Thanks for stopping by! I’m delighted to be sharing my review for Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts as part of the blog tour today. I’ve also included this book in my 20 books of summer challenge. This being book eighteen. With thanks to Sarah at Bookouture for the invite to join the tour and for my copy via Netgalley. First things first let’s take a look at the description for the book…
Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?
Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.
Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…
Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?
A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!
Murder in the Village was a story that I easily found myself caught up in. I really enjoyed the setting of Little Challham, a small village that Harry Powell has just moved to. You might be forgiven for thinking it would be a quiet place to live. However it isn’t long before there are a series of disturbing events including dognappings and the death of pub landlord, Tipper.
The characters were a highlight for me. Belinda is a great character, she’s both determined and speaks her mind. Along with having a definite air of mischief about her. I thought this gave her character a more rounded and realistic feel. Harry was pretty loveable and I was thoroughly entertained by his interactions with Belinda. Especially as he was expecting to enjoy his retirement from the police until he finds himself tentatively teaming up with Belinda. There is a hint of romance woven into the story but nothing overpowering. Just there in the background adding an extra special layer of charm. There were enough characters or should I say suspects included in this book. Perfectly placed to provide suspicion but not too many that I felt overwhelmed with remembering who was who. I really enjoyed trying to play detective although admittedly not very well.
I do love a cosy mystery and Murder in the Village is a great example of how well they can work. I couldn’t help but smile at Belinda and Harry’s conversations. The way they are pretty opposite in personalities but equally determined to work together to figure it all out. I really enjoyed tagging along and playing detective with them. Murder in the Village is an engaging, fun and brilliant start to a new series. I can’t wait to catch up with Belinda and Harry along with the rest of Little Challham’s quirky inhabitants in book two!
Lisa Cutts is a full-time detective constable investigating murders for a living. When off duty she writes a fictitious version of her day job. She lives and works within the county of Kent with her husband and Labrador.
She is the author of the DC Nina Foster books, Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Never Forgot was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award 2013 and the winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award 2014 for Best Thriller. She has also written four books in the East Rise Incident Room series, Mercy Killing, Buried Secrets, Lost Lives and Don’t Trust Him. All four centre around DI Harry Powell and his Major Crime Team battling to solve the latest murders within the county. Currently she is writing the Little Challham mysteries, cosy mysteries set in a fictional village in Kent.
She writes a monthly column, Behind the Tape, for Writing Magazine answering police procedural questions from other writers. In early 2016, she was honoured to become the Patron of Rochester Literature Festival and help establish Murderous Medway, an annual crime fiction festival packed full of amazing author panels. As well as being on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Lisa has twice appeared on This Morning to chat about TV crime dramas Broadchurch and Line of Duty.