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by Allison & Busby 22 August 2019. ISBN: 978-0-74902433-8 (HB).
Secrets in the Cotswolds is the 17th book in the series
featuring house-sitter Thea Osbourne, now Thea Slocombe since her marriage to
undertaker Drew Slocombe.*
her marriage Thea has now abandoned her house-sitting career but finds herself
missing it. With Drew working Thea is struggling to keep her stepchildren
occupied during the long summer break, so, when Detective Superintendent Sonia
Gladwin, whom Thea has come to regard as a friend over the years that Thea has
stumbled upon dead bodies in the leafy Cotswolds villages she house-sits, asks
if she could help out her friend who needs someone to oversee the building work
she is having done to a house in the village of Barnsley, Thea jumps at the
chance, even though it will mean leaving her beloved spaniel Hepzie behind, as
the house owner has vetoed the presence of a dog owing to the building work.
Now a one car family, Thea finds herself on her first morning short on food and
transport. She sets out on foot to see what the village has to offer. After
scrambling over several stiles, She decides that with nothing to see but
wildflowers, brambles and bracken ahead of her she will turn for home. But
suddenly out of the dense undergrowth crawls a woman, of around her own
age.She is in disarray, clearly
frightened and not totally coherent.Although, possibly
Chinese, she speaks perfect English. She says her name is Grace and asks Thea
to help her.Despite her misgivings,
Thea offers her sanctuary for the night, only to find her dead the next
The local police only have one suspect and that is
Thea. With her friend Sonia busy with a huge investigation into the trafficking
of wild animals Theo has no help forthcoming from that direction.Her telephone calls home to Drew offer no
solution.He sounds to her ears ‘odd’.
But he and the children say everything is fine.So, Thea is on her own. With no car and knowing no one in the village,
and missing her companion Hepzie, Thea marshals what assets she has. Well, the
house maybe in a state, but it does have wi-fi.
And so, Thea sets out to discover what she can about Grace. As she investigates
the woman's background, she discovers many anomalies that do not tally with the things Grace told her.And maybe someone in the village knows
something, so Thea sets out to find out what?Of course, if someone does have something to hide maybe Thea should be
careful. After all, if Grace is dead then clearly whatever the secret is it’s
worth killing for, and it is said, when you have killed once the second time is
easy.A good village mystery. I do so
enjoy them. Recommended.
four books in the series featuring undertaker Drew Slocombe. Dark Undertakings (1999) Grave Concerns (2000), The Sting of Death (2002) and A Market for Murder (2003)
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