I stumbled on “A Cotswold Mystery” by Rebecca Tope in a bookshop in Southport and thought I’d give it a go. It is fourth in the Thea Osborne Cotswolds crime series. Although I haven’t read any of the preceding novels, this is a stand alone story.
The heroine of the book is Thea Osborne. Recently widowed, with a fledgling romance blossoming, she has taken up a new career house sitting. And as well as seeing the countryside, she also gets to investigate murders along the way. In this book she is helped by her police officer daughter who has turned up for a holiday. Rather than a chilled stay with mum to get over an incident at work, Jessica, Thea’s daughter, discovers a body……
This is different to other cosy murder mysteries as the discovery of the body happens relatively late in the book. In the meantime we find out why Thea has been hired to house sit and are introduced to some local characters.
Thea and her trusty spaniel Hephzibah are charged with looking after Montgomery house in Blockley while the owners are abroad and with keeping an eye on Granny Gladys Gardener who lives next door. It seems granny has a series of ailments plus an erratic memory. But is she as forgetful as she seems?
The village where the action is set is populated by a strange mix of characters. But saying that, Thea is a little unusual too. She always seems to be saying the wrong thing to her daughter and the pair of them seem to have lots of police connections who are happy to share information with them.
The strange characters, connections and incidents made the novel unrealistic for me. And as for the ending, well, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Available from Amazon