Stories:
The Lucy Mysteries:

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