Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands #Review

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Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by #Review Book Cover Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by #Review
Melissa Craig #1
Betty Rowlands
Cozy mystery
August 21st 2018
Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Melissa Craig: friendly neighbour, loving mother… daring detective?

Melissa is just settling into her new life in a crumbling cottage in the countryside when a knock at the door brings news of a shocking discovery: the bones of a young woman have been found in the woods just behind her new home.

As an investigation begins, strange phone calls in the night convince Melissa that the police are barking up completely the wrong tree. As a newcomer in this close-knit village, does she dare to start asking questions?

Enlisting a local journalist to help her do a little digging of her own, Melissa’s enquiry takes her from the bingo hall to the beauty salon and beyond, exposing many of the village’s darkest secrets, but getting no closer to finding the culprit.

Just as she’s about to give up, the discovery of a tatty old photograph links all the pieces of the puzzle to a scandal that will shake the sweet little village of Upper Benbury to the core.

As an extraordinary murder mystery unravels before her, can Melissa solve this terrifying crime without putting herself and her new friends in terrible danger? 

A joy to read! An absolutely unputdownable mystery novel for fans of Agatha Christie and Faith Martin.

This book was previously published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing.

Hey guys, hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday! Today is the Publication Day for Betty Rowlands’ book, Murder at Hawthorn Cottage. I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of  the first novel to feature amateur sleuth, crime writer Melissa Craig, originally published in 1990. And I am telling you, if you’re looking for a cozy mystery to enjoy over the week, this is your thing. So get a comfy seat and enjoy this wonderful book!

Melissa Craig is a mystery writer. She finally settles into her new home in the country and step after step tries to accommodate to the peaceful and slow life of the village of Upper Benbury . She needs that in order to find herself again and prepare for her new book. Her only neighbor is Iris, a vegetarian, a decorator who gardens, has a cat and practices yoga.

Then, small things begin to bother her peaceful new start. Strange phone calls upset her, someone is asking for Babs. But soon, Melissa finds out that a young woman named Babs is missing.  The local journalist-to-be approaches her and together they begin the search for Babs.

But, everything changes when Melissa’s neighbor, Iris, finds a dead body near her house. A body of a young woman.

Can Melissa solve the mystery of the missing young woman?

Whose body has been found?

Was the woman killed, and if so, who was the murderer?

After all, this is the real life, not one of her mystery novels.

Can Melissa solve a true crime?

Murder at Hawtorn Cottage is a lovely, peaceful and funny cozy mystery novel. I say peaceful because there are no cell phones, just land lines, no emails, just ordinary letters, people don’t call when they want to see you, they just pop up at your door. But in everything else, the village of Upper Benbery is far away from peaceful. Mafia, gambling, drugs, strippers. Local people can manage that all. There are plenty very good laugh-out-loud moments. I was reading it on the beach, and some were so funny they made me look weird while I was giggling on the beach :). Melissa reminded me of Agatha Raisin little bit, like she stepped into the Midsomer County to solve some murder. I loved her as character and the characters around her. I loved the writing of the story, the beautifully written descriptions of the village and the nature and the Hawthorn Cottage. I’ll be definitely in the search of other books from this author in future.  A perfect cozy mystery!

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