Ostara Publishing Colourfon

Ostara Publishing

16 Nov 2009
Books: Murder By Suicide

Publishers Weekly Review

Cozy fans who enjoyed Ellie Quicke's debut, Murder at the Altar (2000), will welcome the appealing middle-aged sleuth's second, even stronger outing from British author Heley. Widowed Ellie is just starting to recover from the recent death of her beloved if domineering husband, Frank. Returning to her village after a three-week stay at her daughter's in London, she learns that poison-pen letters pointing to scandal at St. Thomas's Rectory have led to the reassignment of her dear friend and vicar, the Reverend Gilbert Adams, and the emotional breakdown of the fey Nora, the church organist. Ellie agrees to help try to find out who's behind the letters. One evening, Ellie investigates a light in the church, a view nicely depicted on the novel's atmospheric dust jacket, and witnesses a "suicide" that she alone considers to be murder. Dismissed by the local police, Ellie puts her own life at risk to seek the truth. Our smart and determined heroine must also deal with her late husband's imperious aunt Drusilla; her spoiled, self-centered daughter, Diana; and a new man in her life, the suspiciously smooth Roy Bartrick ("There's something too devil-may-care about him," asserts a neighbor). Minor characters introduced in the first book, like the inimitable Mrs. Dawes, take on new depth. Readers will cheer as Ellie takes charge after a lifetime of deferring to the wishes and wants of others. Anglophiles will relish the loving descriptions of those parts of London that make the great metropolis seem like a quaint village.
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