*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, thinks she is going for a carefree stroll on Peckham Rye with her best friend, Katie, and her annoying new puppy, Teddy. But before she knows it, she is embroiled in her most perplexing mystery yet.
Strange events from her family’s past, present-day skulduggery in the art world, and the pressures of moving school in south London threaten to overwhelm Beth. Will she be able to piece together the puzzle before her son’s crucial interview at Wyatt’s? Or will Beth’s insatiable curiosity finally drag down all her dreams for the future?
Join Beth, her irascible on-off boyfriend, Detective Inspector Harry York of the Metropolitan Police, and the dog walkers of Peckham Rye in a tale of murder, mayhem – and bloody revenge.
This fifth book in The London Murder Mysteries series was definitely my favourite and functions perfectly well as a standalone, but I would personally recommend reading the series in order to get the ‘full Beth’ experience!
Here Alice Castle has found the perfect balance of Beth’s personal life as a single mum with a grumpy boyfriend, struggling with money, social life and raising her son in a small and relatively affluent community with her amateur detection sideline which is rapidly taking over her life (pushing her actual job far down the list of priorities!).
We see a lighter and more comfortable side to her relationships in this instalment than in previous, and Beth has found some ideal sidekicks in Katie, Colin and Teddy, who help to bring both humour and pathos and that extra bit of heart that had been slightly lacking in Beth’s lonely wanderings previously.
Of course, these books are murder mysteries so Beth yet again stumbles into a body (and why would that stretch credulity when you think about places like St Mary Mead or Midsomer?!). By now she has pretty much admitted to herself that she cannot resist a good old investigation and so she plunges right in with gusto and what passes for her as professionalism, much to DI Harry York’s great irritation… again.
This is a lovely, engaging and well-written cosy mystery series that is getting better with each book and I would recommend it to any fans of the genre.
Beth had astonished herself by bursting into noisy tears. She rarely cried, and then only if something really bad happened… like a friend getting murdered. Good news deserved a smile, not this storm of emotion. But a lot had happened in Dulwich in the past year. Maybe she was permitted a tiny wobble, she’d thought, as she blew her nose half an hour later and threw cold water on cheeks blotched with tears.
– Alice Castle, Revenge on the Rye
Revenge on the Rye is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour (poster below) for more great reviews and content, and go check out my reviews of Death in Dulwich, The Girl in the Gallery, Calamity in Camberwell and Homicide in Herne Hill too!