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Murder in Mallow Cottage by Gretta Mulrooney

Title: Murder in Mallow Cottage(DI Siv Drummond #3)

Author: Gretta Mulrooney

Published on: 2nd September 2021

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Murder in Mallow Cottage is the third book in Gretta Mulrooney’s DI Siv Drummond series.

A dead body decorated with fresh and vibrant flowers are found at the entrance to a cemetery. The crem manager is shocked; he has four funerals to manage for the day and finding a dead body – a possible murder victim – was not how he thought he day would start. The Berminster police are called in and Siv is in charge of the case.

Meanwhile, Saffie, her boyfriend Henry and their two friends/couple are spending a couple of days at Henry’s mother’s chalet by the sea. Henry went to the local pub the previous night and never returned. Henry’s mother and girlfriend are worried and report him missing. Siv is again in charge of the mispers case.

As Siv and her colleagues start to investigate, they find Henry and the murdered victim at the crem were friends. One is dead while the other missing. As the case proceeds, the local police find the murdered victim’s car abandoned near the Mallow Cottage – another of Henry’s mum’s rental houses. How are the two victims connected? Will there be more?

I have read the first two books of this series. While the first book – These Little Lies – was an okay read, the second was a five-starrer – Never Came Home. If I have to compare Murder in Mallow Cottage with the previous book of this series, I would say the element of suspense is a tad low.

From the series so far: Siv was brought up in a dysfunctional family. Her narcissist mother tries to create havoc in Siv’s life often – this time she’s ‘attached’ herself to Siv’s boss. Siv is worried that when things go sideways, Siv’s job will be on the line. Siv lost her husband Ed in an accident a couple of years ago. Siv couldn’t cope up with the loss and had to take a therapist’s help to feel better. Bartel and Siv get along well – their relationship is purely platonic. They met when Siv was on a case (book #1) and Bartel helped her with a vital clue or two.

DC Lisa Flores was killed by a drunk driver and her funeral is scheduled on a Sunday – the same Sunday on which a dead body is found in the (same) cemetery. Siv arrives at the scene of crime and questions the crem manager. She believes he’s hiding something. As the case proceeds, she and her colleagues learn the victim used to visit the cemetery as a teenager – for nefarious activities such as drugs, alcohol and sex.

When Henry Kilgore goes missing and Siv learns he and the murdered victim (Eugene Warren) were friends, she wonders if someone is out for revenge. Did Henry and Eugene do something bad as teenagers and their past is now catching up to them?

The storytelling is impressive and the character development is not bad. Siv and Ali’s side stories certainly made the read interesting. Having said that, I felt the mystery and suspense to be a tad low when compared to the previous book. The story didn’t keep me guessing until the end or wanting me to know ‘what happens next’. The ending was unexpected but not to my liking.

Overall, Murder at Mallow Cottage by Gretta Mulrooney was an interesting read. I am looking forward to knowing what’s next for Siv. Wil Siv find love again? Will she ever move on from her past? What about Siv’s mother? Will she stop interfering in her daughter’s life? Only time will tell…


I received an ARC from Joffe Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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