*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: A dangerous move…
Single mum and super sleuth, Beth Haldane, has been set her most daunting task yet by handsome cop boyfriend Inspector Harry York. He wants her to find them a new home – outside Dulwich! Beth can hardly bear the idea, so when a young estate agent turns up dead, she diverts her energies to nailing the killer instead.
As it turns out, more or less everyone in Dulwich who has ever moved house may have a motive. But do some of the richest residents have an even stronger reason to murder the agent than others? What on earth is up with Dr Grover, head of prestigious private school, Wyatt’s? Does Beth’s uber-mummy nemesis, Belinda MacKenzie, have more reason than usual to be swaggering about the village? And who is sending Beth sinister text messages?
Join Beth for her seventh thrilling adventure amid the mean streets of south London, in The Slayings in Sydenham!
Beth is back; terrorising the murderers of Dulwich (and surrounding areas), like a curious, tenacious Dartmoor pony.
Fans of Alice Castle’s London Murder Mysteries will already know the drill, as we are now on book 7, but for those new to the Dulwich scene, these books do stand fine alone but are an absolute pleasure when read in order, as it allows the characters to grow and develop.
Speaking of developing, I’m surprised poor Beth hasn’t developed an ulcer with everything she’s managed to bite off for herself in this instalment. She is juggling money troubles, trying to occasionally make an appearance at work, struggling to cope with Harry moving his large collection of crime fiction into her small home, and facing the reality of moving out of her beloved Pickwick Road. Oh, and also trying to solve yet another murder case! Dulwich life is never dull!
One of the things I love about this series, is that Beth remains an enthusiastic amateur, rather than hanging out her shingle as a Private Eye after her first dead body. This means that as well as the typical crime-solving investigation, we also get entertaining detours into every other aspect of her life: parenting, employment, social life, love life.
Speaking of Harry, another great aspect is his stubborn refusal to give Beth the inside info on his cases, despite being in a perfect position to feed her useful clues and give her access to suspects. Instead, he steadfastly does his job, professionally, and she is forced to fall back on her considerably ingenuity, resourcefulness and massive dollops of insatiable nosiness in order to get these cases solved. It makes for a much more engaging, realistic and, at times, amusing, read.
With a killer targeting estate agents, references to the real-life unsolved disappearance of an estate agent, and an errant husband (not Beth’s) prowling the nighttime streets, Beth really has her work cut out for her this time round. And that’s even before the ghastly Belinda MacKenzie reclassifies her as ‘useful’… maybe the killer isn’t the worst threat in town!
If you enjoy a well-written cosy mystery, with plenty of gentle humour and excellent character development, then this book – and this series – is just what you need. Grab yourself a cuppa builders, pull up a doggie footrest and enjoy!
She thought about it, even as she had a look at the really rather fine fireplace. One corner of her mind was musing on the moulded marble surround, the rest was acknowledging something even more weighty. It looked as though the universe, yet again, was foisting a corpse on her and more or less telling her it was her duty to set about solving the puzzle of why it had ended up where it had.
– Alice Castle, The Slayings in Sydenham
The Slayings in Sydenham releases on Amazon tomorrow (10th Dec), but you can preorder it right now!
Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Slayings in Sydenham (Open to UK and US Only)
*Terms and Conditions –US and UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour (see 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, Homicide in Herne Hill, Revenge on the Rye and The Body in Belair Park too!