I really enjoy the angle that the author uses that allows Eve to get face to face with family and suspects alike. As an obituary writer, her profession gets her foot in the door and so she gets to ask questions that others just can’t.

Having read the first book I enjoyed the continuity and that the lead character is now settled and a part of village life. As such, Eve has a solid supporting cast of characters that she can lean into to share thoughts with, call upon when she has concerns, or when she needs help.

The mystery itself is intriguing with a number of plausible suspects for consideration. I enjoyed reading and then reflecting on just who the murderer could be. This was definitely a case where details only came to light over time and things were definitely not what they seemed.

I recommend this to all who enjoy a cosy murder mystery and the challenge of identifying ‘whodunnit’.

From the back cover:

Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is enjoying life in sleepy Saxford St Peter – until a mysterious murder lands right at her door…

It’s spring in Saxford St Peter – time to get back in the garden, listen to the birds, and take gentle strolls in the woods. But for some, it’s the season for murder.

Eve Mallow is relishing the gentle pace of the village until a new arrival stirs everyone up. Ashton Foley is back: a teenage tearaway turned interior designer to the stars. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know, but charming too – as Eve herself can testify – and every house in Saxford opens its doors to him.

So when he’s found murdered in the woods near his mother’s home, Apple Tree Cottage, there’s no shortage of suspects. A jealous husband? A spurned lover? Or has someone from his past life caught up with him?

The police soon hit on a simple solution, and arrest his mother’s partner Howard. Ashton always hated him, and he bears all the marks of a recent fight. But Ashton’s mother, miles away in New Zealand, is convinced he’s innocent, and enlists Eve’s help to prove it.

There’s just one problem. Eve saw Howard sniffing around Apple Tree Cottage on the morning of the murder, and she’s fairly sure he’s guilty, too…

My thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and the author for my advance reader copy. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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