Blog Tour: A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham

A Harvest Murder

Delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham, the third book in the Ham Hill Murder series. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of the book for the purpose of review. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially.

a harvest murder

One unexplained disappearance is strange, but two are sinister.

In Lower Hembrow, an idyllic village nestled beneath Ham Hill in Somerset, the villagers are preparing to enjoy the autumn traditions of the rural English countryside until Joe Trevillion, a curmudgeonly local farmer and the father of six children, vanishes.

When Adam Hennessy, the ex-detective proprietor of The Plough, the village’s popular Inn, investigates, he finds ominous undercurrents beneath apparently harmless rumour and gossip.

Meanwhile, a vicious campaign of vindictiveness forces Adam and his three amateur sleuth friends to dig deep into the secret lives of their neighbours to expose the source of a cruel vendetta and prevent another death.

As they uncover the disturbing truth, the friends learn they must also lay their own past lives to rest before they can hope to make their dreams for the future come true.

You don’t need to have read either of the two previous Ham Hill Murder Mysteries to enjoy A Harvest Murder but, having read and enjoyed A Racing Murder last year, I was thrilled to pop back to Lower Hembrow to see what was going on with Imogen, Adam and the crew.

Sadly, all is not well. One of the couples who seemed to be growing closer previously is fraying around the edges and one of the local farmers is having trouble in his business and his marriage. Then there is a disappearance, and Imogen and Adam’s detective instincts are on high alert again to get to the bottom of what is going on. As is typically the case in small villages, rumours and gossip abounds, feuds and rivalries raise their heads and it takes some digging to get to the truth. And there are donkeys. Sounds like a great read, doesn’t it?

Well, it is and I was not at all disappointed by my second foray into the world of this small Somerset village and all the deadly goings on. I love a cosy murder mystery and this author has managed again to incorporate all the elements that make these types of story so appealing. Great setting that you might want to move to if it were a real place (and people didn’t keep getting murdered in the vicinity!); fantastic characters in whose lives you are really invested and who have fully rounded experiences; twisty, turny plot that you are eager to unravel; great pacing that keeps you glued to the page; flowing writing that is easy to read.

After reading two book I can safely say I have become a huge fan of this series and I am eager for the next one to come out. A fast, fun read that was a welcome change from my recent diet of romcoms and something I can highly recommend. Will appeal to fans of Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple.

A Harvest Murder is out now in ebook, paperback and audiobook and you can buy a copy here. It is also included with Kindle Unlimited membership.

Make sure you check out some of the other blogs on the tour:

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About the Author

IMG_1626 frances evesham

Frances Evesham is the bestelling author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea murder mysteries set in her home county of Somerset, and the Ham-Hill cosy crime series set in South Somerset.

Connect with Frances:

Facebook: Frances Evesham Writer

Twitter: @FrancesEvesham

Instagram: @francesevesham

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Blog Tour: Murder at the Summer Fete by Victoria Walters

Murder at the Summer Fete

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.

Murder at the Summer Fete FINAL

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:

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About the Author

Victoria Walters author picture

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:

Website: https://victoria-writes.com/

Facebook: Victoria Walters

Twitter: @Vicky_Walters

Instagram: @vickyjwalters

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Blog Tour: Murder at the House on the Hill by Victoria Walters #BookReview

Murder At The House On The Hill

It is my turn on the blog tour today for Murder at the House on the Hill by Victoria Walters and I want to thank Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me a slot on the tour, and to the author and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of the book for the purposes of review. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially.

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Once Upon A Crime…

Nancy Hunter and her grandmother Jane Hunter run the Dedley Endings Bookshop, selling crime, thriller and mystery books, in a small, quiet Cotswold village where nothing ever happens…

That is, until the wealthy and reclusive Roth family open up their mansion for the first time in twenty years, inviting the people of Dedley End to a lavish engagement party.

While everyone is thrilled to finally look around the mansion on the hill, the festivities are quickly cut short when beautiful Lucy, recently married to young Harry Roth, is found dead after being pushed over the first-floor balustrade.

But who among the guests could have been capable of her murder – and why?

Nancy and Jane decide to investigate – after all, not only do they own a crime themed bookshop, they were also both named after famous literary detectives – but soon wonder if they’ve taken on more than they can handle. Especially when it seems the killer has worked out that they’re hot on their heels…

Can they catch the murderer before the murderer catches up with them? Or will there be a deadly ending to this story?

I really love a cosy crime novel and the cover of this one drew me in straight away, I absolutely love it, it’s one I will be buying to grace my shelves and the marketing team have done a great job to reflect the book here. Kudos to the cover artist as well. The hook of the book also got me – a mystery-solving grandmother and granddaughter duo who own a crime book shop? Who wouldn’t want to read that?

I absolutely loved the dynamics in this book between Nancy and her grandmother, they make a great team. The author is fabulous at characterisation, and all of the players in this book are interesting in their own way. Nancy’s best friend, Jonathan, is also a fantastic character and his relationship with Nancy was one of my favourites.

The setting of the book in a quaint Cotswold village where nothing much happens is perfect and, Dedley End, what a great name that is. It just encapsulates this books completely, clever and funny, not taking itself too seriously at all.

