Helena Marchmont: Bunburry 1-3: Murder at the Mousetrap / A Murderous Ride / A Taste of Murder


Blurb:

Miss Marple meets Oscar Wilde in this new series of cosy mysteries set in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Bunburry.

In “Murder at the Mousetrap,” the first Bunburry book, fudge-making and quaffing real ale in the local pub are matched by an undercurrent of passion, jealousy, hatred and murder – laced with a welcome dose of humour. Alfie McAlister has retreated from London to the peace and quiet of the country to recover from a personal tragedy. But an accidental death – which may have been no accident – reveals that the heart of England is far from the tranquil backwater he imagined. After arriving in Bunburry, he is co-opted as an amateur detective by Liz and Marge, two elderly ladies who were best friends with Alfie’s late Aunt Augusta. And it is not long before their investigations take an even more dramatic turn …

In “A Murderous Ride,” the second Bunburry book, Alfie discovers that he has not only inherited a cottage from his late Aunt Augusta but also a 1950s Jaguar. He is dismayed: for reasons of his own, he no longer drives. Aunt Augusta’s best friends, Liz and Marge, persuade him to get behind the wheel again – but that’s just the start of his troubles. Alfie discovers it’s a seriously bad idea to get on the wrong side of the local police sergeant. Especially when he finds himself at a murder scene and the sergeant decides Alfie’s the murderer. There’s only one thing to be done. Alfie has to track down the real murderer himself – which will force him to drive as he’s never driven before.

In “A Taste of Murder,” the third Bunburry book, a local beef farmer is found dead and Betty Thorndike, vegetarian and Bunburry’s only Green Party member, is in the frame. Despite what everyone thinks, Betty is absolutely not Alfie McAlister’s girlfriend. But Alfie knows what it’s like to be wrongly accused, and enlists the help of his fellow amateur detectives, Liz and Marge, to find out who’s responsible. There’s just one problem about a farm-based investigation – Alfie’s scared of cows …

Now, this is what a cozy series is supposed to read like. And they’re even short enough so you can squeeze them in for a quickie whenever nothing else will answer. I’m definitely going to read more of these.

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