Thea Osborne, Cotswold house-sitter with an infamous reputation for getting mixed up in crime, is determined to avoid trouble this time. Her latest commission in the village of Daglingworth seems straightforward, with most of her time spent looking after an old corgi and a hibernating tortoise. Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby quarry....
©2015 Rebecca Tope (P)2015 Soundings
I wasn't really taken with either the story or the main protagonist, who came across as a mixture of smug and pushy. She seemed to get right up the noses of everyone she came across in the Cotswalds countryside, but I can't imagine such nice middle-class English people abandoning all their ingrained politeness in the way these people did. They were always telling her (often at their first meeting) to butt out and mind her own business.
The plot is very slow-moving - especially at the start; the body doesn't appear until chapter 5 or thereabouts and then it increases pace. But it never got to the stage where I felt fully engaged or intrigued by the question of who dunnit.
I've focused only on the negative so far, so I should say the book has some merits. The narration's good, for one thing. The author did set the scene quite well, providing some interesting insights into the local politics of environmental concerns. Her amateur sleuth also had some depth of character, and I DID listen right to the end!
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