Recent Events

Saturday 15 May 2021

‘The Ullswater Undertaking’ by Rebecca Tope

Published by Allison & Busby,
18 March 2021.
ISBN 978-0-7490-2750-6 (HB)

Rebecca Tope is the highly acclaimed author of three series of mystery novels. Her first seven Westcountry mysteries feature Den Cooper and Drew Slocombe. Under taker Drew also turns up again in her later series of Cotswold Mysteries (eighteen books and counting!) concerning the exploits of house-sitter Thea Osborne.

The Ullswater Undertaking is the tenth novel in her Lake District Mysteries which revolve around amateur detective Persimmon (Simmy) Brown, a florist working in Windermere.

New parents Simmy and her fiancé Christopher are coping with three-week old baby Robin while builders renovate their house around them. Fabian Crick, an old acquaintance Christopher believed dead, turns up unexpectedly. Twelve years ago, when he believed Fabian was dying of sleeping sickness in Botswana, Christopher made a rash promise to contact Fabian’s aunt and deliver a message. The aunt has recently died but the house has been left to someone outside the family, thus upsetting Fabian and piling yet more guilt on Christopher. Had he delivered the message, Fabian might well have inherited the house.

Before long, Fabian’s cousins arrive and together pressure Christopher to find his aunt’s brother, uncle Richmond. Against Simmy’s advice, Christopher reluctantly agrees. Things begin to escalate when not long after, the new owner of the house is found murdered. Are the two events connected?

Now compelled to unravel the mystery, Simmy enlists the help of her long-term fellow amateur detective Ben and Bonnie her assistant in the flower shop.

Like Simmy, the reader is drawn into a complex plot where the threads of seemingly unrelated events are drawn together until the final chapters when all is revealed. Rebecca Tope has considerable skill in creating a large cast of fully rounded characters, who are not only believable but also memorable such as Fabian and his cousins with their decided quirks. 

Reviewer: Judith Cranswick  

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. 

Judith Cranswick  was born and brought up in Norwich. Apart from writing, Judith’s great passions are travel and history. Both have influenced her two series of mystery novels. Tour Manager, Fiona Mason takes coach parties throughout Europe, and historian Aunt Jessica is the guest lecturer accompanying tour groups visiting more exotic destinations aided by her nephew Harry. Her published novels also include several award-winning standalone psychological thrillers. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little time for writing when she returned to her teaching career. Now retired, she is able to indulge her love of writing and has begun a life of crime! ‘Writers are told to write what they know about, but I can assure you, I've never committed a murder. I'm an ex-convent school headmistress for goodness sake!’

No comments:

Post a Comment