As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Point Blank, 6 June 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78607-560-4 (PB)
The Honourable Archibald Cooke Wellingham of Fontaburn
Hall, Norfolk sends out invitations to ten guests to attend a weekend of
cricket and dinner at the Hall. Susie Mahl, one of the invited guests is glad
to have an excuse for a break from drawing six of trainer Adrian McCann's racehorses
nearby and packs her bag with enthusiasm.
She is the last to arrive and when
the cricket finishes, she is introduced to all the other guests. The drinks
flow and everyone relaxes.
Dinner is served out on the terrace
and as the evening proceeds Susie detects a slight change in the previously
convivial atmosphere. She rather fancies herself as an amateur sleuth and
decides to try and find out what has caused it. At one o'clock in the morning
Susie makes for bed leaving some of the guests still drinking. She lays there
for a while trying to put her finger on the reason for the frosty change in the
air but decides to sleep on it.
At around 4 o'clock the burglar
alarm goes off. Everyone is ushered downstairs but suddenly there is a scream
and on rushing to the bedroom where it came from, they find one of the guests’
The police are called, and a
Detective Chief Inspector Reynolds arrives and interviews everyone in the
billiard room. They are all then allowed to go.
At first it is thought to be a
natural death, but Susie has her suspicions and talks it over with her doctor
boyfriend Toby. Together they wonder if the death was caused by poison as the
person died from kidney failure. Could it have been the ceps gathered locally,
that had been served as a starter at dinner? But then how come no one else was
The police have just about wrapped
the case up when Susie discovers something to make them change their minds. Is
she right? Is there more to the death than first seems apparent? Or is she
getting rather carried away with her interest in playing the amateur detective?
I really enjoyed this book with its
charming description of how “the other half live”. The characters come alive
and are very entertaining. I know it’s a story of an unexplained death, but it
remains a “gentle” and sometimes amusing book. I loved it.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Ali Carter was born in
Scotland in 1983. She read art history at St Andrews, followed by an eclectic
career before settling in for the long run as a fine artist. She specializes in
oil paintings from life with an emphasis on colour. Writing, walking and
cooking all accompany her painting. In 2016 Ali was
commissioned to write a trilogy of murder mystery novels for Point Blank, the
crime imprint of independent publisher Oneworld. The first, A Brush with
Death (2018), and the second of these, The Colours of Murder, featuring
amateur sleuth Susie Mahl, is just out. Ali lives in East Sussex with
her husband Sam.
I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I
play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is
cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for
plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots
of great new authors.