A rambling old house, surrounded by a gorgeous rose garden with an elegant fountain, looks too perfect to be true. But could this beautiful place be the link between a string of peculiar deaths?
Sukey Reynolds is photographing the scene of a burglary at Burwell Farm for the police, when she finds herself drawn to the crumbling building and peaceful surroundings. Burwell Farm doesn’t grow crops or raise animals, but as a retreat, the owners do make some extraordinary claims about healing the soul…
But before Sukey can get too intrigued, she’s called to another break-in at the house of a young widow, whose husband spent a great deal of time at… Burwell Farm. Sukey starts to wonder if there is something more sinister going on behind the perfectly manicured lawns…
After her police colleagues refuse to take her suspicions seriously, Sukey decides the time has come to do some sleuthing on her own. But who is the thorn in the rose garden? Is it the beautiful receptionist, the gardener with a secret to hide, or perhaps the leader who inspires such devotion?
Then someone is murdered in the garden of Burwell Farm while she is there and Sukey realises she has landed herself in deep water. Can Sukey solve the mystery that has blighted this stunning house? And can she catch the killer before they turn on her?
Book 4 already in this series and I am so happy I discovered this author.
Is this a cozy mystery book? Yes and no. Yes, because the main character Sukey is not a detective which means she is an amateur sleuth. On the other hand though she is a SOCO and part of a police team so some people would say she is not an amateur. Anyway, whatever the genre is, the books are great and that is the most important thing. 😊
This time Sukey is determined to find out what is going on behind the walls of Burwell Farm. It’s no longer a working farm, but it serves as a retreat now. A peaceful environment with lush gardens to destress. That like a dream come true. There are some therapies too and they really seem to help. This is wonderful, right? People feel like reborn after a few sessions of what some people would call a load of mumbo jumbo. But mumbo jumbo or not, if it helps, that’s what counts. Until it does not anymore…
Sukey has a plan, but not everybody agrees it’s a good one. Sukey is an independent young woman and nobody will decide for her. If it’s in her head, she goes for it. Sometimes though she acts before she thinks which brings her in a not so comfortable and even dangerous situation. Thank God for the cavalry. 😊
Another very entertaining story. Sometimes there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. 5 stars
About the author
Betty Rowlands 1923-2020
Betty Rowlands burst onto the crime scene in her mid sixties by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition which shows it’s never too late to start writing. Her success continued with her highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries featuring a crime writer who solves mysteries in Gloucestershire. Her second series, The Sukey Reynolds Stories comprise of thirteen books, featuring Sukey Reynolds, a Scenes of Crime Officer who later becomes a detective. She lived in the heart of the Cotswolds, where her Melissa Craig mysteries are set, and then in Bristol which is closer to Sukey Reynolds patch, where she lived until her death on 29 July 2020, just a few months before her 97th birthday. She passed peacefully in the residential home that she called ‘home’. She will be greatly missed by her two surviving children, her four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, other family members, her friends and you, her many readers. The resurgence in interest in her Melissa Craig and Sukey Reynolds books in her last years gave her immense pleasure. She loved to receive emails from her fans knowing that her writing was being so enjoyed. Betty may no longer be with us but Melissa and Sukey are still there solving those mysteries. Keep on reading!