Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts

 Murder in the Village

Book Summary

Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?

A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!

My Thoughts

Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts is the first book in The Belinda Penshurst Mystery series.  I like that this cozy mystery is set in Britain.  We get that cozy English village charm.  The author provided detailed descriptions that allowed me to visualize the village, Belinda’s home, and the characters.  Our two amateur sleuths, Belinda Penshurst and Harry Powell work to solve two crimes.  They must catch a murderer and figure out who is behind the local dognapping’s.  The two run around asking questions and trying to outdo each other.  The mysteries were straightforward.  For a detective, Harry failed to question the right people with regard to the dognapping.   I felt the story got bogged down in the details.  The endless detailed descriptions made for slow reading along with the repetitive details.  I had a hard time wading through this whodunit (it is great if you are suffering from insomnia). 

I could not get into Murder in the Village (I really tried).  It did not feel that this was the first book.  The author did not provide the backstory that I wanted on our main characters especially Harry.  We are told that Harry is a retired detective inspector who has moved to Little Challham and now works for Doggie Delight delivering kibble (I want more information).  Of course, Harry may no longer be a detective, but it is hard to give up old habits.  Belinda has her finger in a number of pies in the village plus she is trying to find out what mischief her brother, Marcus is up to this time.  The last time the family almost lost their home.  She is also having trouble with her latest investment.  Belinda finds the cause of her latest problem dead which is how she gets involved in solving the crime.  The author was trying to establish a romantic relationship between our two protagonists, but it missed the mark.  Why Harry would like someone who looks down on him and sneers, I do not know.  The dialogue between them makes a person cringe. Personally, I was not a fan of either one of them.  Belinda is a bossy, forceful woman with attitude (big chip or should I say boulder on her shoulder).  Harry is a quiet man who pays attention to details.  There are times, though, when I felt he missed the mark.  The book moved at a snail’s pace (I felt like I was traveling on a glacier to get to the resolution).  The best thing about the story was the cute dogs.  Murder in the Village was not the right fit for me.  I suggest you read a sample to see if this cozy mystery suits you.  Murder in the Village is British whodunit with dognapped doggies, pub problems, a troublemaker brother, a mysterious murder, and two squabbling sleuths.  

Murder in the Village is available from Amazon*.  If you belong to Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow it for free.  The next novel in A Belinda Penshurst Mystery series is Murder in the Castle which publishes December 8.  You can find Lisa Cutts other books here.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Next time I am featuring The Amish Baby Finds a Home by Barbara Cameron which came out today.  It is the 2nd A Hearts of Lancaster County Novel.  I do hope that you have a peaceful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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