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A body is found near a picture perfect Cotswolds village but the upstanding local residents couldn’t possibly be involved could they? Murder is the very last thing on Melissa Craig’s mind when one of her neighbours pops in to complain loudly about a minor local robbery She’s far too busy thinking about her next book But when the evening paper lands there is a shocking headline A young woman’s body has been found in the nearby woods and it seems the local robbery may offer a crucial clue Suddenly the whole village is talking about the murder but none of Melissa’s neighbours have come forward to say they know who the victim is Convinced that the police have got the wrong end of the stick Melissa can’t resist doing some digging When she finds a photograph of the dead girl at her former family home she realises this is the clue she needs if only she can find out who took the picture Melissa finds an exciting new lead and rushes to follow it But might she be walking into a trap? Can she work out the truth before she puts herself in harm’s way? If you love novels by Joy Ellis Faith Martin or Agatha Christie you won’t be able to put down this twisty murder mystery This book was previously published as The Cherry Pickers

10 thoughts on “Cherry Pickers

  1. says:

    The body of a gypsy girl is found in the stolen freezer of one of the haughty residents of the villageNobody seems to know the identity of the victim but most of the residents have seen her trudging the streets with her tote bag going door to door and trying to sell her hand made lace workWho is the victim? Why did she have to die? Is the culprit an outsider or is there a murderer living in this peaceful village hiding behind the walls of a warm and cozy cottage?Melissa Craig who is a crime writer is naturally and inevitably drawn towards the mystery and is determined to solve it and lay the idle gossips to restThanks to the author Bookouture and the NetGalley for my copy

  2. says:

    Murder in Langley Woods the eighth novel in the Melissa Craig Cozy Mystery series uses the beautiful Cotswolds setting as one of the central aspects of the story and reminds me a lot of the chocolate box villages portrayed in Midsomer Murders It's a story that is full of charm and works well as a standalone it certainly isn't necessary to have read the previous instalments The author is adept at moulding interesting characters that you really care about an intriguing plot and the twists and turns throughout make for a satisfying tale We also get development of main protagonist Melissa which is exciting to see and book eight is definitely the best of the series so farIt's an engaging mystery with a menacing undertone and chilling atmosphere running through it Importantly for a cozy there is no profanity sexual liaisons or blood and gore and the conclusion was unexpected and satisfying Previously published as The Cherry Pickers fans of Agatha Christie and MC Beaton should enjoy this as well as those who love to read cozies A superb and highly entertaining addition to an already popular series and a perfect read for those dark chilly nightsMany thanks to Bookouture for an ARCYou can also find my reviews posted here on my blog

  3. says:

    Number 8 of the series and I really don’t tire of them As I said before not only the murder cases become and thrilling and intriguing but the lives of the main characters develop in a very interesting way as wellI will certainly miss reading about Melissa and the other protagonists at the end of the series but fortunately I have some adventures comingOnce again the author has taken me by surprise I had not one single idea how this plot would turn out and she totally chose an unexpected suspectI am afraid that I have a new favourite one but let’s be honest they are all than worth readingThese books are top of the bill in the cozy mystery novel genre 5 starsThank you Betty Rowlands Bookouture and Netgalley for the review copyhttpsbforbookreviewwordpresscom

  4. says:

    4 starsThis book is a great addition to the Melissa Craig series of cozy mysteries Ms Rowlands’ writing reminds me a little of Agatha Christie She writes a great mystery with the gore and violence that some novels have The plotting is great and the story is both appealing and uick to read Mel Craig is an engaging character and her relationship with her boyfriend is wonderful The other characters in the book I found to be interesting and wanted to keep reading to find out about them Well done Ms Rowlands I am awaiting the next in this series I want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for forwarding to me a copy of this very good little book for me to read enjoy and review

  5. says:

