3rd August 2019. 4 stars.
I enjoyed the wit, humour and characters in this cosy mystery, where the village busybody is murdered and dumped in a chest freezer. As she has upset so many people, the suspects include most of the village, though several characters do their best to jump to the front of the queue.
The story is told by Kat Latcham, who’s returned to Much Winchmoor after a disastrous relationship. When an old friend’s father becomes the prime suspect, she refuses to accept this and vows to unearth the real killer. Despite the lack of clues and experience of sleuthing, she’s a keen observer of people and gossip and soon begins a somewhat stumbling but colourful investigation with more than a few mishaps and humorous moments.
The relaxed pace and humour didn’t quite compensate for the low level of sleuthing involved, but Kat’s a likeable and fun character, who brought the village and its residents to life. There were more similes than you can shake a stick at, and I felt the two chapters written from the killer’s point of view were an unnecessary distraction that did little to increase the tension or suspense.
That apart, Murder Served Cold is entertaining, well written and observed, filled with quirky but recognisable characters, the obligatory false trails, and a likable lead character that lifted the story above the average cosy and kept me turning the pages.
A quiet English village where nothing ever happens. Until…
After her boyfriend runs out on her with the contents of their joint bank account, Kat Latcham has no choice but to return to the tiny Somerset village of Much Winchmoor, where she grew up. A place, she reckons, that is not so much sleepy as comatose, and she longs for something exciting to happen to lessen the boredom of living with her parents.
But when she and her childhood friend, Will Manning, discover a body, and Will’s father, John, is arrested for the murder, Kat suddenly realises she should have heeded the saying “be careful what you wish for”.
Much Winchmoor is a hotbed of gossip, and everyone is convinced John Manning is guilty. Only Kat and Will believe he’s innocent. When there’s a second murder, Kat is sure she knows the identity of the murderer – and sets out to prove it. But in doing so, she almost becomes the murderer’s third victim.
Readers of Sue Grafton might enjoy the Much Winchmoor series of cosy murder mysteries spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance.