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Originally Published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing republished as Murder at Hawthorn CottageMeet Melissa Craig friendly neighbor loving mother and daring detective?Melissa Craig has always prided herself on making a good living from crime courtesy of her lively imagination and with a string of crime novels to prove it Now she flees London her devoted but over protective lover and her kindly but dominating agent and takes refuge in the Cotswolds With no serious distractions than Iris her eccentric artistic neighbour her cheerful romantic domestic help Gloria and a rector who is a secret devotee of her fiction Melissa dreams of undisturbed peace for the production of yet bestsellersBut a series of bizarre telephone calls leads to a meeting with an engaging young journalist convinced that a real crime has been committed When a corpse is discovered in woodlands a short distance from her isolated cottage curiosity gets the better of judgment In the course of a little gentle sleuthing Melissa finds the truth stranger than her own fiction and uncovers a story of villainy frustration and despair which leads to further violent death before the mystery can be resolved

10 thoughts on “A Little Gentle Sleuthing

  1. says:

    35 STARSThis is the first book in the series and I really enjoyed meeting the character Melissa Craig She is a mystery writer and is currently working on her next mystery detective novel While she is trying to concentrate on her writing a real murder victim is discovered and she finds herself playing detective She even contemplates what her fictional detective might do Maybe her crime writing experience will assist her in solving the caseThe countryside cottage setting seems like it would be the perfect uiet environment but soon after she moves in things begin to rattle her Mysterious phone calls a shocking discovery in the woods and building tension in the community One thing leads to another and Melissa finds herself piecing together clues and getting closer to the truthThere are some red herrings that threw me some interesting eccentric characters and some foreboding throughout that gave this cozy mystery some characterRecommend for fans of light mysteries who enjoy a lead character who has charm persistence and is one smart cookie

  2. says:

    This is an ARC which I received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewThe novel is an ideal summerholiday read with a writer cum sleuth trying to solve a murder which was committed in the vicinity of her cottage Ideal for the fans of Agatha Raisin

  3. says:

    A charming cozy perfect for book lovers📚I love a book where a crime writer turns real life detective even fun in this book Melisa Craig tries to channel her fictional character to figure out what would she do in this situation? This is the first book in this cozy series it is a bit of a slow burn but overall a pleasant readMellisa moves to the Causwells for some peace and uiet but soon the body start dropping and Melisa dons her sleuthing cap I liked Melissa I thought she was smart and savvy and actually cut out to do some amateur detecting I like this village and I am looking forward to getting to know the secondary characters better in future books my one niggle with this book is that I liked a little humor in my cozies but this is a matter of taste it’s a me thingA good start to this cozy and uaint series huge thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book

  4. says:

    'Murder at Hawthorn Cottage' is the first book in the highly acclaimed Melissa Craig Cozy Mystery series by highly successful crime writer Betty Rowlands Despite the fact that this book was first published way back in 1990 it has a timeless plot that certainly stands the test of time I loved some of the detail that reminded me of a bygone era although I suspect that some editing was done to bring it up to dateThe setting in the beautiful Cotswolds was vivid and reminded me a lot of the villages in Midsomer Murders At least that's what I had in my minds eye when reading The pace was pretty gentle with lots of background given for the various characters so we have the relevant information on them for when we progress on to further books The story is well thought out and I appreciated the excellent writing I had wrongly assumed that cozy crime fiction would be too slow and nicey nicey for me which it wasn't if this book is anything to go by However I did have an issue with the fact that it was implied that by forty five you are old this is simply not realistic and really uite offensive to some people I would imagine This is an ideal read if you are looking for a tame mystery novel I had fun with this lighthearted read but ultimately it was not as compelling as I would've likedMany thanks to Bookouture for an ARC I was not reuired to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own

  5. says:

