A quiet English village where nothing ever happens. Until…..
After her boyfriend runs out on her with the contents of their joint bank account, Kat Latcham has no choice but to return to the tiny Somerset village of Much Winchmoor where she grew up. A place, she reckons, that is not so much sleepy as comatose and she longs for something to happen to lessen the boredom of living with her parents.
But when she and her childhood friend, Will Manning, discover a body and Will’s father, John, is arrested for the murder, Kat suddenly realises that she should have heeded the saying “Be careful what you wish for”.
Much Winchmoor is a hotbed of gossip and everyone is convinced John Manning is guilty. Only Kat and Will believe he’s innocent. When there’s a second murder Kat is sure she knows the identity of the murderer – and set out to prove it. But in doing so she almost becomes the murderer’s third victim.
Readers of Sue Grafton might enjoy the Much Winchmoor series of cosy murder mysteries spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance.
This is a fast-paced, enjoyable cosy with an added splash of romance – definitely my favourite combination in a book! Kat makes for a lively and very likeable heroine. We really feel for her, forced to return to the mothership for a while and, in so doing, having to relinquish some of her independence. It also means she’ll run into a few people she’d far rather avoid…
Kat sets to and makes the best of things. She helps her mum in her hair salon at first, but then, thankfully for her sanity, gets another job helping out in the local pub. This is what puts her into close contact with what turn out to be some rather dangerous people.
We get a nice portrait of village life in the novel, and the way that everyone knows everyone else, the petty and more serious rivalries, the different personalities. It mays seem stereotypical to have a village busybody, but if you’ve ever lived in a rural setting then you’ll know these people are real! Folk really do talk about each other and it’s a major source of interest what neighbours get up to. Kat uses this knowledge as she begins her hunt for the real killer out there. She’s courageous, but a bit foolhardy at times, but then she’s only human and she’s the sort of person who’ll always give her all.
Paula Williams has a sharp eye for detail, and especially quirks. Her characters all come with foibles and that’s what makes them so real and interesting. The settings are atmospheric, from the bustling, gossipy hair salon to the cosy pub to the strained parish council meetings.
Loads to enjoy in this impressive start of a series.
Purchase Link – mybook.to/murderservedcold
About the author
Paula Williams is living her dream. She has written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it is only in recent years, when she turned her attention to writing short stories and serials for women’s magazines that she discovered, to her surprise, that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.
Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She still writes for magazines but also now writes novels. A member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association, her novels often feature a murder or two, and are always sprinkled with humour and spiced with a touch of romance.
She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazine, Writers’ Forum, and has a blog at paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com. Her Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author . And she tweets at @paulawilliams44.
Not only that, but when she’s not writing, she’s either tutoring, leading writing workshops or giving talks on writing at writing festivals and conferences and to organised groups. She’s appeared several times on local radio – in fact, she’ll talk about writing to anyone who’ll stand still long enough to listen.
But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.
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