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Monday, 7 August 2017

‘The Bowness Bequest’ by Rebecca Tope

Published by Allison & Busby,
18 May 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-74902-107-8

Fans of Rebecca Tope know that what they get in her books is a lot of character and this very readable novel didn’t disappoint. Much more than a crime novel, the focus was on several themes; how contemporary encounters and experiences can both change how past relationships are perceived and shed new light on them; and how the sins of the fathers affect the children in ways that couldn’t have been guessed. I enjoyed both these aspects and found them illuminating.

The characters were interesting and I particularly liked Simmy, the main protagonist. Also Bonnie, Ben and Moxo, who had obviously appeared in previous books in this series, books that I’ve not read. We were given plenty of information about them, and hints about their past adventures. These character's came over strongly, taking active roles in the story.

Although the storyline developed slowly, it was enjoyable, and the solution was credible, too. Cosy this novel certainly is, and aficionados of that style will find much to admire.

The setting was terrific. I am quite familiar with Bowness, Windermere, Troutbeck and the surrounding area and it was a pleasure to be transported to those lovely places, which are described deftly. The author has obviously researched the area well and her fondness for it came over nicely. I also enjoyed the fact that Simmy runs a flower shop. Aspects of her business, and the other Lake District businesses we get glimpses of too, an auction house and a B&B, contributed to the readability, as did the romance element which helped me to empathise with the heroine and root for her success.
Reviewer: Dea Parkin

Rebecca Tope is the author of four popular murder mystery series, featuring Den Cooper, Devon police detective, Drew Slocombe, Undertaker, Thea Osborne, house sitter in the Cotswolds, and more recently Persimmon (Simmy) Brown, a florist. Rebecca grew up on farms, first in Cheshire then in Devon, and now lives in rural Herefordshire on a smallholding situated close to the beautiful Black Mountains.  Besides "ghost writer" of the novels based on the ITV series Rosemary and Thyme. Rebecca is also the proprietor of a small press - Praxis Books. This was established in 1992

Dea Parkin is an editor with her consultancy Fiction Feedback and is also Secretary of the Crime Writers’ Association. She writes poetry and occasionally re-engages with The Novel. When she isn't editing, managing or writing she is usually to be found on the tennis court – or following the international tour at home on TV. Usually with several books on the go, she entertains a penchant for crime fiction, history, and novels with a mystical edge. She is engaged in a continual struggle to find space for bookshelves and time for her friends and her cat.

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