Orchard View by Deborah J Miles: daringly different and wonderfully enjoyable


Digging in the garden, builder and current owner, Bill Maynard, discovers some old bones. He worries that the discovery will upset his plans for renovating and selling the house.
Fortunately, his neighbour tells him the whole area was a burial site at the time of the Black Death and finding bones is commonplace. 
“Well, as they’re so old and the museums have enough bones already, I suppose we can ignore them. It’s not like there’s been a murder and we’ve just found the body,” he justified his decision. 
But had they?
His discovery sets off a chain of unfortunate events.

My review

It turns out those unfortunate events actually started long before he moved in…

We all know the saying “walls have ears”, meaning ‘be careful because someone might overhear you’. Well, in this very original book the walls of Orchard View really do hear what’s going on! Orchard View, the house built in the 1920s on the corner plot of Hazelhurst Avenue, is a character in this story. True, a background character, but none the less very much an active presence in this book. How clever is that!

Orchard View is about to be turned into flats by the new owner Bill Maynard. Etta, the neighbour, isn’t having that, and she’s someone who’s rather good at getting her way. Orchard View pins her hopes on her being successful, because she longs to be the home for a happy family again. She’s had some nice people beneath her roof, but some rather awful ones too, and she hides some very dark secrets. Will these be brought to light?

The author presents us with some wonderful characters, modern-day and from earlier decades, and most certainly an intriguing plot. Some quite dastardly deeds take place in this quiet, suburban spot.

Wonderful descriptive writing, with plenty sharp observation, accompanies punchy dialogue. Throughout there’s plenty of humour – much of it dark – and this makes it a totally enjoyable, engrossing read. I admire the author for daring to be different and pulling it off so triumphantly.

Buy the book here: https://amzn.to/2W2oFq6

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