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Sunday, 3 July 2011
‘Deception in the Cotswolds’ by Rebecca Tope
When next day Donny walks up from the lodge for his coffee, she is delighted to find that he is an interesting man, clearly not well, but a good conversationalist and Thea, as she readily admits, is a nosy parker. Donny tells her that he is looked after by his daughter Jemima, who comes in daily. He has a lady friend Edwina Satterthwaite, but she is away visiting relatives at the moment. Donny’s wife Janet, she learns is in a nursing home, visited only, she later learns, by his late daughter Cecilia’s husband Toby, which she finds a little strange.
But as in all classic English villages unexpected death lurks, and Cranham is no exception. Unfortunately, Thea’s reputation for being involved in murderous incidents has spread, and soon she in drawn into the darker side of Cranham.
The strength of this book lies in the fascinating characters, and the wonderful descriptions of the Cotswold countryside as Thea takes Hepzie for her daily walks. As in A Grave in the Cotswolds, Undertaker Drew Slocombe makes an appearance, as he is still pursuing a possible burial ground in Broad Camden, but as he tells Thea, his partner Maggs is against it, and his wife Karen cannot handle any major decisions since her injury which has so changed her personality.
This is an interesting book dealing with the pros and cons of a topical dilemma, and whilst the mystery is resolved, the ending leaves this reader hungry for the next instalment in this acclaimed series.
Rebecca is also the proprietor of a smalll press - Praxis book. This was established in 1992.