‘Poison at the Village Show’ by Catherine Coles
With the war finally over the residents of Westleham village are trying to reclaim a sense of normality and the upcoming village show is proving to be a popular event!
Newcomer, Martha Miller, has high hopes for the village show. Since her husband Stan left for work one day and never returned, some of the villagers have treated Martha with suspicion – why would a good man like Stan simply up and leave? Was it something Martha did?
All Martha knows is that she’s hoping that she can win people over and hopefully they’ll but her delicious homemade plum gin, too and she’ll be able to make ends meet.
But as glasses of Martha’s gin are passed around, disaster strikes. Alice Warren, Chairwoman of the village show slumps to the ground after taking a sip. It’s clear she’s been poisoned!
Martha is shocked, but not surprised, when fingers of suspicion once again point her way. Determined to prove her innocence, Martha sets about trying to find the real culprit. But who would kill Alice and why?
Ably helped by the new vicar, Luke Walker, Martha quickly tries to get to the bottom of this mystery. But with the villagers closing ranks it quickly becomes apparent that the only person with a motive is Martha herself….
Will Luke and Martha discover who is behind the poisoning before it’s too late?
What is it about the English country village which breeds such malice, mistrust and murder in the novel?
Well, Miss Marple is always banging on about the village being a microcosm of wider society, its foibles, human failings and all too universal facets of greed, lust and the green-eyed monster which mocks the milk it feeds upon.
In ‘Poison at the Village Show’. Catherine Coles introduces a cast of characters beset by all of the usual accoutrements of country life, only here with the added delight of collapsing village worthies at – as the title suggests – the annual village show.
Any novel which combines country mysteries, dogs and petty village intrigues is worth investigating in my mind.
Grantchester with a quietly feminist ethos was the phrase which kept leaping to mind as poor Martha fights to clear her name, attempt to find out what happened to the long gone Stan and maintain a sensible conversation with her loving companion hound, Lizzie.
If you too have experienced the stilted small talk of the annual village fete, then ‘Poison at the Village Show’ will entertain and trigger memories of Victoria sponges gently warming in the sun of the vicarage garden like a Proustian memory.
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Author Bio –
The daughter of a military father, Catherine was born in Germany and lived most of the first 14 years of her life abroad. She spent her school years devouring everything her school library had to offer! Catherine writes cosy mysteries that take place in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries are set in 1920s North Yorkshire. Catherine lives in northeast England with her two spoiled dogs who have no idea they are not human!
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