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Monday, 25 November 2019

‘Murder by the Minster’ by Helen Cox

Published by Quercus,
31 October 2019.  
ISBN 978-1-52940-220-9 (PBO)

Kitt Hartley is a librarian at the Vale of York University who has a temper that she must keep under control.  She can cope with the eccentrics who visit the library but is easily riled by the questions asked by some library patrons.  However, she forgets these pinpricks when her best friend, Evie Bowes is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend.  The investigating officer, DI Halloran, seems disinclined to believe Evie’s alibi which was that she spent the night at Katt’s place.

Kitt has an investigative streak so she sets off to exonerate Evie.   Her conversation and inner musings are frequently enlivened by her memories of mystery novels that she has read.   Her library assistant, Grace, assists in Katt’s efforts too - mainly by investigating online.  Katt manages to reach several relevant witnesses before the police which does not really endear her to the investigating officers.

Other events complicate the story as other individuals are involved but Katt pursues the exonerating of Evie with steely determination allowing her own private life to be put on hold.  The finale is thrilling and well developed.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is Helen’s first cosy crime fiction book, but she has written non-fiction and romance.  A second adventure for Kitt has already appeared.

Helen Cox is a Yorkshire-born novelist and poet. After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen wrote for a range of magazines and websites as well as for TV and radio news. Helen has edited her own independent film magazine and penned three non-fiction books. Her first two novels were published by HarperCollins in 2016. She currently hosts The Poetrygram podcast and works for City Lit, London. Helen’s new series of cosy mysteries stars librarian-turned-sleuth Kitt Hartley and is set in York.                        

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries. 

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