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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

‘The Patterdale Plot’ by Rebecca Tope

Published by Allison & Busby,
20 February 2020.
ISBN: 978-0-7490-2585-4 (HB)

The 9th book in the series featuring Persimmon ‘Simmy’ Brown finds her in a good place. It is now several years since she moved to the Windermere in the Lake District, following a personal tragedy, and set up a florist business. She is now in a solid relationship with Christopher, a childhood friend, who was interestingly born on exactly the same day as she was. She is pregnant and she and Christopher are looking for a house together. After which the next thing on their agenda will be a wedding. Simmy has set her heart on a house in the small village of Patterdale, but properties for sale in that area are few.

Simmy’s rather eccentric parents Angie and Russell still run a B & B, and it is while visiting with them that cries for help from one of the guests has them rushing to the rescue, but alas too late.  It appears that he has been poisoned.

DI Moxon is soon on the case, but although Simmy has a good relationship with Moxon following previous investigations, in her current condition she doesn’t wish to be involved.  Unfortunately, her assistant, Bonnie, at the flower shop, now walking out with Ben who has gone to university won’t let it rest.

Simmy’s main concern is finding a house for herself and Chris before the baby arrives.   With her mind focusing on house hunting she becomes aware of a demonstration protesting about a building development in Patterdale.  What building development?
It becomes clear that the victim, Grant Childers, had some connection to the people demonstrating against the new building project, and Simmy’s hope of a quiet time enjoying her pregnancy is out of the window.  Not only is her house hunting proving more difficult than she envisaged but the death of a guest at her parents B&B is having a dire effect on their business.  And just who did kill Grant Childers? How and Why?  It’s the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ that provides such a fascinating and compelling read.

Long-time fans of this series will greatly enjoy this tantalising episode, as Simmy moves towards a new phase in her life.   For new readers to the series, this is a complete story in itself, with interesting well-fleshed -out characters and an intriguing mystery to solve. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

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

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