By Emma Dakin
Claire Barclay, tour guide, lives in a semi-detached house in Ashton-on-Tinch in the country of Hampshire, England. Patrick and Rita Stonning, Claire’s neighbors, dash down from London on weekends to host loud parties. They work in a publishing house and use their Hampshire home as a break from big city stress. The next morning Patrick arrives at Claire’s door distraught, reporting one of his guests dead. Claire discovers that not only is he dead, he’s been murdered. Patrick is accused of the murder and has enough motive to satisfy the police. Unknown to Patrick, his wife, Rita, also has a motive. As did many of his colleagues and acquaintances. Oliver Nott was an unpleasant man. He was a novelist who wrote mysteries set in Cornwall and who had planned to take his lucrative contracts to a competing company. His latest book dealt with smuggling in the caves of Cornwall. The police, including D.I. Mark Evans from the newly formed Integrated Homicide Task Force, wonder if he learned too much from his research. Claire takes her tourists to the Cornwall coast in search of sites of mystery novels. Her tourists should be free from suspicion but one of them knew Oliver Nott very well, and hated him. Claire finds herself in the middle of the investigation by her very good friend, Detective Inspector Mark Evans, and the protestations of innocence from her tourists. Some of her guests are fascinated by the murder and treat it as a story line. This causes Claire more concern. She asks Patrick to appear as a guest lecture in the library in Penzance, Cornwall to talk about mystery novels. Claire finds Patrick self-aggrandizing and arrogant but doesn’t agree he would murder and sets out to find the one responsible.
This is the view from the Minack theatre, Conrwall.
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About Crime in Cornwall
Patrick and Rita Stonning, Claire’s neighbors in Ashton-on-Tinch, dash down from London on weekends to host loud parties. They work in a publishing house and use their Ashton semi-detached home as a break from big city stress. Patrick arrives at Claire’s door distraught, reporting one of his partygoers, Olive Nott a best-selling author, dead. Claire discovers that not only is he dead, he’s been murdered. Patrick is suspected of the murder and has enough motive to satisfy the police. Nott wrote mysteries set in Cornwall and had planned to take his lucrative contracts to a competing company. His latest book dealt with smuggling in the caves of Cornwall. The police, including DI Mark Evans from the newly formed Major investigations Team wonder if he learned too much from his research. Claire takes her six tourists, most from America, to the Cornwall coast in search of sites of mystery novels and hears the opinions of the Cornish people on smuggling. She asks Patrick to meet her in Penzance to give a guest lecture on the smuggling in Oliver Nott’s novels. Claire finds Patrick self-aggrandizing and arrogant but doesn’t agree he would murder and sets out to find the one responsible.
Claire Barclay is enthusiastic about her British Mystery Book Tour business. She enjoys taking her guests, usually from America, to the settings of mystery novels where bodies are long dead. Her neighbor's plea for help to deal with a recently murdered well-known author unsettles her. She leaves the body to the police and takes her guests to Cornwall, including a British tourist who far is too interested in the dead author.
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.
England anyone? We meet Claire who runs a British book tour company where she takes tourists on a trip to specific spots in England where authors base their stories in. This trip focuses mostly on Cornwall. Before she gets started though her neighbor throws a loud party that ends with a dead author being found in the morning. Needing support Patrick asks Claire to come over before calling the police. The man she is dating just happens to be called to investigate. Since the author based his newest book in Cornwall dealing with smuggling he asks her to look into local gossip to see what can be learned as she leads her tour group. I must say this makes for a different type of mystery as we go on tour with them. It sounds like a fun trip and I fell like I went as well since it is all described so nicely. Quite the eclectic group though as they all try to mesh together. Leads to a nice twists at the end when the bad guy is discovered. This all combines into a well written story that takes you on a nice trip full of different characters with lots of secrets. Makes for nice English adventure that cozy fans are sure to enjoy. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
About Emma Dakin
Emma Dakin lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She has over twenty-five trade published books of mystery and adventure for teens and middle-grade children and non-fiction for teens and adults. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to cozy mysteries now keep her writing about characters who live and work in those villages. She introduces readers to the problems that disturb that idyllic setting.