Genre: Cosy mystery
Publication Date: 26th August 2021
Publisher: Headline Accent
Standalone First Book in The Shires Mysteries series
Estimated Page Count – 240
When Sam Dee moves to the beautiful Wiltshire village of Bishops Well, he expects a quiet life of country walks and pub lunches. OK, so his new neighbour, Maggie Kaye, is a little peculiar, but she’s very nice – and his old pal Richard Ruta lives just down the road.
But when Richard throws one of his famous parties, things take a sinister turn. Sam, Maggie and the rest of the guests are dumbfounded when Richard falls down dead. A horrible tragedy – or a cunningly planned murder?
With a village full of suspects – and plenty of dark secrets – just who exactly would want to bump off their host? Is there a connection to another mysterious death, nearly twenty years before?
Armed with her local knowledge, Maggie – with Sam’s reluctant but indispensable help – is soon on the case. But when the body count starts to rise, will sleepy Bishops Well ever be the same again?
My Review of Death Comes to Bishops Well
Death Comes to Bishops Well is an entertaining mystery novel that takes an unusual turn at the end in the form of a foreign flavour. As can be expected from a cosy mystery, Bishops Well is a tiny village with a close-knit community where everybody knows everybody else’s business. Even so, its inhabitants have been able to keep damning secrets that are now threatening to spill out because someone is dead.
Sam, a retired lawyer, and his strange neighbour, Maggie, narrate the story alternately and give us a glimpse into the same scene from different viewpoints. Maggie is a delightful character – inquisitive and gossipy – who makes it her business to find out who is putting fear and mistrust into the hearts of people at Bishops Well. She often drags the unwilling Sam into her scrapes. She has a special gift that gives rise to many “oops” moments for her.
The story moves along at a steady pace and has many humorous moments until it takes a sorrowful, dark turn. The final few chapters speak of pain, abandonment, and tragedy. I was taken aback at the change in tone and setting.
Usually, the author hides the murderer in plain sight and sprinkles clues along the way. I admit I could not figure out any clues in this story. When the murderer was revealed, I was unprepared for it. I can’t help but say that I found it bit underwhelming, too.
I’ve read Anna Legat’s books previously and have always enjoyed her tightly-knit scenes and subtle humor. Death Comes to Bishops Well does have these qualities but I felt the way the story ended did not quite justify the tension built up in the beginning.
(I received an e-copy from Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources with a request for an honest review.)
About Anna Legat
Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
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