Saturday, 2 February 2019

Murder at Benbury Brook - Betty Rowlands

Murder at Benbury Brook: An absolutely gripping English cozy mystery (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 9)Murder at Benbury Brook: An absolutely gripping English cozy mystery by Betty Rowlands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great book from Betty Rowlands in the Melissa Craig series. I did wonder how she would fare now that Iris, her next door neighbour and close friend had left for France. The arrival of a new neighbour to live, at least for the time being in Iris's cottage soon throws Mel into the midst of another mystery and it isn't long before she finds herself involved in a little sleuthing.

With the changes that happened in the last book, I knew that we were likely to be without a few of the supporting characters from previous books. Although I have always enjoyed reading about them, they weren't really missed her and Mel still had a couple of friendly faces to rely upon.

This time the mystery focuses on the death of a girl was it an accident, or something more sinister? There is also something decidedly seedy going on in the village. It becomes pretty clear what's going on, although there are no graphic descriptions, just enough hints to make it clear what certain characters have been doing. I've said before that I feel that these books are more 'classic mysteries' than cosy mysteries. Although things aren't spelt out as such, I think that the crimes do make these more classic than cosy, but perhaps that's because I tend to be a little dismissive of the term 'cosy' and see it as twee and insubstantial, which these novels certainly aren't.

One of the joys of this series is the way that village life is depicted. I don't know if it's because I grew up in an English village and I relate to this picture, or just because it's so well written, a little of both perhaps? I suppose that there is a little nostalgia too, with these books being set (and written) twenty years or so ago now. That doesn't detract from the enjoyment though, these are great mysteries and a good read, even if the world has moved on a little.

The more of this series I read, the more I enjoy them. I can't wait to see what the next book has in store for Mel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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