Title: A Harvest Murder (A Ham Hill Murder Mystery #3)
Author: Frances Evesham
Published on: 21 June 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A Harvest Murder is the third book in Frances Evesham’s Ham Hill Murder Mystery series.
The villagers of Lower Hembrow are gearing up for the harvest festival. Apple Day is just a week ahead when Roger says the event cannot be hosted in his estate. Imogen agrees to shift the Apple Day festivities to her hotel grounds provided people help her in setting things up.
Meanwhile, Joe Trevillion, a local farmer, is at The Plough, ranting about his interfering mother-in-law and she’s managed to create a rift between Joe and his wife, Jenny. Two days later, the local shopkeeper and neighbor of the Trevillions comes to Adam, an ex-detective and owner of The Plough claiming Joe has gone missing. He was last seen leaving The Plough – the evening he ranted on his mother-in-law.
It is almost a week but Joe is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, Dan Freeman, a local artist and Imogen’s close friend (and prospective lover) finds one of his donkeys missing. Smash and Grab would always stay together but on this fateful morning (on Apple Day), Smash is nowhere to be seen.
I have read the first two books of this series and if I have to pick a favorite, I would say A Harvest Murder. What a fantastic, engrossing and completely entertaining cozy mystery. This is one of the best cozy mysteries of 2022!
I absolutely love Evesham’s storytelling. Be it the character portrayal or the setting or the mystery (with a dash of humor), Frances Evesham is one of the best cozy mystery authors ever!
We have four stories here: 1) Joe’s missing 2) Adam’s donkey goes missing and soon he learns someone’s out there to get him – reason unknown 3) trouble in paradise – Imogen and Dan’s relationship is in troubled waters 4) a murder during the festivities.
Joe goes missing soon after ranting about his mother-in-law at the pub. Jenny has no clue where her husband could be. She has six children to manage and her mum is helping her out. But not everything seems well in the Trevillion house. The locals indulge in rumors around Jenny and Joe’s marriage and Imogen learns that things weren’t well between them.
Speaking of things not being well, Imogen is not happy that Dan gives more importance to his work. Imogen and Dan were childhood sweethearts but her father saw to it that they weren’t together. Years later, when Imogen came back to Lower Hembrow and learned Dan is divorced, she thought there may be a chance for them to rekindle their romance. But so far, things aren’t looking good.
Dan has two donkeys – Smash and Grab. On Apple Day, Smash is nowhere to be seen. Dan finds the gate open and wonders if Smash ran away. He had promised to help Imogen but he had to go in search of Smash first. He arrives at the event late and… uh-oh, Dan. Imogen is not happy about it. Nope!
Imogen and Adam investigate the mystery behind Joe’s disappearance and end up learning a thing or two about the Trevillions. Dan also speaks to Adam about Smash going missing. Steph (Adam’s girlfriend) and Adam discuss the tension brewing between Imogen and Dan – but they do not want to poke their nose where it does not belong. Not at the sake of ruining their friendship.
I was hooked on to the story until the end – so many incidents and mysteries, WOW! There were times when I felt Dan could make an effort and be good to Imogen – but when the twist was revealed in the second half of the book, I changed sides. *wink* This is called “never judge someone before knowing both sides of the story.” Hmm…
The mystery behind Joe’s disappearance and a murder at Apple Day – the events leading up to murder and finding the killer was shocking and totally unexpected. I just couldn’t believe that a certain somebody was capable of murder.
I can go on and on and on, praising this book a gazillion times – and Frances truly deserves all the praise for writing such a fantabulous mystery. If you are looking for an engrossing and entertaining cozy mystery, I definitely recommend you to give A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham a try.
Many thanks to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.