On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in the Belinda Penshurst series by Lisa Cutts, Murder at the Castle.
When the star guest collapses at a wine tasting, it seems someone has a taste for murder. Fortunately, amateur sleuth Belinda Penshurst was at the event – and now she’s on the case!
Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, and its charming, peaceful ways. So when wine critic Sadie Oppenshaw dies at a tasting Belinda organised, she immediately turns detective to uncover the poisoner…
Accompanied by retired detective Harry Powell and her boisterous Labrador Horatio, Belinda sets out to investigate the world of wine. There are scandals brewing everywhere… but do the local DIY enthusiasts have a deadly vendetta, or did Sadie’s reviews cause a resentful restaurant owner to kill?
When another of the guests at the wine tasting is found poisoned, it becomes clear the killer is only just getting started. Can Belinda crack the case and open the champagne, before the murderer catches up with her?
I’m really enjoying this series by Lisa Cutts. Belinda Penshurst and former cop Harry Powell are back with another intriguing mystery to solve. At a wine tasting event at Belinda’s home, famous wine critic, Sadie Oppenshaw, ends up dead, speculating concerns that she has been murdered. Belinda wastes no time in dragging Harry into the case with her again. Once again she is determined to solve the mystery and catch the killer.
I really grew to like Belinda and Harry in the first book in this series, and I really enjoyed catching up with them again in Murder at the Castle. The castle provides a splendid location for a murder scene, and it adds to the sense of mystery. This is Belinda’s home, and I wanted to find out who had managed to gain access and murder Sadie. Was it someone who had been invited to the wine tasting? Someone who Belinda knows? It becomes clear, that through Sadie’s profession, she has garnered a few enemies, and I was wondering if any of them would go out of their way to murder her. Belinda and Harry certainly aren’t short of a list of suspects to investigate. Lisa Cutts certainly doesn’t make it easy for the reader to work out who was behind the murder.
Lisa Cutts also explores Belinda and Harry’s relationship further in this book. Belinda has a lot of self-confidence and isn’t afraid to go after potential suspects, and investigate leads on her own. I also really like the humour that there is between them, and especially Harry’s dry wit, which had me laughing out loud in some places as I was reading. In some places his humour does begin to get on Belinda’s nerves, and this does create a little bit of tension between them.
I’m still not quite sure where Belinda and Harry’s relationship will go next. There is definitely an attraction there between them, so I’m interested to see where Lisa Cutts takes this further.
This is a series I’m sure I will keep coming back to. I love Belinda and Harry, and I can’t wait to see what Lisa Cutts has in store for them next. If you’re a fan of cosy crime, then you really must give these books a go.
Publication date: 8th December 2021
Print length: 274 pages
Murder at the Castle is available to buy: