A joke? A prank? Or something more sinister?
When the Exham-on-Sea residents are targeted by anonymous emails containing apparently harmless nursery rhymes, no one knows whether to laugh or shudder until an unexplained death touches the town.
Libby Forest, baker, chocolatier and Exham’s very own resident private investigator, alongside her partner Max Ramshore, set out to solve the puzzle before more people die. But when Max’s ex-wife arrives on the scene, ahead of Max and Libby’s long-awaited nuptials, things go from bad to worse.
With the town and their relationship under threat, Max and Libby need the help of the Exham History Society if they’re going to find the nursery rhyme killer in time.
Murder at the Gorge is the seventh in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries set at the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.
If you love Agatha Christie-style mysteries, cosy crime, clever dogs and cake, then you’ll love these intriguing whodunnits.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
As I haven’t read any books in this series, I can confirm it reads well as a standalone. There are sufficient backstory and character details to immerse a new reader in this tale of murder. Amateur sleuths Libby Forest, and Max Ramshore, have their wedding plans sidelined when poison pen letters turn to murder and Max’s ex-wife infiltrates his life.
This story is set in Exham-On-Sea a fictional coastal village in Somerset, which has a vibrant community and a penchant for murder. The plot is full of twists with numerous suspects and historical connections to be investigated. The characters are well-written and draw the reader into the village. The village ethos is believable and gives the murder mystery authenticity.
This is something to escape with for a couple of hours, and I plan to read the whole series.
Extract from Murder At The Gorge – Frances Evesham
The wind blew them back to Max’s Land Rover, parked near the jetty, in half the time it had taken them to reach the lighthouse.
As they flung open the doors and the dogs scrambled on board, Max’s phone rang. He shot a glance at the screen and his stomach lurched. Stella. His ex-wife. He hadn’t heard from her for years. His finger hovered over the red button for a second, but he knew she’d just call again. Reluctantly, he answered.
‘Max, I need your help. I’m in Bristol. Come and see me. Now.’
Max stared at the phone, stunned into silence.
Libby climbed into the passenger seat. ‘Who is it? Business?’
Max croaked into the phone, ‘I’ll call you back,’ ended the call and dropped the phone into his pocket as though it had burned his fingers.
Libby pulled her seat belt tight. ‘That was a bit abrupt. You’ll frighten customers away. You could take a lesson from the way Mandy answers the phone at work. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, these days.’
She chattered happily about Mandy, her lodger and chocolate-making apprentice, soon to become the sole tenant of Hope Cottage when Libby moved into Max’s house near the sand dunes. She didn’t seem to notice that Max still stood by the open driver’s door, answering in grunts, not hearing a word she said.
Stella. After all these years?
‘Well, let’s go,’ Libby said.
He made an effort to pull himself together, climbed into the car and started the engine.
‘Who was it, anyway?’ Libby asked.
He couldn’t tell her, not now. He couldn’t spoil her excitement over the wedding. ‘Old colleague,’ he muttered, and the lie seemed to hang in the air, like a cloud.
‘One of your old business mates? Did you get cut off?’
‘That’s right. Might be some work coming my way. I’ll call back, later.’
Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. In her spare time, she collects poison recipes and other ways of dispatching her unfortunate victims. She likes to cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other, her head full of murder―fictional only.