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Rough and Deadly by Paula Williams: a lively, clever mystery with a hint of menace

Rough And Deadly

Everyone knows Abe Compton’s Headbender cider is as rough as a cider can get. But is it deadly?

When self-styled ‘lady of the manor’, Margot Duckett-Trimble, announces she wouldn’t be seen dead drinking the stuff, who could have foreseen that, only a few days later, she’d be found, face down, in a vat of it?

Kat Latcham’s no stranger to murder. Indeed, the once ‘sleepy’ Somerset village of Much Winchmoor is fast gaining a reputation as the murder capital of the West Country and is ‘as sleepy as a kid on Christmas Eve’ when it’s discovered there’s a murderer running loose in the community again.

Kat has known Abe all her life, and she is sure that, although he had motive, he didn’t kill Margot. But as she investigates, the murderer strikes again. And the closer Kat gets to finding out who the real killer is, the closer to danger she becomes.

This second Much Winchmoor mystery is once again spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance – plus a cast of colourful characters, including a manic little dog called Prescott whose bite is definitely worse than his bark.

 

My review

This is a very entertaining and lively cosy mystery, but there is a more menacing thread of violence running through it too. However, the two elements of serious but slightly town-in-cheek murder and the secondary one of more realistic threat work well together in this author’s hands.

This is the second book about Kat, who’s moved back home after her city career crumbles. She does odd jobs and some reporting around Much Winchmoor, and keeps tuned in to all the gossip in her mother’s hair salon. However, don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book (Murder Served Cold) since this one works fine as a standalone. You quickly pick up all you need to know as the author deftly weaves in the essentials without them being intrusive.

Kat does tend to blunder in rather naively, but with the best of intentions. Fortunately there’s usually someone with a bit more sense to keep an eye on her! She’s a larger-than-life, lovely character, who takes life’s problems on the chin (work, mother and car troubles mainly) and never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. She’s helped and hindered by the eccentric and colourful residents of the village, both human and canine.

The writing flows and the plot is clever. This is the sort of book you just can’t put down once you start reading because it’s so enjoyable in every way.

Purchase Link

https://mybook.to/roughanddeadly

About the author

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years 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 started out writing fiction for women’s magazines (and still does) but has recently branched out into longer fiction. She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum.

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’.

Social Media Links –

Facebook.   https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author

Blog. paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Twitter. @paulawilliams44

Website.  paulawilliamswriter.co.uk