Series: Bunburry #4
Published by Bastei Entertainment on April 29, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Novella
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Miss Marple meets Oscar Wilde in this new series of cosy mysteries set in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Bunburry.
In "Death of a Ladies' Man," the fourth Bunburry book, the summer tourist season is in full swing. Among the visitors is Mario Bellini, a gelateria owner with film-star good looks, who is considering opening an ice-cream parlour in Bunburry. But shortly after his arrival, he is found dead - a tragic accident, or something more sinister? Amateur sleuth Alfie McAlister hopes to uncover the truth with the help of his friends Liz and Marge. But is Liz too distracted by the prospect of financial gain to focus on the task at hand?
Alfie’s life in London merges with his life in Bunburry in Death of a Ladies’ Man. This is the fourth in the series and can stand alone, but it would be much better to go back and read them all. They’re short and enjoyable, and like most series it’s better to read them in order.
Two of Alfie’s acquaintances from London show up. They are gaudy and snobbish and want Alfie to invest a bunch of money in some scheme or other. Also in town is Mario Bellini, who makes the best ice cream in London. Mario makes a bit of a stir in town. He’s handsome and an irrepressible flirt who makes at least one local husband quite angry.
Alfie loves the ice cream and gives Mario his card so he can have some shipped. Unfortunately, when Mario is found dead, Alfie’s card is still in his pocket, and the incompetent sheriff at first focusses on that. But the jealous husband makes an even better suspect, although most people in town think he’s innocent.
The recurring characters, Alfie and the two elderly women who help him solve the mysteries, Liz and Marge, are fun and make me laugh. Oscar, Alfie’s best friend in London, has some very helpful information this time around too. It’s one of those towns I’d like to visit and hang out with the locals.
This is a novella, so the mystery itself is rather condensed. We only have a couple of suspects and it’s pretty clear who the killer was. It’s a perfect summer afternoon read though.