Meet Eve Mallow: an American far from home, a professional busybody… and an amateur detective?
Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. But it turns out that Bernard’s life was much less interesting than his death. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?
As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?
Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she’s met must be the murderer. She has never done any detective work before… but is there something in her notes that can crack the case?
The first installment in the Eve Mallow series, Mystery on Hidden Lane is a fun read to lose yourself in, while curled up in bed with a nice cuppa and some digestive biscuits. This Aussie girl is fast becoming a Brit and that suits me just fine! I was lost in the moment, caught up in the goings-on in the village of Saxford St Peter and felt that I was there alongside Eve and her beautiful dachshund Gus and read this in one sitting.
Clare has crafted a plot that sees obituary writer Eve Mallow head to the village of Saxford St Peter to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick after his death. It appears to be straightforward, but when she arrives, the town is abuzz with the news that the cause of death of Bernard Fitzpatrick was not of natural causes but was indeed murder! As Eve learns more about Bernard and the villager’s dislike of him, it soon becomes apparent that one of the townsfolk may have something to do with his murder.
I really enjoyed the character of Eve Mallow. It was nice to read a story where the main protagonist did not have anything to do with the police. Don’t get me wrong, I love police procedurals, but this was a refreshing change. I look forward to reading more of her in future books. Being the fanatical dog lover that I am, it goes without saying that Gus stole my heart and was the perfect companion for Eve. The secondary characters that are made up of the villagers were all extremely well written and brought the town to life beautifully.
I love the ease of Clare’s writing style. I found it to be engaging, emotive and descriptive which for me was perfect as Clare laid the foundation for this new series. Mystery on Hidden Lane is a great cozy mystery with some fantastic twists that are all wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion.
It was an absolute pleasure to be able to read and review Mystery on Hidden Lane which I highly recommend and is definitely a contender for my best books of 2020 (If all you authors keep delivering such amazing material this year, my top 20 is going to look a lot more like a top 100!).
Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Clare Chase for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mystery on Hidden Lane, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play and Barnes & Noble if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.