Murder at Abbeymead Farm
By Merryn Allingham
What it’s about?
Amateur detective duo Flora Steele and Jack Carrington have gained a reputation for crime-solving. But will they be able to untangle the latest baffling murder in the cosy village of Abbeymead?
Sussex, 1957: When Flora and Jack hear that Percy Milburn – a newcomer to the area who has ruffled more than a few feathers with his grand plans for modernising Abbeymead – is missing, they’re determined to find him. But after scouring the village, Flora is shocked to discover the body of the poor man in the cellar of a crumbling farmhouse.
Percy’s murder is tragic but not unexpected, as his ambition had made him many enemies within the small, rural community. Flora and Jack get stuck into the case, but they’re sent on a wild goose chase around the village. Whoever is behind the death has taken careful steps to cover their tracks…
Was it Miss Minnie Howden, the nervous housekeeper who loved Percy? Sir Frederick Neville, the owner of the farm Percy was trying to buy? Or Colin Palmer, made rich by Percy’s death? Did any of the suspects dislike Percy enough to end his life?
The amateur detective duo finds themselves outfoxed at every turn, unable to find any concrete clues. When their prime suspect is murdered, Flora and Jack have their work cut out to find the culprit. But the clever killer has pulled the wool over their eyes and is reeling them ever nearer to danger.
Will this case finally bring Flora and Jack closer together? And can they unravel the mystery before they’re led like lambs to the slaughter?
A completely addictive cozy crime novel set in the fictional Sussex village of Abbeymead. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis!
What I think:
This is such a great series and an auto-read for me.
The writer has created a whole world in 1950s Abbeymead with Flora Sreele and The End’s Well bookshop at its centre.
Times are starting to change in Abbeymead. With old farming families dying and land being sold off, the village and surrounding areas are starting be developed. But not everyone is happy about the changes.
Percy Milburn is new to the village and looking to turn a local farm into a new holiday hostel. He’s due to attend a meeting for local residents to gain support for his proposal, but he doesn’t turn up.
When his body is discovered, Flora and Jack set out to find out who is responsible. There are no shortage of suspects as Percy was not a very popular man, and lots of other people wanted to get their hands on the farm.
There are lots of threads to this story – plenty of red herrings and twists and turns to keep you guessing. Flora and Jack have definitely got their work cut out for them this time.
I had a suspicion of who it might be but couldn’t work out why or even really how until it all came together at the end
Flora is also struggling with some aspects of her personal life. She loves Jack but definitely isn’t ready for marriage, and with her friend Kate planning their own wedding, romance is definitely in the air. Flora finds herself wrestling with her own feelings so she can support her friend.
If you like cosy mysteries with a vintage setting, I can not recommend this series highly enough. I have enjoyed every book so far, and it’s great to see how the relationships between the characters develop.
About the author:
Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.
Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.
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Thank you to Bookoutre for my gifted digital copy of Murder at Abbeymead Farm and for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.