    You can find this review and all of my others over at wwwreadbookrepeatworpresscom I received a copy of this book from the publisher Bookouture and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review Actual rating of 35Book number 8 in the Melissa Craig series sees Melissa trying to navigate personal relationships deal with the fact that her good friend and eccentric neighbour Iris is moving to France with her soon to be husband and get her manuscript finished in what may very well be the last book in her long running series while attempting to decide which idea she should follow next On top of all this a young woman's body has been found discarded naked in an old broken freezer that the Major and his wife discarded for hard rubbish collection The young lady appears to be part of the Gipsy camp staying in the area and the Romany have their own way of meting out punishment to those responsible Melissa finds herself embroiled in the case along with her reporter friend and what they will discover will be surprising to say the leastI had reuested book 1 and 2 of this series in the earlier days of my Netgalley membership I enjoyed the cosy mysteries so much so that when I discovered other installments in the series available I went on a spree and reuested books 8 through 11 I do enjoy a cosy mystery but I was beginning to think what could be offered in the series so I put of reading the ones I reuested I ended up biting the bullet and attempting to whittle them down along with my stupidly long Netgalley eARC list and I wasn't disappointed in this one I didn't think I would be to be honest I've come to uite enjoy the characters that Rowlands has created in this series and I'll admit I'm eager to see what happens to them next As per usual Melissa finds herself in the middle of an investigation because she just can't help herself however I found this one to be a little bit darker and a bit dangerous than the previous two that I've read yes I'll admit I've missed five books in the series This installment deals with domestic violence bigotry and deals with the relationships in the book a lot deeper than I was expecting So you have the normal cosy mystery happening with a darker tinge to it but a lot of the book is also dealing with Melissa and her beau Ken's relationship and the fact that he wishes to marry her The tenuous relationship that she had with her father is touched upon which I thought was great because all we knew about her was that her parents essentially kicked her out when she was pregnant with her son Simon and her love died leaving his parents as the ones to care for her and the child which they were happy to do So it was nice to get a bit of a backstory to Melissa's parents There's also the fact that Iris is to be wed soon and is moving with her fiancee to France which I feel like Melissa is not ready for to be honest I know I'm not I uite enjoy the character of Iris so I'm a little worried that this will mean she becomes less and less involved in the stories Ken is an overbearing character and he annoyed me from the beginning of this book I can remember his character from the previous books I've read but I didn't see their relationship grow because as mentioned above I skipped five books but honestly I don't know how Melissa has put up with him for so long however long that is it might not be very long at all He is overbearing arrogant and thinks that he has the right to order Melissa around and tell her what to do Now I've always seen Melissa as a strong character who doesn't take any crap from anyone so I was really surprised to see her bowing down to some of Ken's temper tantrums It just didn't seem like the character that I've come to know and enjoy As always the Fords annoy me they're gossipers and are so worried about appearances and social standing which I've never understood I came to enjoy the character of Mel's reporter friend who's name I just cannot remember for the life of me I think his name is Bruce? He seems less stuck up and annoying in this installment and it seems like they've become good friends The mystery was well thought out and executed I had an inkling early on on WHO dunnit and sort of why but not the whole story So when the reveal happened at the end it wasn't a total surprise for me but the why and how was explained well so it all made sense and was tied up nice and neat in a little bow I'm interested to see how the dynamic of the village changes after this book to be honest I feel like Rowlands did a good job of painting the picture of the Romany Gipsies and I feel like it was done tastefully though because I'm not one I can't honestly say for sure how well it was done There's not a whole lot to say on this book as it's number 8 in the series But if you like a good little cosy mystery set in England maybe give the series a go Be mindful this series was originally written in the 90s so answering machines and the like were the way of communication hahahaha this was actually the first book where I saw a mobile phone mentioned

  6. says:

    This is book #8 of the Melissa Craig mysteries Whilst it can be read as a standalone I would recommend reading these in order This book has previously been titled The Cherry Pickers but has been recently revamped with a new title and cover by the Publishers BookoutureWe are now 8 books into the series but for those who have never read any of these books before it’s wise to warn you that these books are written under a genre called ‘Cosy Mysteries’ In other words they are crime books but with a much sedate and gentler pace There’s not much blood and gore but instead plenty of sleuthing and mystery – much like Agatha Christie and MC Beaton type novels That doesn’t mean that they are any less full of murders and crime just like a good old fashioned whodunitMelissa Craig is the amateur sleuthprofessional author and the main character of this series of books She’s always on the hunt for a good story for inspiration for her crime novels but instead always seems to find herself smack bang in the middle of a real life murder I love Melissa’s character and have pictures in mind of some ‘Miss Marple’ type character although I would hope that Melissa is a lot glamourous than that no disrespect to Miss Marple of course In this book Melissa resorts to her amateur detective work when a young woman’s body is found hidden in a freezer which has been dumped in the local woods but nobody within Melissa’s village is coming forward to identify her Surely someone from the Village must know who she is and Melissa makes it her job to find out no matter what danger she puts herself inWhat I do love about Melissa is that she is always convinced that the police have got it wrong which I would imagine causes much huffing and puffing amongst the local constabulary Annoyingly for them though Melissa is usually right and after 8 books in I do often wonder why they don’t just give her a job As usual for this series of books the storyline moves at a swift pace and held my attention throughout the book There are plenty of additional characters to give you food for thought as to who might be the killer and I was kept on tenterhooks a good way through the book before discovering who it was This was another wonderful read in this series of books which hasn’t despite being so far into a series lost its interest or appeal An easy read ideal for a cold winter’s evening Bring on book number 9

