Friday, March 18, 2022

Book Review: Murder at the Summer Fete

By Sara Steven

A fete worse than death…

After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter, and her grandmother, Jane. The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.

But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.

When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?

The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…! (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I didn’t read the first book in the Dedley End Mystery series, but that was totally fine–there was no problem with following along and gaining a strong understanding that both Nancy and Jane have a prior history with solving crimes they’d never intended to solve. It seems they’re always in the wrong place at the right time, and that’s the same premise for Murder at the Summer Fete

What I really loved about this book is that I really didn't know who the culprit would be. I had my hunches, yet they were quickly disproven. From one moment to the next, we’re on the journey right along with Nancy, Jane, and their reporter friend Jonathan, trying to figure out not only who the culprit is,  but what the motive is. I thought it was unique and clever to incorporate a murder scene from writer Thomas Green’s latest novel–the murder scene becomes the actual murder scene at the fete, which leads everyone down a potential path to discovering who the murderer might be, or might not be. 

The police become an antagonistic quality during the investigation. I thought that was an interesting perspective, considering we’re often taught that law enforcement is there to help. And that is still the case regarding the murder at the fete, but due to Nancy’s involvement in finding Lucy Roth’s killer, it’s apparent that there is a bit of bad blood between the head policeman and Nancy. They’re both trying to achieve the same thing–discover the murderer from the fete–yet they are trying to achieve that in different ways, often stepping on one another’s toes in the process. It was a fun hurdle to toss into the story. 

While I enjoyed putting the clues together to bring the true murderer to justice, I felt the steps in getting there took a little too long at times. The dialogue seemed to drag on in certain areas, but overall, this was an enjoyable read and a fun cozy mystery experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Kobo * Apple

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She's the author of the bestselling GLENDALE HALL series, which continues with its third book HOPEFUL HEARTS at GLENDALE HALL in September, as well as two other standalone novels - SUMMER at the KINDNESS CAFE, and THE SECOND LOVE of my LIFE. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for two RNA awards. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

Visit Victoria online:
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