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A babbling brook runs alongside a wooded glade surrounded by autumn light and birdsong But next to the stream a young woman lies dead her once bright blonde hair now limp and lifeless Melissa Craig has settled into a new job in the charming Cotswolds village of Upper Benbury She is teaching French to several of the local teenagers which gives her a fascinating insight into the young people’s lives Material for a new novel perhaps Her uiet life is interrupted when she sees her new neighbour running out of the woods in a blind panic Melissa rushes to help him but what she finds leaves her breathless the body of young woman is lying on the bank of the river When suspicion falls on Melissa’s neighbour a man with a difficult past trying to make a new start Melissa feels determined to prove his innocence With the village in turmoil and the police sure they’ve got their man she must act uickly As she interviews the local residents she realises there are several sinister characters lurking inside those charming Cotswold cottages Could one of them have hurt Cissie? Was it the strange old man with a cottage near the river? Or the ailing ex choirmaster with uite an eye for the ladies? When Melissa Craig decides to get her teeth into a case she doesn’t let go – nothing will stop her from solving this murder Can she prove the innocence of her new friend? And will she unearth the culprit before another young life is taken? An absolutely unputdownable murder mystery for fans of Faith Martin Joy Ellis and PD James that will have you hooked right from the start What readers are saying about Betty Rowlands ‘Hooked from the first pages wonderful fascinating full of twists and turns kept me guessing till the end’ Goodreads reviewer 5 stars ‘Brilliant I read this book in one sitting and could not put it down I would highly recommend this book to anyone’ NetGalley Reviewer 5 stars ‘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 ’ Renita D’Silva author of The Forgotten Daughter 5 stars ‘Perfect for lovers of COZY CRIME I loved this book This is an easily read book but it will keep you on your toes’ Goodreads reviewer 5 stars ‘Once I started reading I couldn't put it down as it was entertaining and enthralling The mystery was interesting and it kept me guessing till the end Highly recommended’ Scrapping and Playing 5 stars ‘The uintessential cozy mystery the storyline is fast paced and engaging builds to an adrenaline fuelled ending full of action and powerful imagery An enjoyable escapist read that I suspect may become my secret addiction

10 thoughts on “The Man at the Window

  1. says:

    An engaging and fast paced mysteryThe body of a teenager is found near a stream in the woods Did she slip fell in the water and drowned? If it was an accident then who pulled the body out of the water? What was the girl doing in the woods and who was she running from?When Melissa Craig finds out that her new neighbor whom she believes to be innocent is implicated because of his finding the body and his presence at the time of the incident she is determined to find out what exactly happened and help clear the man’s nameThanks to the author Bookouture and the NetGalley for an advanced copy

  2. says:

    Murder at Benbury Brook the ninth 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 nine is just as exciting as the rest of the seriesIt'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 Man at the Window 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:

    Again a great story by this author We see some ‘old’ characters again but some have left and new ones are being introduced It’s always a bit sad to have to say goodbye to them and I missed them but the author filled the void with uite interesting onesIn this book we get less information about the private life of Melissa There is focus on the case itself and she really excels Maybe because she had time on her hands due to the changes in her personal life?Either way it was a truely enjoyable read and I love the connection between Melissa and Bruce They work well together and have become friendsThe author has a nice writing style and I am looking forward to book 10 I wonder what Melissa will have to untangle next and how her love life is going to develop 5 starsThank you Betty Rowlands Bookouture and Netgalleyhttpsbforbookreviewwordpresscom

  4. says:

    Melissa Craig is a crime writer She has now decided to give her fictitious detective a retirement and go into the world of literary fiction Her nose however leads her elsewhere Mystery and murder seems to follow her even in this idyllic village she now calls homeMelissa is missing her friend Irish who lived next door to her The house has stood empty but at last there seems to be a tenant a uiet man who is the teacher in the local school Melissa hopes the new neighbour will prove to be a good one The village is turned on its head when one of its youngsters is found dead in a brook in the village When a chance encounter with her next door neighbour turns out to be chaotic and frightening Melissa now has to decide whether the man is innocent as she believes him to be despite his shadowy past or whether he is just a victim of circumstanceBelieving him to be innocent Melissa sets out on a dangerous path of proving the Police wrong and finding the actual culprit responsible for this murderSet in beautiful surroundings and extremely descriptive of this part of England the Cotswolds added to the interest for me in this book

  5. says:

    Another great book from Betty Rowlands in the Melissa Craig series I did wonder how she would fare now that Iris her next door neighbour and close friend had left for France The arrival of a new neighbour to live at least for the time being in Iris's cottage soon throws Mel into the midst of another mystery and it isn't long before she finds herself involved in a little sleuthing With the changes that happened in the last book I knew that we were likely to be without a few of the supporting characters from previous books Although I have always enjoyed reading about them they weren't really missed her and Mel still had a couple of friendly faces to rely uponThis time the mystery focuses on the death of a girl was it an accident or something sinister? There is also something decidedly seedy going on in the village It becomes pretty clear what's going on although there are no graphic descriptions just enough hints to make it clear what certain characters have been doing I've said before that I feel that these books are 'classic mysteries' than cosy mysteries Although things aren't spelt out as such I think that the crimes do make these classic than cosy but perhaps that's because I tend to be a little dismissive of the term 'cosy' and see it as twee and insubstantial which these novels certainly aren't One of the joys of this series is the way that village life is depicted I don't know if it's because I grew up in an English village and I relate to this picture or just because it's so well written a little of both perhaps? I suppose that there is a little nostalgia too with these books being set and written twenty years or so ago now That doesn't detract from the enjoyment though these are great mysteries and a good read even if the world has moved on a littleThe of this series I read the I enjoy them I can't wait to see what the next book has in store for MelI received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own

