Julia Bird’s picturesque Cotswolds life is everything she’d dreamed of. Until, that is, she discovers a dead body in the library…
Julia Bird had imagined the quiet of rural life would be soothing after years in the city, but she finds she can’t just sit still.Determined to throw herself into village activities, she joins the library just in time to attend a talk by celebrated local author Vincent Andrews.
Charming, devilishly handsome and talented, Vincent teases the crowd with a reading from his forthcoming novel. Set in a village bearing strange similarities to Berrywick, with characters the audience start to recognise, Vincent hints of dark secrets to be revealed, to gasps of outrage from the room. The meeting ends in uproar, and, just hours later, Vincent’s dead body is discovered behind the bookshelves…
As one of the last people to see him alive, Julia feels morally bound to help the police investigate. With her trusty Labrador, Jake, at her side, she decides to do her own sleuthing and quickly discovers that Vincent’s personal life is messy, his finances are in disarray and his book sales are declining. But most of all, remembering her neighbours’ faces at the book reading, Julia wonders if one of them could have lost the plot enough to kill…
As Julia interrogates the suspects, she walks straight into another scene of murder and mayhem, and realises Vincent’s manuscript is now missing. There’s someone out there who’s deadly serious about keeping their secrets unpublished. Will Julia be able to stop them, before anyone else gets hurt?
Brilliantly twisty, this completely thrilling cozy mystery is perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton, Helena Marchmont and Clare Chase.
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. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.
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My thoughts: this series is shaping up to be lots of fun as Julia Bird finds another dead body, this time in the shape of local author VF Andrews, in the local library.
Teaming up with her doctor beau Sean, and the local police detective, she’s soon on the case of a missing manuscript and the author’s slightly dodgy dealings.
As always Julia’s quick mind and understanding of people help her untangle the leads and follow the clues to find the culprit and solve the mystery of the author’s books, why was the latest one so bad? With Jake the naughty labrador at her heels, this is a great, fun comedy caper.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.