8th June 2022.
This is one of the best novels I’ve read for some time. I loved its caring, sympathetic characters brought to life by the author’s deft writing. While it’s essentially a police procedural, led by DI McGregor, Rina Martin, a former actress who played a TV sleuth, had quite a role to play. She runs a quiet guest house on the coast of Dorset, where nothing much happens.
Then an elderly lady is bludgeoned to death in her home. From here, the story opens out, drawing in George and Paul, two boys with very different reasons to be frightened. Having broken into the lady’s house the previous evening, one of them witnesses her murder. The other has more personal reasons to be scared when he believes he’s spotted the abusive father who his family ran away from.
From here the story moves away from the traditional murder mystery, but still packs a poignant punch at its climax. I really felt for McGregor, who has to wrestle with his principles as he tries to deal with the aftermath.
The story’s intriguing, engaging and beautifully crafted. It’s driven by realistic characters caught up in the unreal world of murder. There’s humour within the darkness and hope for a brighter future. All this means this is one of the best cosy mysteries I’ve read for a long time.
I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
Meet Rina Martin, a retired actress with a taste for tea, gardening and crime solving.
She played a TV sleuth for years, but now she has to do it for real.
She retires to the sleepy town of Frantham-on-Sea. Here on the Dorset coast, she runs her own immaculate guest house and life is blissfully quiet.
Until . . .
A few doors down, harmless old Mrs Freer is bludgeoned to death, and Rina can’t help but be drawn into the mystery.
Mrs Freer’s home was ransacked, but this was no ordinary burglary.
Who knew the old lady kept a gun stashed under her pillow?
And who wanted it badly enough to kill?
Detective Sebastian McGregor is called in to solve this baffling case.
But with her neighbours’ safety at stake, Rina knows she needs to give him a helping hand.