Title: A Village Murder (A Ham Hill Murder Mystery #1)
Author: Frances Evesham
Published on: 23 June 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A Village Murder is the first book in Frances Evesham’s Ham Hill Murder Mystery series.
A quaint little village in Lower Hembrow, a dead body at a funeral (ahem, apart from the one lying in the coffin I mean…), an overly excited dog and a retired policeman turned amateur sleuth, what else could one ask for in this brand new series debut by Frances Evesham.
Imogen Bishop has arrived at her father’s hotel; he died in a car crash two weeks ago. Imogen and her father did not get along well and yet here she is, making arrangements for his funeral. Things go well at the funeral until Imogen and Adam Hennessey, a retired police officer who owns a pub close by, discover a dead body in the orangery. The dead man is none other than Imogen’s husband Greg. Imogen and Greg had separated a while ago but Greg was expected to arrive at the funeral – well, he was supposed to arrive ‘alive’.
It goes without saying the police suspect Imogen of killing her husband. The poor chap was poisoned. Adam smells something fishy – nope, not talking about the smoked salmon here. Imogen asks Adam to find her husband’s killer and bring him to justice. As the story proceeds, Adam uncovers a secret that might have taken the old man to his death door.
Frances Evesham is a master storyteller. Be it the story-line or the character development, Ms Evesham has done an excellent job in keeping the readers hooked on to the story. A quaint village setting, an ex police officer solving the case, doesn’t this remind you of … Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot? 🙂
Adam Hennessey was a well-known police officer with a record of highest number of cases solved during his tenure. Retirement hasn’t rusted his grey cells, that’s for sure. Imogen is someone with whom one would share a love-hate relationship. The poor girl has had a series of personal losses – her father’s death, followed by that of her husband’s – but hiding certain details from the cops, uh-huh, not good, Immy!
No cozy mystery is complete without a pet. Meet Harley, the uncontrollable dog whom Imogen takes a liking to. Adam is a cat person and doesn’t seem to understand dogs. I understand you, Adam. From one cat person to another, cats are the best-est pets ever!
I thought the pacing was simply perfect. A little slow perhaps but suits the setting. Wonderfully portrayed characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing till the end. As the story proceeds, we see most of them have something to hide. A red herring or two might take you on the wrong path. The ‘denouement’ is mind-blowing. I could not identify the killer until the end.
A Village Murder by Frances Evesham is an engrossing and entertaining read. If you like mysteries set in a quaint little village, you might want to give this book a try. Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Rachel for the blog tour invite.