Kelly a sixteen year old girl is found dead in the woods by her neighbour, Joyce Tennant, who was walking her dog Brandy. Kelly had been a beautiful young girl, and she knew it, but she was only sixteen. The whole of the village of Haddley, in Worcestershire, should have been falling over themselves to disclose all they knew to the police but that isn’t what happens.
The inhabitants of Haddley seem to be mainly made up of women of a certain age who like nothing better than to make snide remarks about each other and to each other! The men consist of the doctor, the vicar, the gardener along with an assortment of husbands. After her body is found, the book jumps back to the week before Kelly’s death where soon becomes clear that she had probably made a few enemies in her short life.
With the police investigations severely held up by a lack clues, due to the intransigence of the locals to give up their secrets, they have to resort to chipping away at the little they know about the villagers. Fortunately, but slowly, the jealousy between the villagers begin to give up some of the truth and the whole sorry tale comes out with quite lot of collateral damage.
I really enjoyed this English murder, there are mysterious links to a twenty year old murder of an elderly film star which gives the reader not one but two mysteries to solve. I did find the number of characters, particularly the coven of spiteful women, was difficult to follow at the start but all soon became clear as their roles in the village became more defined. The ending was inspired and I wasn’t even close to discovering who the murderer was.
This book has something to everyone including some ghostly goings on, a missing locket and adultery, but at its very heart, is a village beset by jealousy and distrust.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review.
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