Murder at the Mousetrap by Helena Marchmont Murder at the Mousetrap by Helena Marchmont
Narrator: Nathaniel Parker
Series: Bunburry #1
Published by Lübbe Audio on February 1, 2019 (first published Sept 2, 2018)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Novella
Length: 3 hrs 29 mins
Format: Audiobook
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three-half-stars

Miss Marple meets Oscar Wilde in this new series of cosy mysteries set in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Bunburry. In "Murder at the Mousetrap," the first Bunburry book, fudge-making and quaffing real ale in the local pub are matched by an undercurrent of passion, jealousy, hatred and murder - laced with a welcome dose of humour.

Alfie McAlister has retreated from London to the peace and quiet of the country to recover from a personal tragedy. But an accidental death - which may have been no accident - reveals that the heart of England is far from the tranquil backwater he imagined. After arriving in Bunburry, he is co-opted as an amateur detective by Liz and Marge, two elderly ladies who were best friends with Alfie's late Aunt Augusta. And it is not long before their investigations take an even more dramatic turn . . .

Yes, I picked up Murder at the Mousetrap because of the Agatha Christie and Oscar Wilde references, and that it was on the shorter side. I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was.

Alfie McAlister has retreated from London to the cottage in Bunburry he has inherited from an aunt he barely remembers. We get to meet all the townsfolk along with Alfie, and they are a nicely varied lot. He also gets recruited by the AA, Agatha’s Amateurs, who put on The Mousetrap every year. The problem this year is their director is dead, and the death maybe was an accident, since this is a mystery, it’s clearly murder. Alfie and two elderly neighbors, Liz and Marge, start investigating, asking questions, visiting people. The dead man was not very nice though, so we’ve got lots of people with motives, even if the reasons don’t seem quite strong enough to lead to murder.

It’s a fun read. I enjoyed the setting and like how Alfie is settling into town, even if I’m not quite sure yet what drove him from London. His friend, Oscar, who we only meet over the phone, is funny with his Wilde references and pretending to be his own butler. The characters are charming and make up for anything lacking in the actual mystery.

And I really wish I could taste some Bunburry fudge.

About Helena Marchmont

Olga Wojtas

Helena Marchmont is a pseudonym of Olga Wojtas, who was born and brought up in Edinburgh. She was encouraged to write by an inspirational English teacher, Iona M. Cameron. Olga won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2015, has had more than 30 short stories published in magazines and anthologies and recently published her first mystery Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar.

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