Publication date: 11 November, 2021
Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3BJyYn1
Standalone Eighth Book in Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries
The Brand NEW instalment in the bestselling Exham-on-Sea series.
The Exham-on-Sea’s History Society’s annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey.
Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest’s reservations.
Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she’s no fan of the supernatural and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt.
Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth-century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.
With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger.
There’s no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.
Murder at the Abbey is the eighth in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries from the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.
My Review of Murder at the Abbey
I’ve had the good fortune to read a previous book by Frances Evesham, A Village Murder, so I was eagerly looking forward to this one.
What does a sixteen-century dead monk have to do with attempted murder at Cleeve Abbey? That’s what private investigators, Max and Libby, want to find out.
The delightfully eccentric group of people who make up Exham-on-Sea’s History Society inject some excitement into the quiet village when they chance upon a historical find.
From then onwards, it’s a heady mix of archaeology, history, and even some paranormal investigations. I loved every bit of it. It was deeply interesting to learn about Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in England using the Court of Augmentations, driving monks out of their homes in the process.
The author has put in extensive research not only into the historical background of the story and how archaeological finds are interpreted but also into the intricacies of human psychology and behavior.
Also, the book casts aside the typical notions of people over 40 as old and infirm and instead portrays them as full of life, curious, and raring to seize every opportunity they get to do interesting things. I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the young and not-so-young couples in the story, and I feel that youth may not be as great an advantage as people think.
Of course, a book that has not one but two dogs in it cannot be anything less than fun. The adorable creatures play their own important part in solving the mystery of the murder at the abbey.
Overall, Murder at the Abbey is an interesting crime story written beautifully, portraying various facets of human emotions and motivations.
(I received a free e-copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources with a request for an honest review.)
About Frances Evesham
Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. Boldwood has republished the complete series. Frances has also started a new cosy crime series set in rural Herefordshire, the first of which was published in June 2020.
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