Murder in the Orchard – Betty Rowlands

A beautiful house nestles in an orchard, where a blackbird sings at dawn each morning from a branch laden with rosy fruit… but underneath the trees a body lies too still to be asleep.

Melissa Craig is struggling with her new novel, so when the invitation arrives to visit a nearby country house for some writing time, she decides a bit of peace and quiet is just what she needs. The house is everything she could have hoped for, even if the staff do seem rather unsettled…

She has barely unpacked when the owner of the house persuades Melissa to investigate some threatening notes he has received. But before she can do any digging, he is found murdered in his own orchard.

As she starts to probe further, Melissa realises that the dead man was universally disliked. Controlling, tight with money and nasty, he certainly made some enemies. But who could have hated him enough to resort to murder? His seemingly timid wife, the secretary with whom he previously had an affair or perhaps the gardener with an old secret? 

With the police looking for an outsider, Melissa is sure the murderer is close at hand. But can she prove it? And can she unmask the killer before they strike again?



My review

Already book six in this series and I am still not getting tired of it. On the contrary. In my opinion the stories are more and more interesting and this one really had me hooked.

Some people don’t like cozy mysteries because … well, yes I sometimes wonder because of what actually. But everybody is of course free to choose what they want to read. I certainly can thoroughly appreciate this genre.

The main character is getting stronger and stronger and this time she was almost a full time sleuth.

When I finished the previous book, I thought I had found my favourite one. I have to change my opinion. I liked this one even more. This was the one with the most surprising outcome and I do love that.

It will be hard to top this story, but I will keep you posted when I have finished number 7.

Overall a very good series with a very likeable sleuth.  5 stars.

Thank you, Betty Rowlands, Bookouture and Netgalley.


About the author

Betty Rowlands burst on to the crime scene by winning the Sunday Express / Veuve Clicquot Crime Short Story of the Year Competition. Her success continued with her nine highly acclaimed Melissa Craig mysteries. She is an active member of the Crime Writers’ Association and regularly gives talks and readings and serves on panels in crime writing conventions.