Book Review: Cherringham: A Cosy Crime Series Compilation by Matthew Costello

Cherringham: A Cosy Crime Series Compilation 1-3 by Matthew Costello
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3 stars)
Publisher: Bastei Entertainment

This was just the thing I needed after a disappointing read. A palate cleanser for my brain. These three novella-length stories weren't deep but they were cozy. I'd read more (I've already bought the 4-6 compilation) and they reminded me of Midsomer Murders just with a retired NYPD detective and a small business owner amateur sleuth.

Murder on the Thames - Sarah's friend, Sami is found dead in the weir and the police decide she drowned by suicide but it doesn't track so she & Jack follow the clues. The solution is very easy to determine but it still serves as a nice introduction to Cherringham and its people. Jan and Jen, the elderly twins who love mysteries & crime fiction and run the old toll bridge were particularly great.

Mystery at the Manor - A fire at a manor house kills the owner and his caregiver thinks something foul is afoot due to the circumstances of his death. With his three awful heirs, it's no wonder. But what follows resolves in a poignant story of long lost love and a measure of redemption.

Murder by Moonlight - The strongest of the three mysteries. I didn't initially figure out the who was the murderer. This wins best of this bunch simply on the basis of the harrowing description at the outset of a woman going into anaphylaxis on a walk home from choir practice. She finds her epi-pen is empty and her spare gone all while her tongue swells and she succumbs feet from her door dying in complete silence on a moonlit lane. That was difficult to read and it wasn't just my shrimp allergy freaking me out.

Summary: Jack's a retired ex-cop from New York, seeking the simple life in Cherringham. Sarah's a Web designer who's moved back to the village find herself. But their lives are anything but quiet as the two team up to solve Cherringham's criminal mysteries.
-- This compilation contains episodes 1 - 3: MURDER ON THAMES, MYSTERY AT THE MANOR and MURDER BY MOONLIGHT. Here Jack and Sarah investigate a suicide in the River Thames - or was it murder? They investigate an "accidental" fire with deadly consequences, and they nab the culprit behind the Rotary Club choir poisoning.

-- Cherringham is a serial novel à la Charles Dickens, with a new mystery thriller released each month. Set in the sleepy English village of Cherringham, the detective series brings together an unlikely sleuthing duo: English web designer Sarah and American ex-cop Jack. Thrilling and deadly - but with a spot of tea - it's like Rosamunde Pilcher meets Inspector Barnaby. Each of the self-contained episodes is a quick read for the morning commute, while waiting for the doctor, or when curling up with a hot cuppa.

-- For fans of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series, Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who series, Caroline Graham's Midsomer Murders, and the American TV series Murder She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury.

-- Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), are known for their script work on major computer games. The Cherringham crime series is their first fictional transatlantic collaboration.

No comments