‘Murder at the Abbey’ by Frances Evesham
The Brand NEW instalment in the bestselling Exham-on-Sea series.
The Exham-on-Sea’s History Society’s annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey.
Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest’s reservations.
Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she’s no fan of the supernatural and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt.
Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.
With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger.
There’s no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.
Murder at the Abbey is the eighth in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries from the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3BJyYn1
Sometimes in one’s reading life, you just want something which acts like hot chocolate on a cold autumn afternoon. I’m new to the world of Frances Evesham’s Exham-on-Sea Murder Mystery series, but I’m willing to say, her stories fit the bill.
Considering there are now seven previous instalments I need to catch up with, it is not a surprise that the characters feel comfortable in each other’s company but what Evesham does capture so well is the niggling, internecine rivalries and petty irritations which can so blight village life.
It seems to be the season for duel aspect narratives. Coincidentally, this week I was reviewing another novel where the events ran along two timelines – https://pajnewman.com/2021/11/09/jesus-only-had-12-and-one-of-those-was-a-double/ – and rewatching the Wench is Dead episode of perennial where the ailing detective sets out to solve a Victorian murder.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this was Libby’s determination to discount the supernatural. Firstly, I have a deep rooted prejudice against those type of ghost stories on the grounds it’s a narrative cop out and secondly, setting her up as the hard bitten rationalist allows us to enjoy her intellectually outpacing her mentally sluggish neighbours.
‘Murder at the Abbey’ is a fast moving novel with charming settings and eccentric characters in the best traditions of the cozy crime genre. Be sure to sup it down with some hot chocolate on a chill evening.
Author Bio – 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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