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Saturday 30 September 2023

‘Barking Mad’ by Leigh Russell

Published by Crime and Mystery Club,
13 July 2023.
ISBN: 978-0-85730-568-8 (PBO)

This is the second in the charming cosy mystery series, written by Russell, an established  and strong crime author with over twenty top-selling books already under her belt.

This series features a woman, Emily, who inherits a house and moves to the country where, as part of her Auntie’s inheritance deal, she also has to take on her Auntie’s dog. Meet Poppy, a charming tiny terrier with a brain as sharp as Sherlock Holmes.

In the first book, Emily had a problem with her neighbour. Now, in this one, time has moved on and she has a new neighbour, Richard, an older man whose wife is nowhere to be seen.

When, out on a walk with Poppy, Emily and Poppy discover a woman, fitting the description of the missing wife, dead, face down in a pond, in the nearby woods.

All the villagers suspect Richard for his wife’s death, but Emily seems to think differently. If Poppy has taken to this man, which she has, then Emily believes he is not a murderer.

Then, enter the charming and attractive son of Richard, Adam.  Hannah, Emma’s best friend and the owner of the café that Emily works in, has fallen for Adam. Adam seemingly uses her and then disappears back to London. Emily is determined to get to the bottom of why Adam has hurt her friend, so she and Poppy set out on a mission to London to find out more about this family. This puts Emily in mortal danger. Poppy escapes and is now lost in London. So, will Emily solve the mystery? find the killer, and more important find her dog?

This an extremely well- crafted cosy mystery. Russell has had massive success with her twenty previous strong crime novels, so knows how to keep a reader turning those pages. It is beautifully written and will keep you guessing. And, even if you are not a dog lover, I would say don’t miss out on this series because it offers a great mystery to keep you guessing, a perfect location that pulls you in, and even romance, and I could almost smell those newly baked scones in the café that Emily works in. An excellent all round great read. Five stars, and a biscuit for Poppy.
Reviewer: Linda Regan

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent gaining a Master’s degree in English and American literature. Formerly a secondary school English teacher, with the success of her Geraldine Steel series, Leigh now writes full-time. Her debut novel, Cut Short, was published in 2009 by No Exit Press in the UK, followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act and Killer Plan, all featuring detective Geraldine Steel, and Murder Ring will be published in 2016. Leigh also writes a spinoff series for Geraldine's sergeant, Ian Peterson. Cold Sacrifice, Race to Death and Blood Axe.  Leigh recently signed a three-book deal with Thomas and Mercer for a new series featuring Lucy Hall. Leigh Russell is married with two daughters and lives in Middlesex.

Linda Regan is the author of nine crime novels. She is also an actor. She holds a Masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader and welcomes the chance to read new writers. 

  To read a review of Linda's most recent book
The Burning Question
click on the title.

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