This book was a really easy, quick read for me because the writing is clear and the plot so entertaining and pacy that I just rattled through it at speed. I did not work out the ending in advance and thoroughly enjoyed the journey of getting there. There was nothing about this book that was not a pleasure and I really look forward to reading more in the series. I really hope all the other covers are as good as this one. If so, I’ll be a paperback devotee!

Perfect as an autumn read now the days are getting shorter and chillier and fans of cosy crime will love it. Highly recommended.

The book is out in ebook and paperback now and you can buy a copy here.

Please do check out some of the other blogs taking part in the tour for alternative reviews:

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About the Author

Victoria Walters author picture

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:

Website: https://victoria-writes.com/

Facebook: Victoria Walters

Twitter: @Vicky_Walters

Instagram: @vickyjwalters

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Blog Tour: Blooming Murder by Simon Whaley #BookReview

Blooming Murder

I am delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for Blooming Murder by Simon Whaley. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Blooming Murder ebook cover

MURDER IS BLOSSOMING IN THE WELSH BORDERS.

Aldermaston’s having a bad day. A falling hanging-basket has killed the town’s mayor, and a second narrowly missed him. His wife wants him to build her new greenhouse in three days, and some nutter is sending him death threats.

This isn’t the quiet life he expected as the new Marquess of Mortiforde.

It’s the annual Borders in Blossom competition, and Mortiforde is battling with Portley Ridge in the final. But this is no parochial flower competition. The mayor’s mishap looks like murder, and there’s another body in the river. Someone desperately wants Portley Ridge to win for the fifteenth successive year.

So when a mysterious group of guerrilla gardeners suddenly carpet bomb Mortiforde with a series of stunning floral delights one night, a chain reaction of floral retaliation ensues.

Can Aldermaston survive long enough to uncover who is trying to kill him, and why? And can he get his wife’s greenhouse built in time?

This is the first book in a new cosy mystery series featuring, Aldermaston, the Marquess of Mortiforde. Mortiforde is a small market town on the Welsh borders and, at the start of the book they are taking part in the annual border towns flower competition, which they have lost the past fourteen years in a row. This year, they are desperate to break their duck, but someone in their rival town of Portley Bridge seems equally determined to stop them, even to the extent of murdering prominent citizens involved in the campaign. There is something very fishy going on, and Aldermaston is determined to get to the bottom of it.

This book is very, very funny. It is the literary equivalent of slapstick, where one ridiculous thing happens after another in the quest to win the accolade of most blooming market town. I mean, the whole premise if ludicrous, that people would be prepared to murder over a gardening competition, which makes it funny from the off. Of course, there is much more to the story than that, involving dark deeds and money, so the plot goes on convoluted twists and turns that make the story more and more ludicrous, which is all part of the fun. We do get to the bottom of who has been carrying out the murders and why at the end, but by this time we barely care, because we’ve had so much fun along the way. 

The best thing about the book are the characters. The author has created a cast of the most unusual and entertaining characters you can think of in this book. Aldermaston, newly made Marchioness of Mortiforde, is a reluctant inhabitor of the title and seems a little out of his depth through much of the book. His wife, Felicity, has been taken unexpectedly from her old life and thrust into society, where she is uncomfortable and unfulfilled. She makes a new friend in Letitia, who is my favourite character in the book and has set some old lady goals for my life for sure. Lisa and Mark are a great couple of supporting characters who I look forward to seeing more of, Lisa playing a kind of Watson to Aldermaston’s rural Sherlock. The villains are suitably ruthless, there are some other great cameos (‘Hortie’ being a particular highlight), and they all get up to some fabulous shenanigans.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is a piece of ridiculous, riotous fun. If you are a fan of Midsomer Murders, with it pretty settings, eccentric characters and bizarre and convoluted murders, you will absolutely love this novel. I am really looking forward to the next in the series and can recommend this as a great few hours’ entertainment.

Blooming Murder is out now and you can buy a copy here.

Please visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this book for alternative opinions:

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About the Author

Blooming Simon Whaley square

Simon Whaley is an author, writer and photographer who lives in the hilly bit of Shropshire. Blooming Murder is the first in his Marquess of Mortiforde Mysteries, set in the idyllic Welsh Borders – a place many people struggle to locate on a map (including by some of those who live here). He’s written several non-fiction books, many if which contain his humorous take on the world, including the bestselling One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human and two editions in the hugely popular Bluffer’s Guide series (The Bluffer’s Guide to Dogs and The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking). His short stories have appeared in Take A Break, Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special, The Weekly News and The People’s Friend. Meanwhile his magazine articles have delighted readers in a variety of publications including BBC Countryfile, The People’s Friend, Coast, The Simple Things and Country Walking.

Simon lives in Shropshire (which just happens to be a Welsh Border county) and, when he gets stuck with his writing, he tramps the Shropshire hills looking for inspiration and something to photograph. Some of his photographs appear on the national and regional BBC weather broadcasts under his BBC WeatherWatcher nickname of Snapper Simon. (For those of you who don’t know, they get a lot of weather in Shropshire.)

Connect with Simon:

Website: https://www.simonwhaley.co.uk/

Facebook: Simon Whaley Author

Twitter: @simonwhaley

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