#Review #NetGalley #MurderAtHawthornCottage

Release Date:  21st August 2018 / Publisher:  Bookouture


Meet Melissa Craig: friendly neighbour, loving mother… daring detective?

Melissa is just settling into her new life in a crumbling cottage in the countryside when a knock at the door brings news of a shocking discovery: the bones of a young woman have been found in the woods just behind her new home.

As an investigation begins, strange phone calls in the night convince Melissa that the police are barking up completely the wrong tree. As a newcomer in this close-knit village, does she dare to start asking questions?

Enlisting a local journalist to help her do a little digging of her own, Melissa’s enquiry takes her from the bingo hall to the beauty salon and beyond, exposing many of the village’s darkest secrets, but getting no closer to finding the culprit.

Just as she’s about to give up, the discovery of a tatty old photograph links all the pieces of the puzzle to a scandal that will shake the sweet little village of Upper Benbury to the core.

As an extraordinary murder mystery unravels before her, can Melissa solve this terrifying crime without putting herself and her new friends in terrible danger? 

A joy to read! An absolutely unputdownable mystery novel for fans of Agatha Christie and Faith Martin.

This book was previously published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing.

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This is the book #1 in the Melissa Craig Mystery books.  Whilst it is my first book by this author, it certainly isn’t the author’s first, with many books under her belt!  This book was previously released under the title A Little Gentle Sleuthing and has recently had a revamp and a new title!

Melissa Craig’s pseudonym is Mel Craig, crime writer extraordinaire!  She has recently fled to the countryside from London to avoid her over-protective lover and over-enthusiastic agent in the hopes of getting some writing done.  Having bought a cottage in the little village of Upper Benbury in the Cotswolds, Melissa settles right at home putting the local builder in his place and indulging in vegan dinners with her new neighbour.  A series of strange phone calls to Melissa’s cottage gives Melissa inspiration for her new novel, but when the bones of an unknown woman are found in woodland behind her cottage, Melissa teams up with a local journalist to solve a real murder!

This book is absolutely perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and MC Beaton!  I have read Agatha Christie books since I was a teenager and a few of the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton.  This book is certainly on a par with these books, and with the revamp of new cover and title this brings this opening book of the Melissa Craig series right up to date!

I’d never heard of books like this being referred to as ‘Cosy Mystery’ books until recently, but I can understand where this comes from.  This book is a crime book but there’s no blood and gore and certainly no graphic scenes of violence.  You won’t be needed to hide between the cushion for this book.  But you do get a good old murder mystery with a bit of humour thrown in.  Melissa is certainly a force to be reckoned with and she certainly doesn’t take no nonsense, already having put the builder in his place by the end of the first few chapters.  She is a well-known crime writer, but as the story moves on she takes the place of amateur sleuth, working out the mystery of the murder of the woman found in the woodlands.

There is plenty of mystery and danger in this story and there are lots of twists and turns to get to the reveal.  The characters are all great and they are so well described that they give you a vivid picture in your imagination as to what they look like!  I love Melissa’s character and found her absolutely charming!  The descriptions throughout the book of the Cotswolds countryside is also beautiful and set the scene for this gentle murder-mystery perfectly!

This is the ideal book for lazing around in the summer sun!  A good old-fashioned who-dunnit with just the right amount of mystery, intrigue and humour to keep you going until the end of the book!  Would definitely recommend!