Book Review: Murder at Hawthorn Cottage (Melissa Craig #1) by Betty Rolands

Murder at Hawthorn Cottage by Betty Rowlands
My rating: πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ (3 stars)
Publisher: Bookouture

Author Melissa Craig thought her move from chaotic London to the Cotswolds would be idyllic and full of bucolic charm. Unfortunately, she's found a hamlet with linked murders and some crazy seedy dealings going on and before she knows it, her new novel ideas are all too like life and if she can't solve the mysteries it won't just be the end of her novel, it'll be the end of her life.

As cozy mysteries go, this was a good start to a series and a very fast read. While I found a few threads a bit too fantastical, it wasn't serious enough to throw the whole book off for me. I would read more in the series and look forward to meeting more of the characters who live there. I liked her relationship with her editor and hope her son comes to visit. Her artist neighbour was also a favourite and I felt most everyone was described in the colourful way expected in a cozy. I have Kindle Unlimited and this series was pretty persistent in my recommendations and is one of the better mystery offerings.

Summary: Originally Published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing, republished as Murder at Hawthorn CottageMeet Melissa Craig, friendly neighbor, loving mother… and daring detective?
Melissa Craig has always prided herself on making a good living from crime, courtesy of her lively imagination, and with a string of crime novels to prove it.

Now, she flees London, her devoted but over-protective lover and her kindly but dominating agent, and takes refuge in the Cotswolds. With no more serious distractions than Iris, her eccentric, artistic neighbour, her cheerful, romantic domestic help Gloria and a rector who is a secret devotee of her fiction, Melissa dreams of undisturbed peace for the production of yet more bestsellers.
But a series of bizarre telephone calls leads to a meeting with an engaging young journalist convinced that a real crime has been committed. When a corpse is discovered in woodlands a short distance from her isolated cottage, curiosity gets the better of judgment.

In the course of a little gentle sleuthing, Melissa finds the truth stranger than her own fiction and uncovers a story of villainy, frustration and despair which leads to further violent death before the mystery can be resolved.

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