Title: Murder in the Village (Belinda Penshurst 1) by Lisa Cutts
Date Published: 21st August 2021
Genre: Cozy mystery
Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?
Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.
Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…
Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?
A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!
You can buy your copy here:
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Murder in the Village in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a bit of a sucker for a cozy mystery, so I jumped at the chance to read Murder in the village.
I know Lisa Cutts has written other books before this one but this is actually the first I’ve read of hers, but it certainly won’t be the last!
Two cases run side by side in this novel. First off, the dog owners of Little Challam are being targeted by mysterious dognappers. The second mystery involves the murder of pub landlord Tipper, a man with no shortage of enemies, but who would want to kill him? Belinda joins forces with retired detective Harry Powell to solve both cases.
Murder in the village has all the ingredients of a good cozy mystery, an idyllic sounding setting, a cast of interesting characters and a couple of determined amateur sleuths intent on getting to the bottom of the case.
Belinda and Harry made a fun pair together. Belinda is fairly bossy and stubborn, not afraid to say what she thinks, while Harry is a little more reserved and thoughtful. I enjoyed the back and forth between Belinda and Harry. I feel there’s some good potential between the pair and look forward to seeing what they get up to next.
At times, I found Belinda a tad annoying, but she grew on me as the story went along.
Both mysteries kept me guessing with plenty of suspects and red herrings along the way.
Murder in the village is a solid cozy mystery and a must for fans of this genre!
About The Author:
Lisa Cutts is a full-time detective constable investigating murders for a living. When off duty she writes a fictitious version of her day job. She lives and works within the county of Kent with her husband and Labrador.
She is the author of the DC Nina Foster books, Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Never Forgot was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award 2013 and the winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award 2014 for Best Thriller. She has also written four books in the East Rise Incident Room series, Mercy Killing, Buried Secrets, Lost Lives and Don’t Trust Him. All four centre around DI Harry Powell and his Major Crime Team battling to solve the latest murders within the county. Currently she is writing the Little Challham mysteries, cosy mysteries set in a fictional village in Kent.
She writes a monthly column, Behind the Tape, for Writing Magazine answering police procedural questions from other writers. In early 2016, she was honoured to become the Patron of Rochester Literature Festival and help establish Murderous Medway, an annual crime fiction festival packed full of amazing author panels. As well as being on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Lisa has twice appeared on This Morning to chat about TV crime dramas Broadchurch and Line of Duty.