Murder by the River Usk by Pippa McCathie

3rd February 2023

The third novel in the series is another absorbing and entertaining murder mystery featuring Fabia Harvard and Matt Lambert. Flooding and landslip expose the remains of a body. It’s soon clear that this is the body of Caleb Morgan, who went missing ten years ago.

Fabia, who was in charge of the original investigation, is keen to help her lover, Matt, investigate when the cold case reveals a murder. Friends, family and prominent figures come under suspicion as the detectives and Fabia dig into the past to find the motives and circumstances that will lead them to the killer.

The private lives of Matt and Fabia come under scrutiny and strain in the small town setting, bringing additional colour and depth to the story. Like the previous novels, the characters are realistic and fully developed, allowing a thriving backstory to underpin the main plot.

It’s all blended together in an engaging in a story that twists and turns before an exciting climax and unveiling of the killer.

While the novel reads well as a standalone, the background history of the characters and their relationships are best appreciated by going back to the start of the series.

Follow the links to check out my reviews of Murder in the Valleys (Book 1) and Murder at the Old Abbey (Book 2).


A cold case warms up when an archaeological dig uncovers the remains of a student who went missing a decade previously.

It was a missing person case that bugged ex-inspector Fabia Havard long after she left the force. Now she has been asked by her former protégé and ongoing love interest, DCI Matt Lambert, to aid the investigation.

Caleb Morgan went missing whilst studying at a university campus near the ancient Roman city of Caerleon. His friends and family were interviewed and an extensive search carried out, but to no avail.

Now, with his body finally found during an archaeological dig, partly exposed due to the riverbank subsiding after a flood, there is new evidence.

It is clear he was murdered. The question facing the police is who did it and why? As they probe deeper into his background, suspicions arise around a local firebrand preacher, a boxer and the police themselves.

With much of the material being circumstantial it will take excellent detective work to finally put the matter to rest. But Fabia’s unofficial involvement will cause a stir and even threaten the integrity of the whole case.

Cover of Murder by the River Usk by Pippa McCathie

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