Meet Julia Bird: recently single, reluctantly retired, and… an amateur sleuth?
Julia Bird has left London for a fresh start in a picturesque Cotswolds village, and the rustic charm and cosy fireplaces of her little cottage are everything she’d hoped for. But when she tears down the old garden shed to make way for a chicken coop, she unearths much more than she’d bargained for… the body of a young woman, apparently buried for decades, thrusting Julia into a baffling mystery.
With only one copper on the case in Berrywick, Julia decides to solve the who and whodunnit herself, taking her wayward puppy Jake along for the ride. And so begins a whirlwind tour of the village – from the dotty 90-year-old to the delightful doctor and the village gardener, it seems everyone has something to hide.
Soon, Julia is convinced she has discovered the killer’s identity, until Jake, a true Labrador, finds a new love of the local lake’s waterfowl and instead ends up catching her chief suspect… drowned. Back at square one, with potential culprits galore, Julia – newly nicknamed the Grim Reaper – despairs at ever solving the murders.
But as Julia ruffles feathers village-wide, the clock is ticking. There is someone in the village who has killed twice already. Will they be prepared to make it third time lucky to keep their secret safe?
This totally addictive page-turning cozy mystery is perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton, Faith Martin and Betty Rowlands.
Listen to a sample here:
You can sign up for all the best Bookouture deals
Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats.
Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Katie Gayle here
My thoughts: this was a fun murder mystery set in a small English village where everyone knows each other but didn’t know there’s a killer in their midst. Julia’s a new arrival and her decision to get chickens and knock down the old shed in her garden uncovers human remains, sparking off a series of terrible events.
As she starts her own investigation, passing on her finds to the police, someone takes matters into their own hands and Julia is determined to find out who.
I liked Julia, she was very entertaining, and her out of control dog, her neighbours and of course the detective constable who actually lets her help rather than tells her to back off.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my