Publication Day Book Review – 2 Cosy Mysteries

Dear Readers,

This book review is incorporating two books: A Village Murder by Frances Evesham published on 23 June 2020 and A Body in The Village Hall by Dee MacDonald published on 29 June 2020.

Why did I do this? Well, I loved both books. They are both cosy mysteries. They are both set in England. They are both by women writers and are published within a week of each other.

As recommended by Kathleen Bridge in her CrimeReads Article SEASCAPES AND MURDER: THE PERFECT COMBINATION FOR A COZY MYSTERY.

I actually looked for books by Frances Evesham on Netgalley after I’ve read the article (link above). And thankfully, I found a fresh one.

Synopsis

An English village can be deadly, when your past catches up with you…
In the beautiful rural Somerset village of Lower Hembrow, crammed full with English eccentrics, something is amiss…

Landscape gardener Imogen Bishop has spent the last thirty years trying to forget one fateful school night but when her estranged husband Greg Bishop is found dead in the grounds of her fathers Georgian hotel, danger threatens to overwhelm her.

Retired police officer Adam Hennessey, hoping for a peaceful life running his traditional Somerset country pub, finds himself drawn into the unfolding drama in the hotel across the road.

Imogen, Adam and Harley the stray dog form an unlikely partnership as they try to untangle a knot of secrets, solve a murder mystery, and bring a killer to justice.

Review

People get killled left, right and center but it is all done nicely: in garden settings to the accompaniment of choir and Mozart…

What I liked about this book are the characters. The lovable Adam, likeable Imogen and absolutely adorable stray dog Harley. And the attitude, the sense of community so common for English villages (or so the cosy mystery writers lead us to believe).

‘Still, if you can’t do a favour for your neighbours, don’t live in an English village’.

Imogen comes back to her family home (hotel) after her father’s death to settle old accounts. She is of two minds as to what to do with the hotel until she uncovers threads and glimpses of old secrets and hidden evil. She needs all the help she can get.

Adam is policeman. There are no retired policemen. There can’t be. And he is well liked in the village. He can go anywhere and ask any questions.

Another thing I liked about this book is setting: the village, the pub, the hotel, gardens and grounds. Imogen is landscape designer and the author has done a great job to show the reader her love for all things that grow, green and blossom. I’d love to see that garden myself.

Old lies, sticky secrets, shady deals. Everything will be uncovered at the end. And the most powerful secret of all – hatred of the person one holds dear. We love them unconditionally but they hate us. They hate us even more for loving them…

I loved this book and would like to read more on Imogen and Adam’s adventures. They make a very peculiar but cute pair to solve country crimes.

Driven by the intention to read more cosy mysteries I was approved by Netgalley to read and review this book

Synopsis

Kate Palmer has relocated to Cornwall for a quiet life. Moving into picturesque Lavender Cottage with her sister Angie, the little village of Lower Tinworthy should be the perfect place for their fresh new start. But within weeks of their arrival, there’s a death in the close-knit community…

A woman is found dead in the village hall, with her own kitchen knife next to the body, covered in blood. Kate, a practice nurse at the local medical centre, begins to piece together the clues. Fenella was at the centre of village activity, and there seem to be plenty of people who had reason to dislike her. But did any of them hate her enough to kill her?

As Kate gets drawn into life in Lower Tinworthy, she begins a close friendship with Detective Inspector ‘Woody’ Forrest, who is near to retiring – and determined to crack his last case. Together, they set about solving the mysterious crime.

But when someone breaks into Kate’s home and leaves a warning note on her pillow, it becomes clear the murderer is prepared to do anything to keep their identity hidden… Will Kate work out who’s responsible, before she becomes the next victim?

Review

What a couple of sisters to set a cosy mystery with. Angie and Kate are as chalk and cheese. Alcoholic bohemian Angie who is constatly on the lookout for adventures and mishaps and constientious nurse Kate who simply wants quiet life in her retirement.

None of them got what they want though. The tiny village that they retired to is not the place for quiet life or for bohemian parties. It is the scene of secrets and pain unraveling with the effect of snowball.

With all the main characters being over fifty, this book is a very positive look at retired life. People are lively and lovely, active and curious, falling in and out of love and going about their lives with all the drive and energy you expect from younger people.

‘He’s got nice teeth… Hope they’re his own’

But the village life is the story on itself. Nothing happens in the village without everyone forming their own opinion.

‘In the course of her shift Kate was informed of at least six different characters who would have been more than happy to kill one, or both’.

What a lovely thought? What a lovely place to live in, don’t you think? But all in all, the village is a lovely place when all the crimes get solved.

I liked the book because of the main characters: Kate and Woody. I’d like to see how their relationship develops. Would Woody really retire? Would he stop solving crimes? Would he manage to stop Kate getting herself into danger?

A very nice begining of the series (if there are to be series)

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