Author: Elly Griffiths
Narrated by Nina Wadia
Published: October 2020 by Quercus
Category: Cosy Murder Mystery, Audiobook, Review
PS: thanks for the murders.
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.
But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…
Although Peggy Smith is ninety with a supposed heart condition, living in sheltered accommodation, she has all her wits about her. Her flat looks out over the bay in Shoreham-by-Sea and she enjoys nothing better than keeping an eye on goings on, sitting in her armchair in the bay window with binoculars to hand, sometimes making detailed notes of who she sees and what they appear to be doing. She is visited on a daily basis by carer Natalka, who works for the Care4You agency. This particular morning Peggy notices something out of the ordinary that piques her interest.
The two men have been standing there for eighteen minutes. Peggy has been timing them on her stopwatch. They parked on the seafront just in front of Benedict’s café. A white Ford Fiesta. Annoyingly she can’t see the registration but, if she uses her binoculars, she can see a dent in the nearside door. If they have hired the car, the company will have taken note of this. Peggy makes a note too, getting out her Investigation Book which is cunningly disguised as A Seaside Lady’s Diary, complete with saccharine watercolours of shells and fishing boats.
There are several reasons why Peggy finds the men suspicious. They look out of place in Shoreham-by-Sea, for one thing. Sometimes, just for fun and to keep her observational powers honed, Peggy makes an inventory of people who have walked past her window.
When Natalka finds Peggy dead in her chair later that day she and the owner of the agency assume it was a natural death. After all, Peggy was ninety, not forgetting the added complication of a heart condition. Yet, when Natalka is packing up Peggy’s collection of books she notices Peggy is mentioned in the dedications and acknowledgements by many of the authors, including local author Dex Challoner. It seems Peggy was a murder consultant, helping authors with plot points and innovative ways to murder people.
On the surface it seems like a natural death, nothing suspicious about it. On the other hand it seems unusual for Peggy to be mentioned in so many books, while classing herself as a murder consultant. Natalka isn’t convinced Peggy’s death was natural and after talking to Peggy’s friends, it’s decided Natalka should go to the police. DS Harbinder Kaur thinks about the conversation she’s just had with Natalka while driving home. The claims of a suspicious death are taken much more seriously after an incident at Peggy’s flat.
I enjoyed this cosy murder mystery encompassing most aspects of the literary world although I didn’t realise it was a follow on from a previous book. However, it’s perfectly able to be read as a standalone. A small diverse and engaging group of Peggy’s friends take it upon themselves to help the police by initiating their own investigation into Peggy’s death, which takes them to Aberdeen. Besides Harbinder, and Natalka we meet 80 year old Edwin, an ex BBC researcher and broadcaster, and Benedict who used to be a monk but now owns and runs a beach cafe.
Elly Griffiths has created an unconventional and well drawn cast of characters who develop fully as the story progresses, while learning their backstories along the way. They get themselves into all kinds of trouble as more murders occur during a story peppered with twists, humour and danger.
About the Author
Elly Griffiths was born in London. The inspiration for her books about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway came from her husband who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist. Elly lives near Brighton but often spends holidays on the wild Norfolk coast. She has two children and a cat.
Author: Mike Martin
Published: September 2020 by Ottawa Press and Publishing
Category: Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Book Review
Sgt. Windflower is back, untangling another swirling mystery, this one bringing the meth crisis and biker gangs to the quiet Newfoundland town of Grand Bank, feeling the sting of their deadly tentacles reaching all the way from the United States. He’s working with his familiar crew of RCMP characters — but wait, are some of the faces changing? There are new challenges for Jones, an unknown side of Smithson reveals itself, and what ever happened to Tizzard? In the midst of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, Windflower and his beloved Sheila also find themselves navigating sorrows and surprises on the family front.
Changes are afoot in the quiet town of Grand Bank on the Newfoundland coast. Eddie Tizzard has left the RCMP and is in Las Vegas training to be a private detective. That was the idea anyway, until he found himself on the wrong side of the law, held as a suspect in a holding cell. After returning to his hotel he had found a large amount of money spread around the room and bloodstains on the bed, not to mention a body in the bathroom. Unfortunately for Eddie, it seemed the dead man had a connection to Grand Bank and the FBI were involved.
Author: Jan Edwards
Published: July 2020 by Penkhull Press
Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review
November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.
Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris. Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.
Listed Dead is the third in the Bunch Courtney series and told from her perspective in the third person. There’s much more insight into the Courtney sisters’ background, the environment in which they grew up and the family dynamics in this book. Things have changed drastically for Bunch since the start of the war. The family home, Perringham House, has been requisitioned by the military and Bunch is left to run the estate with the help of Land Girls, while living at the Dower House with her Granny Beatrice.
Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Published: May 2020 by Travelling Life Press
Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review
A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…
Lana Hansen is scheduled to lead the Mother’s Day tour of the Netherlands despite her boss Dotty Thompson’s reservations. Lana and her estranged mother, Gillian, haven’t been close for the past ten years, since Lana was sacked from her job as an investigative reporter for the Seattle Chronicle. Dotty is determined to bring them closer together and has a plan.
Author: Harriet Steel
Published: April 2020
Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Mystery, 1930s Ceylon, Book Review
When an American millionaire and his glamorous daughter visit Nuala, the splendour they bring to the town’s high society is soon tragically tarnished by a vicious crime. With many avenues of inquiry to follow, including the involvement of a mysterious fortune teller, Inspector de Silva will need all his resources to unravel the evidence and avert further disaster.
A grand party is taking place at The Residence, hosted by the assistant government agent and Inspector Shanti de Silva’s superior, Archie Clutterbuck and his wife, Florence, raising funds for the orphanage and introducing their American guests, the Tankertons and their daughter, Phoebe. Inspector de Silva and his wife Jane join the list of invitees. Also staying at The Residence is Hank O’Halloran and his daughter Marie.
Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Published: November 2019 by Travelling Life Press
Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Travel, Book Review
Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.
After losing the job she loved, not to mention her husband leaving her for his new assistant, Lana Hansen’s fresh start in Seattle isn’t working out as planned. Thank goodness for eccentric Dotty Thompson, her landlady and good friend.
Author: Diana J Febry
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Book Review
Somebody wants Richard Fielding dead.
Richard was looking forward to making a fresh start with his new wife, Alicia when they moved into Clenchers Mill. Then the attacks started.
Simon Morris had befriended Kate Chapman when Kate was going through a bad patch following the death of her husband, and has offered her the use of the granny flat at his farmhouse for as long as she likes.
Author: J. New
Published: January 2019 by Phantom Press
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Cosy Murder Mystery, Book Review
When a much loved pillar of the community is found dead in the duck pond early one morning, the village residents are left reeling with shock.
Initially deemed a tragic accident it’s not until Penny receives a letter from the victim, dated one week before the death, that she begins to suspect a different motive.
Death at the Duckpond is the second book featuring mobile librarian Penny Finch and her rescue pup Fischer, and finds the intrepid pair embroiled in another mystery.