Melissa Craig is settling in nicely to a new teaching position in the quaint little village of Upper Bembury, getting to know her way around, drinking tea with the eccentric staff, even sewing the first seeds of romance…
But when she arrives one morning to find police outside her classroom, Melissa is shocked to hear that her beautiful colleague Angelica has been found dead in her home.
As everyone in Angelica’s life comes under suspicion, Melissa makes it her mission to go in search of the truth, not least because she’s romantically entangled with none other than the police’s prime suspect.
The discovery of a vandalised portrait of the murdered girl might be just the clue that Melissa needs to clear her lover’s name, but when a second body surfaces, she knows she needs to act quickly. Can Melissa uncover the ugly truth in this beautiful village before another innocent life is taken?
I eagerly anticipated the next cosy mystery featuring crime writer Melissa Craig, but sadly didn’t enjoy this as much as the first in the series.
Diversity doesn’t feature in this story, which is lacking in political correctness. However, written and set in the late twentieth century it is an accurate representation of the culture.
The story has all the right ingredients, infidelity, domestic abuse, romance and prejudice to make a worthwhile cosy mystery, but the characters are a little sketchy in parts and lack necessary development to make them potential suspects. The real murderer is obvious, but perhaps that is the intention?
The story starts with an incident that introduces significant characters, and then there is a jump in time to the present day when the mystery develops. There are incomers to the village who are also critical to the story, and Melissa’s celebrity status means she’s invited to a party at the village gossips’ house to meet them.
Clues and misinformation are plentiful in this story, which concentrates more on Melissa’s new job and the people she encounters. The beautiful village where Melissa lives takes a back seat in this story, and that’s a shame because the vivid descriptions of the setting and the suspense created there is what I loved about the first book.
The ending while, not a surprise is well-paced suspenseful and even poignant.
I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.