19 July 2018.
Life gets even more fraught when the body of a young woman is found in the burial grounds. Who would want to murder Juliet? Everyone appeared to like the young woman with learning difficulties always ready to help everyone. Thea is drawn into investigation encouraged by the detective in charge of the case.
Still adjusting to her newly married status including coping with her two young step-children doesn’t come easily to Thea. She misses the adventures she experienced in her old life as a house-sitter. As if all this was not enough to have to deal with, the manager of Drew’s other natural burial in Somerset decides to retire leaving him uncertain what to do about the future. The prospect of leaving her beloved Cotswolds and moving to Somerset fills Thea with dread, but feels she must not influence Drew’s decision.
Crisis in the Cotswold is the sixteenth novel in this series though I must confess this is the first that I have read. I enjoyed the setting and learning about natural burials. The complex plot strands eventually pull together and keep the reader turning the page. What I found the most impressive feature of the writer’s skills was the characterisation. Despite a relatively large cast, each character was fully rounded and convincing to the point that there was no confusion as to who was who as happens so often in many of the novels I’ve read recently. (I do hate having to flick back through the pages to work out minor characters!) Thea is a feisty, resourceful woman who, despite her admirable qualities, is far from perfect which makes her all the more believable.
Reviewer: Judith Cranswick