  7. says:

    The Melissa Craig series of books are some of my favourites  they are like visiting old friends and catching up with their latest adventures This time the crime begins in Mel's small village but moves out into the surrounding area where once again Ms Rowland shows her love for the Cotswolds in the detail of her description These novels improve with each new story; the characters are now well rounded and familiar the stories multi layered and the culprits elusive than ever This time the main murder mystery was linked with a subject even relevant today than when this book was first published that of violence against women in many of its guises For a cosy mystery there was a large amount of reasonably graphic detail of attacks on two of the characters which surprised me I think however that as each storyline improves and emphasises the craft of the author it should be expected that the cosiness of the first few novels has disappeared to be replaced by a realistic view of the world whether that is in this instance the larger towns or small villages of the Cotswolds There are prospective life changing decisions to be made by the main characters which had me cheering and despairing in eual measure Most of these have now been resolved at least partially and I am looking forward to seeing how they move forward in the next novel I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to Netgalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review and would recommend it highly The addition of the graphic scenes may put some people off but although I think the book would have worked just as well without some of them the storyline demanded than a brief sanitised glimpse into the lives of those involved on both sides of the story and overall was better because of them

  8. says:

    I just reviewed Murder in Langley Woods A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 8 by Betty Rowlands #MurderInLangleyWoods #NetGalleys This is the first of this series that I have read so the relationships and characters are new to me and bring no baggage which they clearly have from seven preceding books The cast of characters was promising if predictable writer retired policeman turned PI local friendly detective Sargent local aloofby the book DI ‘respectable’ local Major and his status conscious wife gossipy villagers gypsies ambitious local reporter and busy friend next door handy for debriefing There at least three romantic threads running a few sub plots of theft blackmail revenge pornography and domestic violence to keep us guessing Rowlands critically uses rather than accepts the stereotypes and her poyrtrayals are fairly deft Things are not of course what they seems She is also exploring what constitutes a healthy and lasting romantic relationship This is the strength of the book I was impatient with the degree to which Melissa tolerated and excused control within her relationship but cognisant that having her main character conflicted and committed to working her way through the contradictions is a healthy and helpful portrayal as is the contrast with other women entangled to varying degrees with dominant and violent menThe mystery is uite strong and well plotted There are enough interesting minor characters to hold interest in further books It is competent engaging and interesting It falls for me between three and four stars

  9. says:

    Spoilers Not my favorite of hers but still a good read I saw the ending coming from about halfway ish which is always disappointing Still the read was easy and I still wanted to finish to make sure I had guessed right That’s why I gave 3 instead of 4 starsI have to say that I am over her inability to commit in a relationship I guess that’s another reason I gave this a lower rating I find myself irritated with her indecision and keeping Ken in limbo the poor guy It’s like she needs to be independent so badly to prove to herself she isn’t anyone’s ‘property’ That to me is a personal flaw not a reflection of his wanting her to commit I don’t love his possessive nature of course but I do think it’s a little absurd for Mel to get so irritated when he is worried about her It’s not like she has a uiet safe hobby She is in fact investigating murders and has had several very dangerous encounters Anyway I’m glad she set him loose to find happiness with someone else It was about time she stopped dangling him on a stringAs far as her publicist goes I don’t know how I feel about that She has always been so hell bent that she wouldn’t love him and it’s clearly being set up for a romance He was just as protective in the earlier books so I have a hard time seeing this going anywhere new I want to slap her and tell her to figure out her own demons before getting involved with another guy Ok rant over

  10. says:

    I'm getting through these Mel Craig mysteries at the moment up to book eight already with book nine ready to go next Like the previous books in the series these are classic mysteries with a who done it to solve This time Mel finds herself drawn into the case after the disappearance of an old freezer from the house of a fellow resident of her village To begin with she thinks nothing of it but when the freezer turns up twenty miles away complete with a dead body inside Mel being Mel she can't resist but find out what has happened and with the help of journalist Bruce she begins to investigate furtherIn the previous books Mel has been involved in a relationship with ex policeman Ken She's kept him very much at arm's length and now he's pushing for commitment The main problem is that he doesn't like her getting involved in the investigations that she seems to find herself in the middle ofThe end of the book resulted in some changes or coming changes in Mel's life I don't know yet what this will mean for some of the characters who have been regular so far I am looking forward to finding out and seeing what mystery Mel gets involved in nextI received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own