The Particulars: Mystery, Be Write Books, available in print and e-book.
The Source: Won in a giveaway
The Grade: C+
The old lady's decaying body lay at the foot of the stairs. The police believe it was simply an accidental fall that killed great-aunt Jane. But was it? Young Australian, Belinda Lawrence is convinced it was murder and when she inherits her great-aunt's ancient cottage and garden on the outskirts of Bath, England, she finds herself deep in a taut mystery surrounding her legacy. A secret room. Unknown intruders. A hidden ancient document. They all contribute to the mounting dread. A second vicious murder by a ruthless killer intensifies the tension and Belinda, now under threat herself, is befriended by two charming men: her neighbour Jacob and real-estate agent Mark Sallinger. But can she trust them? And what interest has befuddled antique dealer Hazel Whitby in the cottage? Could one of them be the killer? An excellent example of a time-honoured English village murder mystery with a lively young heroine pitting her intellect against an evil killer, both bent on solving the riddle of an ancient garden. An inventive puzzle glazed with wit and the first of the Belinda Lawrence series.
I won this in a giveaway, almost a year ago. But it took a long time before I actually read it.
This is a cozy mystery, set in the small village of Milford. The setting was very detailed and believable. Both when it came to the history of the houses, and the attitude of the villagers to accept a newcomer.
The mystery was intriguing and well written. I loved how Belinda gradually started to investigate the murder of her Great Aunt- It was intresting to see how her relationship with her neighbours developed through the novel. What I enjoyed was how things gradually got more and more complicated as the story went on, and the more I read I wanted to know about the history of the house.
From the first page to roughly half way into the mystery, I thought this story took place somewere between 1960-80. And then.... a minor character picked up a cellphone. I wish she hadn't since everything else about the story felt like one of the classic mysteries from the 30's.
Still, it was well written and I enjoyed it.