Author: G.M Malliet
Format: Digital ARC, 360 pages
Publication Details: October 8th 2017 by Midnight Ink
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free, advanced copy in exchange for an HONEST review.
From award winner G.M. Malliet, a tale of murder in the haunts of England’s privileged
Weycombe is the chocolate-box village of everyone’s dreams. For American Jillian White, a gated life of pleasure and comfort with her titled English husband was a fantasy come true.
But the murder of a local estate agent mars the village’s so-pretty surface. Are people actually dying to live in Weycombe? Jill investigates, piecing together clues along the snaking paths and winding lanes of her adopted village. She knows truth has many versions, depending on who is doing the telling. And that few can be trusted in Weycombe, where nothing is as perfect as it seems.
I was completely in the mood for a nice cozy mystery in a luxurious setting when I picked up this book last weekend, and I got it in spades.
Weycombe is a place where people dream of living; a beautiful, idyllic village running along the river Thames where houses can only be afforded by the mega rich. It’s also a place where everybody knows everybody’s business, and if they don’t, they do their best to find out! This turns out to be a bit of a problem when one of the villagers, the incomparable Anna is found lying dead in her brand new running shoes. Village gossip has just been kicked up a notch.
Our protagonist is Jillian, an American, the forever ‘outsider’, who is in a failing, loveless marriage and out of work. Jillian is the one who discovers the body, and needing something to occupy her, she takes it upon herself to find out as much as she can about Anna’s secretive life, and the mystery of her death.
I really enjoyed this book, but it won’t be for everyone. It’s quite a traditional, ‘old school’ type mystery that unfolds very slowly. At first, I enjoyed the slow pace of it – perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon – but at some points I did drift away from the story and wished there was more to keep me focused.
Weycombe is a good whodunnit. The large cast of characters are interesting, and all have different secrets and flaws. It kept me guessing just enough, but it was a bit of a struggle to get to the end to be honest.
The main thing I loved was the setting. I’m intrigued by the dynamics and social politics of village life, which always works great for a murky mystery.
The main thing that didn’t work for me, however, was Jillian. I could relate to parts of her character, but I never fully warmed to her. And I thought the link between her being unhappy (and not having much going on in life at that moment) and her deciding to investigate a murder was a bit of a stretch. Her background of working in media seemed to be the author’s reason behind her thinking she was qualified to act detective. Hmm. I know that regular folk sticking their noses into an investigation is a common thing in mysteries, but it didn’t feel very genuine on this occasion.
Overall, Weycombe is a classic murder mystery with lots of intrigue. If you’re looking for a gentle whodunnit to while away the weekend, give it a try!