Mystery at the Old Mill by Clare Chase

15th January 2023.

In the fourth book of the series, obituary writer Eve Mallow throws open the doors of her house at Christmas and meets Harry Tenant, the new occupier of the Old Mill. While charming on the outside, Harry closely guards his social life. After he’s killed in a fire that destroys his home, his double life comes to life, suggesting he’s the victim of murder.

There are also strong hints that people in the village consulted him in his role as an Agony Aunt. When Eve’s asked to write his obituary, she has the opportunity to look into his murder and a list of suspects that keeps growing as she digs deeper.

Like the previous novels, there’s plenty of village life, intrigue and secrets to entertain readers alongside the murder investigation. Eve’s already demonstrated her prowess as a sleuth in the previous novels, and she continues to use her obituary writer cover to good effect, ferreting out details ahead of the police at times.

It all adds up to an enjoyable and entertaining cosy mystery, supported by a continuing village backstory and Gus, her delightful dachshund. Due to the growing list of suspects and gentle pace, I struggled to recall who was who in places, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Description When the calm of Saxford St Peter is disrupted by a deadly fire at the Old Mill, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow finds herself investigating a most surprising mystery!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter is desperate to get to know Harry Tennant, the charming newcomer who owns the Old Mill, particularly Eve Mallow. He keeps himself to himself, and Eve is sure he’s hiding something… When Harry invites the whole village round for drinks, she can’t wait to find out more.

But two days before the party, a terrible fire sweeps through the mill, and Harry is found dead. When Eve passes the burned remains of his beautiful house, she can’t resist the call to investigate. Especially when it turns out Harry was living a double life as the famous advice writer Pippa Longford, and several of the villagers wrote letters to him. Eve has to wonder what confidences her neighbours shared… and whether one of them was worth killing for.

Accompanied by her reliable dachshund sidekick Gus, Eve starts digging. She soon realises Harry was at the centre of a web of lives – and lies. There’s an angry uncle desperate to inherit, an unhappy woman he didn’t want to marry, not to mention all the people who told him their darkest secrets. Was one of them much closer to home than Harry knew? And can Eve untangle the truth before she finds herself face to face with a killer?

Cover of Mystery at the Old Mill by Clare Chase

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