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Tuesday 21 February 2023

‘Murder at the Herald’ by Louise Barden

Published 2 November 2022.
ISBN: 978-1-73916830-8 (PB)

Polynesia Henman works in the lifestyle department of the Herald newspaper and is bored stiff. She has always dreamed of being an investigative journalist and is absolutely furious when Alice, an old adversary from school is given the job she herself applied for. To rub salt into the wound, Pol (as she is known) is to work part time for Alice. She always bullied Pol at school and when she begins her new job takes great delight in continuing now.

One morning determined to confront the boss about Alice’s bullying, Pol hears screams coming from his office. Tentatively she opens the door to see Alice standing over the body of the Editor, blood on her dress and a large knife in her hand.

Next day to her delight, Pol is given, temporarily, Alice’s position as deputy editor. She plays down her elation as best she can! Alice is released from custody but must go nowhere near the Herald.

To Pol’s astonishment Alice contacts her asking her to help prove her innocence.Pol has a bit of a reputation as she cleared her father of a charge of murder years ago.

Together with Trevor her father and friends Jess and Will, Pol embarks on finding the real killer when Alice is actually cleared by the police. They delve into the Editor’s past time at another newspaper. Alice worked there too. Could there be something in their past? Is Alice really as innocent as she claims?

Then their suspicion falls on the Editor’s wife. The four of them are becoming more and more baffled. To add to the confusion there is another murder at the Herald! All their theories are turned upside down. Was it the same killer or is another murderer at large.

What an enjoyable murder story. Brilliantly full of humour and intrigue, with a stunning jaw dropping ending. I loved it and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Louise Barden spent many years as a teacher who talked about becoming a writer.  Finally, she took the plunge and signed up to study creative writing with the Open University. She says she learned a huge amount, and then won two prizes in short story competitions. Buoyed up by that success, she embarked on her novel, a historical story set in the 1920s. When it was finished, she put it away in a drawer and that was that. Hankering after adventure, she moved abroad to teach, and after several years of working, adventuring and blogging in Asia (Channelling Mr Toad), she returned to England at the start of the pandemic and began writing more seriously. 

Having completed Murder at the Herald at the end of last year, she is currently redrafting her historical novel and plotting a second murder mystery. You can catch up with Louise on her website

Tricia Chappell. 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. 

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