  6. says:

    Another wonderful bookThese are always a joy to read and find out what mischief Melissa will end up in This time there were circumstances that almost destroyed a mans life and ended his life It just so sad what a few rumors about someone can do to destroy a reputation and drive that person to utter despair I enjoyed this book very much except it seemed so different from the past books I didn't give it five stars Perhaps it was the missing characters of Iris her good friend and neighbor and Ken Melissa's former lover and DCI I know he retired and went into PI work but did he have to move to New York?? I was hoping she might find a connection with Kens former Sargent Matt who's now a DI At least I believe he's a DI Its hard to keep up with the British form of law enforcement monickers Then there's Joe her agent for her books He's okay but he's never been a favorite character of mine I was so happy when she finally got romantically involved with Ken but that seems to have been done away with My second pick would be Matt Also it seems Bruce as done a complete turn around and has settled down Which is great for him but he isn't that wild reporter any that got her into deep trouble with the bad guys with the police Let's see what is it the British call them the old Bill? I'll have to double check that to make sure it the right word All in all this is a good book just not as fast paced or exciting as some of her other adventures I'm looking forward to seeing what comes up next in Mel's crime fighting escapades Maybe shell go see Simon her son in New York hook up with Ken again He changed at the end of the previous book perhaps he'll be back to his old self or better yet Matt will come around and have the guts to ask her out He's always had a crush on her I could tell Can't tell about Iris though she was always a bit weird Mel needs another really good friend to give her advice Matt maybe Hahahaha Yes I've always liked his character

  7. says:

    Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review It was an absolute treat to spend time with Melissa Craig once again in Upper Benbury Much has changed in her life since we last saw her Her best friend Iris has married and moved to the South of France Her boyfriend Ken Harris is in America working as a PI In addition to writing books Melissa is now tutoring one of the local teenagers in French She learns a lot from what she learns from her Iris has rented out her cottage to a teacher that will be starting in the fall term He's very private and not overly friendly Melissa tries to engage him in conversation on several occasions but he doesn't seem to want to talkOne day she finds him running from the woods after finding the body of Cissie a teenager from the village Did he find her or did he kill her? It's not Melissa's job to figure this out but she just can't help getting involved again She's sure that the police are wrong in suspecting her new neighbour but she feels if she doesn't get to the bottom of things he will be sent to prison for something that he didn't do There are several interesting characters that live in Upper Benburyan old hermit who's up to shady things a former choirmaster that left his post under hushed up circumstances A wonderful mystery that has Melissa working hard to prove just who killed Cissie and why

  8. says:

    In this ninth book in the series Melissa Clark is missing her next door neighbour Iris She has a new renter next door in Elder Cottage a young man who's been hired to teach at a local private school Graham Stripley is a shy young man but Mel makes friends with him Then one day she's driving home and Graham comes running out of the woods towards her Together they go to Benbury Brook and find the drowned body of sixteen year old Cissy a pretty girl who worked at the local shop Graham insists he didn't touch her and Mel believes him but the police take him away from uestioning Graham's past is revealed by Bruce the newspaperman At Graham's previous school a young girl falsely accused him of making a pass at her and although he had not been arrested the stress caused him a breakdown and broke up his marriage Mel is determined to find out what happened to Cissy She had been to the dilapidated cottage of elderly Tommy Judd to deliver some eggs why had she left the path and plunged into the woods and then fallen to her death in the brook? Melissa Craig is a great character She is writing a novel while investigating and writes up her notes and hands them off to the police She visits various people in the village poking into their lives while her son and her publisher advise her to leave things alone I was afraid she would come to grief in this book Can't wait to read some

  9. says:

    The nineth book in this series is the first without two of the main protagonists but still works on all levels The stock characters visible in any village tale are well written and their various foibles lovingly created to make you smile cheer or rant in eual measure There is a new neighbour for Melissa a teacher who has a new job to go to at the end of the summer holidays Never one to hide away Mel is friendly in the face of his reluctance and soon becomes his main ally as it seems his world is about to come crashing down The storyline this time leads Mel and the police into areas neither expected while investigating an unexplained death and although this is something dealt with in many different literary genres I felt that its prevalence in a small village was very well handled I worked out some of the issues in this story but as is usual with Betty Rowland's books there are twists and turns which surprise right to the end I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to Netgalley and the publishers and would recommend it to anyone who is reading the series in order you won't be disappointed or to anyone who enjoys a cosy mystery with a little bit bite than some

  10. says:

    This is the 9th book in this well loved popular series I find this series fascinating and always enjoy returning to the small charming Cotswold's village to solve a new mysterious crime Part of the great joy of reading this series is experiencing the village through the author's eyes This series can be read out of order if one likes The author has in every book described the setting and previous charcters for every new reader to understand The charcters are richly drawn by the author and the investigation is well crafted whodone it to a most pleasing end Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC for review My personal opinion is my own Melissa is a savvy adept protagonist who happens to be a crime writer Her investigation into murders is primary to her writing career In this next installment a new neighbor adds to the mystery as she begins to solve another murder using her sharp investigative skills As the mystery deepens clues abound and soon Melissa is on the right track of solving another murder I highly recommend this most entertaining cozy mystery This is the perfect mystery to read on a cold day curled up with a cuppa