I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for the second Dedley End Mystery by Victoria Walters, Murder at the Summer Fete. Huge thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
A fete worse than death…
After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter, and her grandmother, Jane. The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.
But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.
When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?
The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…!
I absolutely adored the first book in the Dedley End series by Victoria Walters when I read it back in the autumn (you can find my review of Murder at the House on the Hill here) so I was really looking forward to returning to the Cotswolds for another dose of cosy crime-solving with the dynamic granny and granddaughter duo. I am happy to say that Victoria did not disappoint and I enjoyed this sequel every bit as much as the first one.
This time, Dedley End are preparing for their annual summer fete and, to publicise their crime-themed bookshop, Nancy and Jane have persuaded bestselling author, Thomas Green, to attend and launch his new novel. They are anxious for it all to go well, so the intervention of a determined saboteur who seems intent on disrupting proceedings is most unwelcome. Then things take a murderous turn and the inquisitive duo, along with journalist Jonathan, can’t resist getting involved again.
The book contains all the best ingredients of the ludicrous cosy crime plots that we fans love. Quaint, picturesque settings; bubbling feuds in insular villages; passion; deceit; secrets; meddling; potential adultery; family tensions; and extremely nosy villagers who are so intrigued by everyone else’s business, and so suspicious of outsiders, that it is impossible for anyone to get away with dastardly deeds unnoticed. If you love Midsomer Murders or Agatha Raisin, this book will be right up your street.
The plot is fast paced and full of intriguing twists and turns. There are plenty of clues scattered throughout the book to help the amateur sleuth amongst us solve the murder along with Nancy and her gran, whilst still making you unsure enough of what is happening to draw you quickly through the pages to the end. I have to say this time I did guess the murderer and the motive before the end, but this did not stymie my enjoyment of the book, I was just eager to finish it so I could check if I was right and then bask in a sense of satisfaction to have my suspicions confirmed.
Victoria’s prose is very easy to read, her characters are warm and likeable, her settings lively and vivid. This is the perfect book to read if you want to be intrigued and entertained but not stretched too much, and it will make you look forward to light summer evenings on the village green or in the garden with a G&T. Also another triumph of cover design, I have already bought the book in paperback to grace my library shelves. I highly recommend it and hope there are going to be many more in the series for me to enjoy.
Murder at the Summer Fete is out now in paperback and digital formats, and you can buy a copy here.
Make sure you check out the rest of the blogs taking part in the tour:
About the Author
Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of the bestselling GLENDALE HALL series, which continues with its third book HOPEFUL HEARTS at GLENDALE HALL in September, as well as two other standalone novels – SUMMER at the KINDNESS CAFE, and THE SECOND LOVE of my LIFE. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for two RNA awards. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.
Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.
Connect with Victoria:
Facebook: Victoria Walters