Source: Review Copy
Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane is forced to become Dulwich’s answer to Miss Marple when she stumbles over a murder victim on her first day at work.
To clear her name, Beth is plunged into a cozy mystery that’s a contemporary twist on Golden Age crime classics. But can she pull it off? She already has a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of SE21.
Join Beth in #1 of the London Murder Mystery series, as she discovers the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.
Death in Dulwich was a gem of a book. I haven’t read many cosy crime novels, which is the genre this book falls into the category of, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I became wrapped up in the mystery within the pages.
We meet Beth who has just taken on a new role at a very prestigious school in her local area, many of its students go on to attend top universities and so places at the school are highly sought after. Beth is charged with looking after the archive office but her day doesn’t get off to a very good start when she finds the body of her boss, Dr Alan Jenkins, round by the bins. You can imagine how this must look, Beth has just started there that day, and the school has never experienced anything like it. So Beth sets out to try and clear her name from the pathway of suspicion and find out who murdered her boss.
Death in Dulwich has a very Agatha Christie feel to it. You get the sense that the staff at the school are all under suspicion and I enjoyed trying to work out if it was any of them who committed the crime and what the possible motives could be. There are plenty of red herrings along the way as the author encourages you to look in a different direction. Alice captures Beth’s worry and fear well in her writing; this is when she fears that she might be implicated in the crime.
We do also get to know the police officer investigating the case, but it was Beth’s own investigation into the murder that intrigued me. As she became more involved in the mystery, I was worried that she was going to put herself in a more difficult situation and that her activities would be highlighted by the police officer in charge of the case. But I did also wonder, as she was a member of staff and not a police office, if she would uncover more facts than them and possibly get to the truth first. You shall have to read the book to find out yourself if Beth manages to crack the case.
This was a book that really surprised me. I thought that Alice’s writing was utterly immersive and I was absorbed by the plot and the lives of her characters until the final page. They all keep you guessing as you look for clues in the plot. This definitely comes recommended from me, particularly for fans of cosy crime. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Publication date: 6th September 2017
Print length: 219 pages
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