My Review (3 stars out of 5)
A History Society picnic is interrupted when human bones are discovered in a nearby river, close to historic Cleeve Abbey. Amateur sleuth Libby and her husband, who just happen to be on hand, are keen to get involved, especially when the Society organise a ghost-hunting night at the abbey. But it’s a human intruder rather than ghosts who upset the evening when one of the group is assaulted. Together with their faithful dogs, the detecting duo try to unearth reasons for the murder of a sixteenth century monk and a possible connection with the recent attack.
This is the first ‘cosy mystery’ I’ve read by Frances Evesham, and I was struck by the similarity in writing style to MC Beaton (of Hamish McBeth fame). The similarity is in the simple fact of having a decent plot but a cast of mostly irritating characters. With plenty of suspects to consider, the story is a good one, though at times lacks pace—the protagonists seeming to spend more time weeding the garden or faffing about with their dogs than solving a mystery. Having said that, it’s an entertaining read with enough humour to keep me amused, and even if the couple’s relationship with the local copper is a tad far-fetched, the denouement made perfect sense.
A cosy mystery that will appeal to fans of MC Beaton.
Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. Boldwood has republished the complete series. Frances has also started a new cosy crime series set in rural Herefordshire, the first of which was published in June 2020.
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NB This post first appeared as part of the Blog Tour for Murder at the Abbey.