Recent Events

Sunday 17 March 2024

‘The Case of the Bereaved Butler’ by Cathy Ace

Published by Four Tails Publishing,
18 March 2024.
ISBN: 978-1-99055717-1

The four women of the WISE Women Enquiry Agency, Mavis, Christine, Carol and Annie, plus their honorary member, Althea, Dowager Duchess of Chellingworth, have established a successful business in the Welsh village of Anwen-by-Wye. They have tackled numerous cases of different levels of complexity and danger and they have formed good relationships with the local police and a solicitor who often recommends their services to his clients. It is this solicitor who suggests that the WISE agency could help a very elderly and very wealthy man to locate the hill farm where he had lived as a young evacuee during the Second World War. This is a difficult task as the client’s memories of that time are patchy and many farms have changed ownership and most of his contemporaries have died. Also official records of evacuees are incomplete, however the team are determined to do everything they can because it means so much to their client.

Annie and her partner, Tudor Evans, are about to move into a new and more spacious pub that belongs to the Chellingworth estate. Annie is frustrated by the slowness of the workmen who are renovating and decorating the new premises and then she realises that somebody is systematically stealing decorating supplies. Annie’s determination to track down the thief who has purloined her new toilet results in an unofficial case for her and her colleagues.

Another more serious pro bono investigation is the one that is referred to in the title of the book. It begins when the Duke and Duchess of Chellingworth become very worried about their butler, Edward, a long-term, faithful and extremely efficient senior servant. Edward has become distracted, which is not surprising as his only brother had died two weeks earlier, but he also appears to be worried about something. Mavis and Althea persuade Edward to confide in them and he explains that his late brother’s wife has told him she is convinced that her husband had been murdered by his partner in their business, which trains butlers, and she believes that she is also in danger of being killed.

 All of the WISE women are involved in working on this case, although the undercover work has to be done by Christine, the only one of the women who has the high-class background that will fool their suspect into believing she wishes to employ a butler. She does an excellent job, even though she and her fiancé, Alexander, are going through a difficult time. Both Christine and Alexander are keeping secrets from each other: Christine has concerns about her health and Alexander is dealing with a dangerous cyber-criminal.

All the WISE women are aware of the potential dangers of their work but it is while doing a very commonplace errand for Edward’s sister-in-law that one of the WISE women is placed in a potentially fatal situation.

The Case of the Bereaved Butler is the ninth book featuring the women of the WISE Enquiry Agency. It is a superb series, and this book is an excellent addition, with clever plot lines involving both major and minor cases and warm, engaging characters. The author has created a delightful community filled with likeable although far from perfect people. This book is a page-turner that I thoroughly recommend.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales. With a successful career in marketing having given her the chance to write training courses and textbooks, Cathy has now finally turned her attention to her real passion: crime fiction. Her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies. Two of her works, Dear George and Domestic Violence, have also been produced by Jarvis & Ayres Productions as ‘Afternoon Reading’ broadcasts for BBC Radio 4. Cathy now writes two series of traditional mysteries: The Cait Morgan Mysteries (TouchWood Editions) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (Severn House Publishers)

Carol Westron is a successful author and a Creative Writing teacher.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  Her first book The Terminal Velocity of Cats was published in 2013. Since then, she has since written 8 further mysteries. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. interview
To read a review of Carol latest book click on the title
Death and the Dancing Snowman

No comments:

Post a Comment