A Village Murder by Frances Evesham

A Village Murder by Frances EveshamA Village Murder by Frances Evesham
Series: Ham Hill Mysteries #1
Published by Boldwood Books on June 23, 2020
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 247
Format: eBook
Purchase at Bookshop.org
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An English village can be deadly, when your past catches up with you...

In the beautiful rural Somerset village of Lower Hembrow, crammed full with English eccentrics, something is amiss...

Landscape gardener Imogen Bishop has spent the last thirty years trying to forget one fateful school night but when her estranged husband Greg Bishop is found dead on the grounds of her father's Georgian hotel, danger threatens to overwhelm her.

Retired police officer Adam Hennessey, hoping for a peaceful life running his traditional Somerset country pub, finds himself drawn into the unfolding drama in the hotel across the road.

Imogen, Adam, and Harley the stray dog form an unlikely partnership as they try to untangle a knot of secrets, solve a murder mystery, and bring a killer to justice.

Amber asked me the other day why I read so many British books. I have a tendency to read bits of books that I find funny or interesting out loud and apparently a lot of them have had British slang/terms lately. I don’t have an answer to that question, at least as far as current mystery writers go. I’m a huge fan of Golden Age mysteries, and most of those are British. I guess, I probably am drawn to books set in the present that have the same feeling, as A Village Murder certainly does.

A local businessman and town councillor has died and following his funeral, his daughter, Imogene, discovers the corpse of her soon-to-be-ex-husband in the greenhouse. She, of course, is the main suspect. Happily, her new friend and neighbor, is a former detective and believes she’s innocent. Between the two of them, they dig up some clues and talk to several other folks who might have had reason to kill Greg. And a tragedy from 20+ years ago might shed light on the killings.

I liked the characters and the town. Adam is wonderful, happy and friendly, and good at what used to be his job. I assume he’s also a good pub owner, but it’s hard to tell. I liked how reasonable and (mostly) calm Imogene is. She’s honest, although not necessarily with the cops, and tries to have a clear view of her situation. I also like that she and Adam are not flirting; they both have other love interests. And I adored the dog.

The mystery itself pulled together well, but the motive was a little weak for me. Twenty year old secrets are good, but I need a bit more from a killer than what the author gave.

About Frances Evesham

One day, Frances Evesham walked on a beach in peaceful Somerset and came upon a unique nine-legged Victorian lighthouse. Her first cozy crime story, Murder at the Lighthouse, was born.

Now, she writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary cozy crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England.

She collects poison recipes and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other, her head full of ingenious ways to dispatch her victims – in fiction, of course.

She’s been a speech therapist and a road sweeper, and worked in the criminal courts seeing crime from all points of view: victim, prosecution and defense. Spending time in the dock and the witness box alongside witnesses taught her more about motive, means and opportunity than she could ever have imagined.

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