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Murder at the Mill by MB Shaw

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A My Chronicle Book Box review of Murder at the Mill by MB Shaw.

This is a great first outing for Tilly Bagshawe writing cosy crime using the pen name MB Shaw; a classic whodunnit. Life is not as perfect at The Mill as the Wetherby family would like the world to think as Iris Grey discovers. Shortly after Iris is invited into their home to paint a portrait of the patriarch Dom Wetherby, a dead body turns up: Drowned in the grounds of his home on Christmas day.

This book was included in our February 2018 Crime & Mystery book box.

Read on for the full My Chronicle Book Box review...

My Chronicle Book Box Review:

MB Shaw is a pen name of Tilly Bagshawe, the international best selling author of books such as The Bachelor and Scandalous. While romance is not my go to genre, her writing talent is undeniable and when I heard she had tried her hand at cosy crime? Well, I was excited and immediately wanted to read it.

The primary point of view is Iris Grey’s. New to the village of Hazelford, Iris has taken a commission to paint the portrait of celebrity crime writer Dom Wetherby. She has also taken the tenancy on a cottage on the grounds of The Mill, the Wetherby family’s impressive home, in order to study her subject and escape her failing marriage.

While life at The Mill appears idyllic, Iris starts to see that all is not so perfect in the life of the Wetherby’s and when a dead body is found on Christmas day by his youngest son, Iris feels compelled to look into the matter further. She feels emotionally compelled to seek justice for the Wetherbys, particularly as the police don’t seem to be making it a priority but it also provides Iris with a new purpose. Iris discovers that her natural skills honed during her studies of people for portrait painting, make her quite adept at sleuthing.

This is cosy crime but don’t let the classification fool you, this is not light and fluffy. Written from multiple points of view we see behind the facade of idyllic village life and get an insight into the emotional turmoil experienced by many of Hazelford’s inhabitants. Iris must untangle a whole web of lies and deceit to uncover the ultimate truth and motivations behind the death whilst also having to confront and deal with her own personal problems.

This is a classic whodunit and I can see why many have made the comparison with the television series Midsomer Murders. That Iris is a travelling portrait artist is a great vehicle for dropping her into the middle of other people’s lives and there is great potential here for future books, I am looking forward to the next in the series.

Publisher: Trapeze
Publication date: 30 November 2017

Publisher Synopsis:

A picture hides a thousand lies . . . And only Iris Grey can uncover the truth

Iris Grey arrives at Mill Cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighbouring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.

At the Wetherby’s Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow – but so too are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?
With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets and murder.

As featured in the Sunday Times, the first mystery in a new crime series from bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe – a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie’s Marple and Midsomer Murders.

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