Book Review and Blog Tour: Mystery on Meadowsweet Grove by Clare Chase

Book: Mystery on Meadowsweet Grove
Author: Clare Chase
Pub Day: May 2, 2024 
Buy Link: Amazon

About the book:

Saxford St Peter is having an open gardens day! But one of the villagers has murder, not marigolds, in mind… And now Eve Mallow needs to unearth a killer.

Everyone in Saxford is delighted when jeweller Cleo Marbeck suggests a prize for the village’s best garden. Flowers are planted, grass is cut, and the competition is on. But the event only digs up dirt… Twenty-five years ago, a young woman fell to her death in Cleo’s house, and rumours soon resurface about Cleo’s part in the tragedy.

Eve’s best friend Viv is hosting Stevie, her son’s fiancée, ahead of the wedding. On the open garden day, Stevie has a horrible flashback: the memory of a woman lying at the bottom of a staircase. But she sees it in a totally different house from the one where Honor died…

Hours later Cleo’s body is found, drowned in her own pond. Almost everyone in Saxford has been in and out of her garden, sowing suspicion everywhere. But Eve is convinced the flashback has triggered the crime… and when the police turn their sights on Stevie, she’ll have to work fast to solve the case and save the wedding.

So who wanted Cleo in the ground? The son of the woman who died, out for revenge? The employee passed over for promotion? Her long-term lover, who she refused to marry? And why do so many suspects live on Meadowsweet Grove?

When someone else takes a tumble downstairs, Eve knows she’s close to grubbing up the truth. But can she catch the killer or is she heading for a fatal fall?

A page-turning and completely charming English cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Sarah Yarwood-Lovett.

I haven’t read all of Clare Chase’s Eve Mallow series (too many books, not enough hours in the day), but I’ve read enough of them to know that so far, I think this is my favorite!

Everyone in Saxford-St.-Peter is looking forward to open gardens day. Folks are putting on their landscaping best in hopes of winning a prize. Robin will be judging, so Eve can’t participate – she just plans to enjoy the event.

Eve is also looking forward to the upcoming wedding of her best friend Viv’s son Jonah and his fiancée Stevie. Stevie has come to town in advance of the wedding, and her presence in the village renews the whispers that wealthy local businesswoman Cleo Marbeck was somehow involved in Stevie’s aunt Honor’s untimely demise. While on the tour, Stevie has a horrific flashback in which she remembers seeing Honor’s body, but not much else. And when Cleo is found murdered in her meticulously manicured garden at The Briars, it doesn’t take much to bump Stevie up to the top of the suspect list. Eve gets the go-ahead to write Cleo’s obituary for a local publication, and she knows she’ll have to do a lot of digging to solve the case and save the wedding day.

We see a cast of familiar characters here – Eve, Robin, Viv, the loathsome (and possibly criminally incompetent) DI Palmer. We also meet plenty of new characters, each with a reason they might have wanted Cleo dead. There’s Cleo, who seems to be respected for her business acumen but not terribly well liked; Max, who had an affair with Cleo; his estranged son Perry, back in town to write a book on Marbeck’s; Richie, Honor’s son who works for Cleo and who got a fat promotion over Abby, taking the position she moved back from Paris to take on Cleo’s word that it was hers; and Lara, whose brother Freddy’s death seems to have some connection to Cleo.

Cleo owns all the houses on Meadowsweet Grove but one, and she seems to have something to hold over each of her tenants. Could that have led one of them to strike her down in a fit of rage? What about Lara, who’s the only person on the block (so to speak) whose house Cleo doesn’t own? Why was Cleo trying so hard to get her to sell? Chase gives us lots of trails to wander down and rabbits to run after. There are hidden tunnels, jewelry theft, repressed memories, wedding planning, and a host of other details that add up to make this an engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable read.

The stories do run to a formula, to a certain extent, but that’s okay by me. Familiar characters, a lovely small-town setting, locations I’d like to visit, and enough excitement to keep the pages turning make for a lovely escape from the everyday. I’m here for all of the Eve Mallow books!

About the author:

Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for Novelicious’s Undiscovered Award, as well as an EPIC award post-publication, and was chosen as a Debut of the Month by LoveReading. Murder on the Marshes (Tara Thorpe 1) was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award.

Like her heroines, Clare is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.You can find Clare’s website and blog at www.clarechase.com

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2 Responses to Book Review and Blog Tour: Mystery on Meadowsweet Grove by Clare Chase

  1. Clare Chase says:

    Thanks so much for this lovely review, Lisa! 🥰

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