It’s Eve Mallow’s first visit to the fair at Seagrave Hall. But amidst the booths, stalls, tables and tents lurks something darker… A mysterious fall means a new case for amateur detective Eve!
The charity fair at Seagrave Hall is a key date in the Saxford St Peter calendar – a chance for the villagers to nose around the house and grounds and cross paths with the rich and famous.
New resident Eve Mallow is particularly excited by this year’s special guest: the explorer Verity Nye, engaged to the heir to the Hall. Eve loves Verity’s determination, and she can’t wait to meet her.
But when they talk, Verity hints that she has something troubling on her mind. So after the festive mood is tragically interrupted by Verity’s fall from a third-floor window, Eve can’t be sure that it’s an appalling accident. Especially when one small boy claims he saw someone behind her…
Soon Eve finds herself tasked with writing Verity’s obituary. As she dusts off her notebook and begins her interviews alongside her trusted dachshund sidekick Gus she realises she has a fine array of suspects before her. Could it be a corrupt charity manager, the distraught fiancé, or jealous cousin Cora? And can Eve find out before her questions cause the killer to turn on her?
The Mystery of Seagrave Hall begins like a scene from Midsummer Murders. In the grounds of the gracious Hall, villagers are busy setting up stalls and moving tables ready for the Charity Fair next day. But unlike the TV programme, the police force in this English village are not very skilful so it is often Eve Mallow, a professional obituary writer and part time assistant to Tea Shop owner Viv, who solves the crimes which occur. Eve is thrilled at the opportunity to talk to explorer and diver, Verity Nye, recently engaged to Rupert Seagrave, heir to the estate. She has heard Verity’s motivational speech in the past and feels a kindred spirit with her. Thus, she is shocked when Verity falls from a third floor window.
Naturally, Eve offers to write Verity’s obituary. She has proved to be an interesting woman, estranged from her devout Christian parents, but driven to succeed in her life of adventure. Her fiancé seems an odd choice. Would he really be satisfied to stay at home while funding Verity’s next expedition? At first the police declare the tragedy an accident but soon Eve’s fears are realised as there is evidence of foul play. She starts a spreadsheet listing all the suspects and discusses the evidence with her secret friend, Robin, a gardener who was formerly a policeman. She is kept busy interviewing all of Verity’s recent friends and colleagues and she worries about her own safety.
Eve is thoroughly likeable, even if she does annoy bumbling DI Palmer. She is well organised and energetic. She loves spending time with her little dog, Gus and talks to him about the case. Despite her independence she is becoming closer to Robin, but he isn’t there when she most needs him. As other bodies mount up, can she solve the case before she becomes the next victim? Another great cozy mystery.
Mystery at Seagrave Hall on Amazon UK
My Review of Mystery On Hidden Lane the first Eve Mallow Mystery