Wow. I really really liked this one a lot. I have to say that George did a masterful job of peeling off the layers of who murdered Elena Weaver as well as how Lynley has been selfish in his pursuit of Lady Helen. We also get a great look at Havers home life now that her father has passed. Havers struggles with whether she can keep having a neighbor watch her mother or finally have her mother at a home where she can be safe, and Havers can have some sort of life.
“For the Sake of Elena” has Scotland Yard called in when a young woman, Elena Weaver, is found murdered during her morning run. Elena was a student at St. Stephen’s College and had some rocky times at school and with her father and their relationship. When she’s found murdered it ends up not only affecting her father, mother, and stepmother, but many people who all seemed to think that they knew the real Elena.
Lynley volunteers to go in after Scotland Yard is requested to oversee things. Havers and she go to Cambridge. Lynley happily because Lady Helen is there with her sister and he thinks once again he can make his case for her to love and be with him. Lynley and Havers work together very well in this one and their dynamic is more solid.
Lynley is more solid in this one. He is still thinking of Helen, but not to the detriment of the case. He and Havers play off each other very well. And then Lynley sees a way to see Helen and involve her sister in the case which at first I was kind of rolling my eyes about. However, we come to realize why Helen’s sister Pen is a good woman to have involved in this.
Helen is still reluctant to be with Lynley. Living with her sister who is suffering from post-partum but also her loss of self due to her husband and his demands one does not wonder why she’s reluctant to be with Lynley and be his wife. I kept hoping someone would smash her brother in law’s head in.
Havers I felt the most sorry for in this one. She’s doing great with not letting things that people say to her bother her. She’s not as fragile in this one I think. However, she’s running out of time to decide what to do with her mother. Hopefully in the next book that’s laid to rest.
The secondary characters we follow, Sarah Gordon who finds Elena’s body, Elena’s father who is hoping to be named Chair at the college, her stepmother Justine who resents Elena and a lot of other things in her marriage, Elena’s embittered mother, several men who loved and were in turns frustrated with her. I think that it was good to get a sense of Elena at the beginning and to see why she was pretty much a chameleon with everyone she met. She was always something else depending on the audience. I don’t want to spoil for other readers, but I definitely wonder what would have happened if Elena had lived.
The writing was very good. I do think that the flow was slow at times. I wondered why we spent time with certain characters, it becomes clear after a while though why we did.
The setting of the college is a bit different than the boy’s school we saw in “Well-Schooled in Murder.” This place doesn’t seem dark and full of secrets.
The ending was definitely a surprise. We find out who killed Elena and why. We also finally hopefully get an end to that whole thing with Lady Helen one way or the other. It has distracted from the main mysteries for me.
I read this book for Cannonball 11 Bingo “I Love This” square. I have to say that I am in love with this series besides that filler book. I have to thank all of my Booklikes friends who told me about this series. I was tempted to include this for the “Two Heads Are Better Than One” square since my bingo partner, Moonlight Reader is reading this too. My reviews have her re-reading the series all over again. I need something to feel in the void since I am up to date on the Bosch and VI Warshawski series. Since my week at work is going to be insane, going to post my reviews today, since I don’t know if I will have time on Friday.