Decked in the Hall (The Finch & Fischer Mysteries Book 1) by J. New #CosyCrime Murder/Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: J. New

Published: November 2018 by Phantom Press

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Cosy Murder Mystery, Book Review

A festive start to a brand new series from the bestselling author of ‘The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mysteries.’

It’s Christmas in Cherrytree Downs and everyone is looking forward to the annual dinner dance at the village hall. But tragedy strikes when one of the villagers dies. Mobile librarian Penny Finch, an avid mystery reader, immediately suspects foul play.

I enjoyed J. New’s Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series very much and was drawn to this when I spied it on Amazon.

Penny Finch is looking forward to the annual Christmas party, which is held in the village hall. Her (self centred and miserly) long term fiancé Edward, prefers to attend his works Christmas party to partnering Penny so she is going with her recently single friend, Susie. The evening is brought to an abrupt halt when an unpopular resident of Cherrytree Downs is found unconscious. Penny, a first aider, can’t feel a pulse but does detect an alarming odour. Suspecting there might be more to this than meets the eye, Penny gathers up what she considers may be useful as evidence if what she fears is true.

The village policeman doesn’t inspire confidence and is about to retire, so when Penny hears the death wasn’t accidental she decides to approach Detective Inspector Monroe at Winstoke Police Station. 

“I’ll certainly arrange for these to be analysed and I’ll be in touch to let you know the outcome. Oh, and Miss Finch?”

“Yes, Inspector?” For some reason, she felt her cheeks flush. Which was inexplicable considering the interview room was freezing cold. 

“I’m new to the area and wondered if you could recommend anywhere for dinner?”

There seems to be a little spark igniting between Penny and Inspector Monroe, he’s certainly a big improvement on the grumpy and sullen Edward. I love that Penny is a mobile librarian, travelling around the villages and hamlets that make up Hampsworthy Downs in her converted VW camper van with her little rescue Jack Russell pup, Fischer. A perfect opportunity to hear all the local gossip.

Deciding to do a little investigating of their own, Penny together with Mr Kelly, the retired head teacher of the local primary school who shares Penny’s love of crime fiction, uncover the emotions and resentments running below the surface of the villagers. But are they enough for someone to commit murder? 

Although this is billed as a festive read, Christmas doesn’t really feature as such in the story. Decked in the Hall is a very enjoyable, light hearted cosy mystery with a likeable and quick-witted protagonist. The inclusion of a dog is always a draw for me and Fischer is a cute little scamp. The characters are believable in the village setting. I wasn’t too sure about Penny removing and holding on to what could be vital evidence, although she did make sure it wasn’t contaminated and passed it on to Inspector Monroe when the verdict came back as murder. A promising start to a new series.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

J. New is the British author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series, dubbed ‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer.’ Set on the fictitious island of Linhay in the south of England during the 1930’s. And The Finch & Fischer Mysteries, contemporary, British cozies featuring mobile librarian Penny Finch and her rescue puppy Fischer.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook 

9 thoughts on “Decked in the Hall (The Finch & Fischer Mysteries Book 1) by J. New #CosyCrime Murder/Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Thanks for visiting...feel free to share your thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.