Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is enjoying life in sleepy Saxford St Peter – until a mysterious murder lands right at her door…
It’s spring in Saxford St Peter – time to get back in the garden, listen to the birds, and take gentle strolls in the woods. But for some, it’s the season for murder.
Eve Mallow is relishing the gentle pace of the village until a new arrival stirs everyone up. Ashton Foley is back: a teenage tearaway turned interior designer to the stars. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know, but charming too – as Eve herself can testify – and every house in Saxford opens its doors to him.
So when he’s found murdered in the woods near his mother’s home, Apple Tree Cottage, there’s no shortage of suspects. A jealous husband? A spurned lover? Or has someone from his past life caught up with him?
The police soon hit on a simple solution, and arrest his mother’s partner Howard. Ashton always hated him, and he bears all the marks of a recent fight. But Ashton’s mother, miles away in New Zealand, is convinced he’s innocent and enlists Eve’s help to prove it.
There’s just one problem. Eve saw Howard sniffing around Apple Tree Cottage on the morning of the murder, and she’s fairly sure he’s guilty, too…
I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Despite living in London for years American Eve fits effortlessly into the little Sussex coastal village she calls home. Working in the village cafe for her friend Viv and writing obituaries she is enjoying the slower pace of life. The downside is she attracts murder and has a unique talent for solving them. It’s lovely to reacquaint, with characters introduced in book one, but this is a complete mystery and reads as a standalone.
When Ashton returns to the village, reformed and rich, there’s something about him that unsettles Eve. The victim has a chequered past and is a player, the possible suspects are many, including the person the police arrest.
Eve asked to help by Ashton’s mother uses her communication and observation skills to good effect. The plot is fast-paced with subtle twists. The characters are complex and suit the cosy mystery ethos.