5 February 2021


  • This edition published by Bookoutre in 2020
  • ISBN 978-1-83888-525-0
  • 270 pages
  • #1 in Eve Mallow mystery series
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

Meet Eve Mallow: an American far from home, a professional busybody... and an amateur detective?

Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. But it turns out that Bernard's life was much less interesting than his death. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?

As Eve starts to interview Bernard's friends and colleagues, she finds that he'd ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there's barely a person in town who doesn't have some reason to hate him... is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?

Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she's met must be the murderer. She has never done any detective work before... but is there something in her notes that can crack the case?

An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.

My take

The first time I have encountered a sleuth who is an obituary writer. Eve Mallow is keen to find out what people thought of the deceased, cellist Bernard Fitzpatrick. On the day she arrived in the village to begin work on the obituary Eve discovers that the police have announced that he was murdered. She feels a little uncomfortable that she might put herself in danger by actually interviewing the murderer, and, even worse, that she might realise this is the person the police are looking for.

She realises also that there are many candidates - the fact that Peter was charismatic doesn't mean that he was popular or well-liked. In fact he was very self-centred and even manipulative.

A nice start to what looks like it will be an interesting series worth following.

My rating: 4.3

About the author
Clare Chase writes romantic suspense and women sleuth mysteries, using London and Cambridge as settings. Brought up in the Midlands, she went on to read English at London University, then worked in book and author promotion in venues as diverse as schools, pubs and prisons. More recently she's exercised her creative writing muscles in the world of PR, and also worked for the University of Cambridge. Her current day job is at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Her writing is inspired by what makes people tick, and how strong emotions can occasionally turn everyday incidents into the stuff of crime novels.

When she's not reading or writing, Clare enjoys drawing, cooking and trips to the Lake District. Closer to home, she loves wandering round the pubs, restaurants and galleries of Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and teenage daughters.

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