Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Slayings in Sydenham, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
Beth Haldane is house hunting. She really doesn’t want to leave Pickwick Road, but since DI Harry York moved into Beth’s tiny but beloved house in Dulwich Village, space has become a big issue. It’s not only Harry’s height that seems to make the house appear smaller, but also his never ending stack of boxes housing an enormous collection of detective novels. So with house prices in Dulwich out of their range, the decision was made, very grudgingly on Beth’s part, to look in the surrounding areas. The prospective move is causing some friction between Harry and Beth, which adds realism to their relationship.
As Beth was standing outside the house she was supposed to be viewing—if the estate agent actually managed to show up—she was rapidly losing patience after ringing the bell several times to no avail. She phoned the office, secretly hoping no-one would answer and she could go home. But an agent finally appeared and both she and Beth were surprised to discover the front door was unlocked. As they walked around Beth was daunted by the amount of work that needed doing, and Harry was no handyman. And then to their shock and horror, the two ladies discovered why the first agent had failed to turn up.
Beth sat on the wall outside the house in Sydenham, her hands wrapped round a Styrofoam cup of coffee. Normally, she would have worried just a tad about the effect on the planet from yet another disposable cup. But at the moment she was many carbon footprints away from caring, and very grateful for the warmth and a cloying sweetness that normally would have had her turning up her small nose. Harry’s arm, clamped around her shoulder, didn’t hurt either.
True to form and to Harry’s chagrin, Beth finds herself unwittingly involved in another murder. Harry refuses point black to give her any information but that doesn’t deter Beth, although she should really be spending more time at work. Beth is also worried about how she’s going to keep up the payments for Ben’s school fees, but finds herself putting her worries about work and school to the back of her mind as the investigation pushes its way to the fore. I always enjoy the fact there are multiple threads in the stories, giving the reader plenty to think about.
A well written, humorous and well crafted cosy mystery. I like how the characters are developing. Ben is growing up and getting less dependent on Beth, who isn’t sure what happened to the little boy who loved cuddles and held her hand on the way to school. Beth is as stubborn, spirited and inquisitive as ever, but endearing with it. She faces more difficulties than usual, with a good friend worried about her possibly straying husband and a killer targeting the very people she needs to meet. Beth enlists the help of her friend Nina, a fun loving character with a big heart.
One of the many reasons Beth loved Nina was that she spoke a language of her own, full of merry malapropisms and circumlocutions.
If you enjoy cosy mysteries with a great mix of characters, plots and stories laced with humour, this series is well worth checking out.
About the Book
Single mum and super sleuth, Beth Haldane, has been set her most daunting task yet by handsome cop boyfriend Inspector Harry York. He wants her to find them a new home – outside Dulwich! Beth can hardly bear the idea, so when a young estate agent turns up dead, she diverts her energies to nailing the killer instead.
As it turns out, more or less everyone in Dulwich who has ever moved house may have a motive. But do some of the richest residents have an even stronger reason to murder the agent than others? What on earth is up with Dr Grover, head of prestigious private school, Wyatt’s? Does Beth’s uber-mummy nemesis, Belinda MacKenzie, have more reason than usual to be swaggering about the village? And who is sending Beth sinister text messages?
Join Beth for her seventh thrilling adventure amid the mean streets of south London, in The Slayings in Sydenham!
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