The trees are green and hedgerows are bursting with new life as spring arrives in the Cotswolds, but inside a house that Melissa Craig used to know well, something terrible has happened…
Melissa has just finished writing her latest mystery novel and is enjoying the arrival of spring. She’s decided to let her fictional detective retire at last, and perhaps put her own days of investigating behind her too. But the ink has barely dried on the page when Melissa receives shocking news: her estranged father has been found dead in the family home and her mother, Sylvia, is under suspicion of murder.
Melissa hasn’t seen her parents for nearly thirty years, but on hearing the dreadful news she rushes to her mother’s side. Melissa is sure that Sylvia could never commit a murder, but Sylvia does seem to be keeping secrets…
With no-one else to turn to, Sylvia begs Melissa to investigate the case. Melissa knows her father was a difficult man, but now she needs to work out who wanted him dead… A disgruntled employee, the controlling family lawyer or perhaps the woman with whom he was having an affair?
When another body is found, Melissa realises she’s dealing with a ruthless killer. As the police close in, trying to pin both deaths on her mother, Melissa must act fast. Can she find a way to unmask the true killer before she loses her mother for a second time, and possibly forever?
I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My Thoughts …
The latest Melissa Craig mystery focuses on her personal life, but there is still a murder to solve, with numerous suspects, an unhelpful police detective and danger for the intrepid, crime writer and unwilling detective.
Melissa has finally finished her long-running detective series and decides it’s time for some relaxation, vowing to stop investigating murders in real life too. It’s time for a change in her personal life too with the departure of Ken Harris her longtime love interest but unsurprisingly, fate catapults her back to a former life with the unexpected death of her estranged father.
When she travels to her childhood home, she finds her mother a shell of the woman she remembers and the prime suspect for her father’s murder. Despite the way, they treated her when she was at her most vulnerable, she has to help, find the real killer.
Melissa faces her most dangerous and difficult investigation, without Ken’s calming presence. However, she is not alone, as someone who she has kept out of her personal life, offers her much needed support.
The characters are as expected, complex and authentic, the police detective is not only dismissive of Melissa’s investigative talent but in danger of missing the obvious because of his lack of experience and skill in detecting crime.
The plot twists are well thought out, the pacing fast, and the characters and setting perfect for this type of cozy mystery. The ending is cleverly crafted and ties up all the clues perfectly.
‘Murder at the Old House’ can be read as a standalone mystery, but this series is addictive, and every murder mystery lover deserves to read the whole series.