- Author: Frances Evesham
- Published: June 2017 on Kindle
- Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery, Book Review, Books, Reading
It’s summer, the sun’s shining, and Libby Forest is celebrating her son’s country wedding in Somerset, surrounded by friends. What could possibly go wrong?
Taking a moment to relax in the marquee after her son, Robert’s wedding to Sarah, Libby Forrest has a strange conversation with Belinda, the bride’s mother, which is interrupted by an unnerving man in a kaftan, causing Libby to prickle with discomfort and Belinda to make a hasty exit. Libby’s innate curiosity is aroused but before she could process her thoughts she is dismayed to hear an altercation break out over a supposedly stolen ring.
Due to their previous skills at solving cases, the police have asked Libby and Max to be consultants, on a paid retainer. So, when the two of them find the body of Liam Weston under a tractor, while walking Bear and Shipley, questions are raised. Liam was involved in the incident at the wedding the previous day. It looks like an accident initially but Libby isn’t convinced.
“…The Chief Constable can’t go further that saying they’re interested in working with us, but they’d like to,” he put on a pompous, official voice, “interview us with a view to retaining us both as consultants.”
Libby felt a grin steal across her face. “Imagine that. It would make me feel like a proper investigator.” She thought aloud. “Mandy’s been doing well with the chocolate business, so I could pass more of that to her. Still, it doesn’t help our decision. Are we going to investigate the mystery of why Liam Weston stole the ring?”
Another very enjoyable, cosy murder/mystery in the Exham on Sea series, populated with wonderful and quirky residents. Not to mention Bear, the huge Carpathian sheepdog, Shipley, a Springer spaniel and Fuzzy, Libby’s aloof marmalade cat who has a soft spot for Bear. Libby has settled into small town life in the two years since she relocated to Exham. The close knit community and the dynamics between the residents is realistic and is one of the aspects that make these books fun to read.
Libby and Max, who is semi retired from the intelligence service, make a good investigative team, although their personal situation isn’t yet quite resolved. Libby’s bad experience with Trevor, her ex and now deceased husband, has left her wary of commitment and her on-off relationship with Max suffers another blow.
I love being able to picture the familiar locations and enjoyed catching up with engaging Libby, handsome Max and Mandy, Libby’s Goth apprentice.
About Frances Evesham
Now, she writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary cozy crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England.
She collects poison recipes and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other, her head full of ingenious ways to dispatch her victims – in fiction, of course.
She’s been a speech therapist and a road sweeper, and worked in the criminal courts seeing crime from all points of view: victim, prosecution and defence. Spending time in the dock and the witness box alongside witnesses taught her more about motive, means and opportunity than she could ever have imagined.