Death at Dearley Manor by Betty Rowlands / #Review @bookouture @BettyRowlandsFP

A gorgeous country house, surrounded by sweeping lawns, is warmed by the rising sun. But inside, the lady of the manor will not see the morning…

Police photographer Sukey Reynolds is called to investigate a seemingly routine break-in at the beautiful Dearley Manor estate, but when she arrives, she is shocked to find the body of someone she knows all too well. The owner of Dearley Manor is none other than the wealthy woman whom Sukey’s husband, Paul Reynolds, left her for… And she has been brutally murdered.

With her close personal connection, Sukey is officially pulled off the case. But as the police close in on Paul, convinced he is guilty, Sukey realises she has no choice but to try and prove his innocence. He may not have been the world’s best husband, but he’s no killer.

As she starts to dig around the dead woman’s history, Sukey realises she was certainly no saint, and many of her neighbours might have wanted the late owner of Dearley Manor out of the way…

When yet another woman on the Dearley Estate is found dead, Sukey fears that anyone who knows too much about the troubled family is in danger from a ruthless murdererCan she prove Paul’s innocence before it’s too late? And will she be able to nail this brutal killer before another life is taken?




This is book 2 in this series featuring Sukey Reynolds. I have not read the first book and even though I know I have missed out on a splendid book, I had not trouble at all picking up and immersing myself in the story.

I have read another series written by this author with Melissa Craig as amateur sleuth and I loved those books. I already knew, before even having opened this one that I would be treated to a few hours of reading pleasure.

As I said, Sukey is the main character, but her sixteen year old son Fergus is important too. He is my favourite person. He is clever, witty and very mature for his age.

A nasty person is Myrna. She is only happy when she can put other people down and enjoys using as much people as she can for her personal gain.

Then there is Paul. He is Sukey’s ex husband and Fergus’ father. He is not a very likeable person either. He counts on Sukey when he needs help, but he is not very happy to return the favour.

I was shocked when the culprit was revealed. I never saw that coming.

Great book without a doubt. 5 stars 

Thank you


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!



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