    Melissa Craig is a mystery novelist in her mid forties Single and the mother of a grown son she has just moved from London into an isolated Cotswold cottage where she intends to write her next book One of her other reasons for moving was to distance herself from Aubrey a married man who loves her but whom she does not love back He has become to clingy and solicitousMelissa meets her new neighbour Iris who is a vegan fabric designer and accomplished organic gardener Iris has a wonderful cat named Binkie who adds some feline presence to the bookMelissa meets some colorful residents A clergyman with secrets a vivacious cleaning lady and a grounds keeper who wants to find 'tid bits' that she might use in her next mystery novelOnly a week after her move a body is found by her next door neighbour as she digs leaf mulch for her garden The corpse has been buried in the wood for several monthsWith the aid of a young journalist Melissa does some 'gentle sleuthing' and helps to uncover the seamier side of the idyllic Cotswolds Murder suspects are discovered and danger lurksMY THOUGHTSOn the cover beneath the author's name is the tagline An absolutely gripping cozy mystery It is exactly that A while back I wrote a post about cozy mystery covers and how some of the cartoonish of them might do them a disservice I think this is true even now that I've read a cozy  The beautiful covers of this series published by Bookouture are what drew me to the novel I would never have reuested it if it had one of those typical 'cozy' coversThis is the first in a series of 13 books featuring the fictional crime novelist Melissa Craig many of which were published previously under different titles Undoubtedly a series that will be enjoyed by lovers of the 'cozy' mystery sub genreThe Cotswold setting was divine The protagonist Melissa Craig was engaging The mystery was interesting What could you ask for in a light easy to read escapist whodunit?NOTE Murder at Hawthorn Cottage was originally published under the titleA little gentle sleuthing Other titles in this series have differing titles as wellI received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley This review is my way of saying thank you35 STARS rounded down

  6. says:

    This book really surprised me In a good way Originally published in 1990 Bookouture is re issuing this mystery series featuring Melissa Craig a crime writer who moves from London to the Cotswolds and becomes embroiled in finding out about some dodgy goings on First of all apart from the obvious lack of technology this has aged surprisingly well Great setting nicely drawn characters a good mystery If you like a cosy then I suggest you get this one in Ready for autumnI also liked some of the underlying themes of the book Does a woman need a man for protection and to look after her? What is it like to move from a bustling city to a rural idyll? Different types of relationships etc I am keen to pick up in this series I can see myself already curled up on the sofa with a hot mug of tea and wandering with Melissa through the Cotswolds

  7. says:

    An absolutely addictive wonderful story Loved it from start to finish Great pace and a delightful setting colourful characters and thrilling mystery This was a brilliant story and I cannot wait for

  8. says:

    Author Melissa Craig thought her move from chaotic London to the Cotswolds would be idyllic and full of bucolic charm Unfortunately she's found a hamlet with linked murders and some crazy seedy dealings going on and before she knows it her new novel ideas are all too like life and if she can't solve the mysteries it won't just be the end of her novel it'll be the end of her life As cozy mysteries go this was a good start to a series and a very fast read While I found a few threads a bit too fantastical it wasn't serious enough to throw the whole book off for me I would read in the series and look forward to meeting of the characters who live there I liked her relationship with her editor and hope her son comes to visit Her artist neighbour was also a favourite and I felt most everyone was described in the colourful way expected in a cozy I have Kindle Unlimited and this series was pretty persistent in my recommendations and is one of the better mystery offerings

  9. says:

    Writer Melissa Craig moved to the Cotswolds Soon her neighbor discovers a corpse near her home A reporter seeks Melissa's help investigating the person whom he believes to be Babs Carter who worked at a local nightclub and disappeared without a trace A young man interested in Babs suffered an automobile accident leaving him impaired a couple days after her disappearance Melissa's investigation for her own novel conveniently yields clues for the puzzle at hand Unfortunately the plot is not very believable The prostitution and drugs concepts in the novel are not cozy at all and seem a bit seedy to include for people who enjoy this genre While the Cotswold setting is nice the seediness somewhat negated the sense of place that might have been achieved if the author had stuck to typical cozy plots I received an electronic galley through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review This book was originally published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing

  10. says:

    Pretty light escape reading that allows one to dream of living in the Cotswolds just not in this crime writer's neighborhood where after newly arriving she uncovers a rather unhealthy amount of crime