When Bernard Fitzpatrick drowns in a river close to his home, the village mourns a tragic accident… and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is on the case.
Obituary writer Eve is looking forward to her new assignment, as well as spending a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus. But it turns out that it’s Bernard’s death that she’ll need to investigate, not his life. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the world-famous cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret? As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled more than a few feathers. In fact, from the landlords of the Cross Keys Inn to his own seemingly devoted secretary, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers really a cold-blooded killer?
Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve realises she’s spoken to every single suspect. Her notebook contains all the clues she needs. But will she be able to crack the case and identify them… before they realise she’s on their trail and make her their next target?
I chose this book because I have enjoyed the Tara Thorpe mysteries so much. This time Clare Chase has written a more traditional cozy mystery with Eve Mallow, a heroine who is an attractive but mature woman. Set in an idyllic English village, Saxford St Peter, Eve rents a cottage for a short time to complete her research for an obituary of cellist, Bernard Fitzpatrick who had lived and died there. She soon meets a fascinating group of residents, from useful gossip, Moira, who runs the village shop to mysterious gardener, Robin Yardley, who seems to turn up everywhere.
Eve’s character is given depth by the way she deals with her over protective, ex-husband, who is still trying to manage her life. She forges a real friendship with café owner, Viv and is amused by the flirtation of Viv’s brother, Simon. Her interviews with the people who knew Bernard soon becomes a murder investigation so she keeps copious notes, trying to ignore the fact that she is putting herself in great danger. Her dachshund, Gus, is cute but not a guard dog.
This novel does not have the nail-biting tension of the Tara Thorpe Mysteries but it is an absorbing tale which keeps you guessing and I shall certainly seek out Eve’s company again.
Mystery on Hidden Lane on Amazon UK
My Review of Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase
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