A gentle cosy murder mystery is sometimes just what one is looking for and “Murder at the Priory” by Merryn Allingham delivers on that! Jack and Flora, as supportive friends, are drawn into another case and the interplay between them is as lovely as ever.
Plausibility isn’t something cosies are renowned for, a suspension of some reality is part of the package but the location, being a previous murder scene in the series, was a little too unlikely as was the ending, for me. I like a few more twists and turns and a little more complexity.
It’s a three out of five on the enJOYment scale and I hope the next one is a little more like the first couple in structure and depth.
Once again I found Flora and Jack. make for an interesting leading couple. I’m unsure if it was the setting (The Priory Hotel was featured in an early book in the series), the repetitive commentary, or the implausibility of some of the story elements, but it meant this one just didn’t engage me as much as the previous one.
It was a steady, gentle cosy read with this unlikely duo – who knows where they’ll go next?
We received complimentary copies of the book from Bookouture through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in these reviews are completely our own.
From the back cover:
Join Flora Steele – bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, and amateur detective – as she faces her most puzzling case yet!
Sussex, 1957: When Flora Steele and handsome crime writer Jack Carrington attend the grand re-opening of the Priory Hotel in the beautiful little village of Abbeymead, their day out is cut short when the flame-haired female singer in the band suddenly drops dead before their eyes.
Flora is stunned by the unexpected turn of events and immediately deduces foul play. Beverly Russo was a spirited young woman with a big voice and Flora is determined to get to the bottom of her untimely demise – especially as the detective sergeant leading the investigation is so hopeless. The first clue in the extraordinary case is Beverly’s missing ruby ring…
As Flora makes her enquiries, she discovers that Beverly wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and there’s more than one person in Abbeymead who had reason to dislike her. But who had the biggest motive: Beverly’s former beau Tommy May, jealous love rival Sally Jenner, or the local doctor who seems to be up to no good…
Then one of the suspects is found dead in the woods near the Priory Hotel. The murder weapon – a musical instrument. As the investigation reaches a high note, Flora knows she must find the culprit and make them face the music before anyone else is hurt. But will Flora’s tenacity put a dangerous spotlight on both her and Jack?
A delightful cozy crime novel, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis!