Murder at Primrose Cottage
By Merryn Allingham
What it’s about?
Join Flora Steele – bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, daydreamer and amateur detective – in her quest to solve a brand-new murder mystery!
Cornwall, 1956: When Flora Steele sets off for a peaceful vacation with crime writer Jack Carrington in his little red Austin, the last thing she expects to find is a body at their pretty rental cottage!
Shocked by the discovery, inquisitive Flora joins forces with handsome Jack to find out how the poor man came to such an untimely end in the overgrown orchard of Primrose Cottage. They discover Roger Gifford was a man with plenty of friends and the villagers seem devastated by his sudden death…
So why was he murdered? And who has blood on their hands – his estranged wife Beatrice, his wayward younger brother Lionel, or the suspicious newcomer Mercy Dearlove?
The baffling case gets even more complicated when a second man is found dead and a set of puzzling clues lead them to an intriguing wartime mystery connected to Jack’s estranged father.
As old secrets emerge and Jack receives an unsettling letter, it seems the crime writer is in danger of a fate befitting his fictional characters. Will Flora be able to crack the case and save Jack? Or will this be one murder too many for Flora Steele?
What I think?
I really enjoyed The Bookshop Murder, the first in the Flora Steele series, last year.
Book 3 is just what you would expect from a period cosy mystery.
Flora and Jack have headed to Cornwall to research Jack’s next novel. Before they even leave for Primrose Cottage, Jack receives a letter warning them off.
Barely 24 hours into their trip, and Flora finds the body of their landlord, murdered in the Orchard at the back of the cottage.
There are plenty of suspects – estranged wives, greedy relatives and some mysterious research into local history that may have uncovered some dark secrets. There’s even a local witch and Flora has to decide if she is a help or a hindrance.
I found the Cornish backdrop quite nostalgic as I visited a lot of the locations in the book during my childhood. Mullion Cove especially was a great location. I found the details about the role Cornish villages played in WW2 really interesting.
Flora and Jack’s relationship is continuing to develop and I will be very interested to see how it develops in the further. There were definitely moments when they seemed closer. Flora is so good at reading Jack’s moods and Jack is so patient with headstrong Flora, they are clearly perfect for each other.
This is a great cosy mystery series!
Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for my advanced copy of Murder at Primrose Cottage