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A gorgeous country house surrounded by sweeping lawns is warmed by the rising sun But inside the lady of the manor will not see the morning Police photographer Sukey Reynolds is called to investigate a seemingly routine break in at the beautiful Dearley Manor estate but when she arrives she is shocked to find the body of someone she knows all too well The owner of Dearley Manor is none other than the wealthy woman whom Sukey’s husband Paul Reynolds left her for And she has been brutally murdered With her close personal connection Sukey is officially pulled off the case But as the police close in on Paul convinced he is guilty Sukey realises she has no choice but to try and prove his innocence He may not have been the world’s best husband but he’s no killer As she starts to dig around the dead woman’s history Sukey realises she was certainly no saint and many of her neighbours might have wanted the late owner of Dearley Manor out of the way When yet another woman on the Dearley Estate is found dead Sukey fears that anyone who knows too much about the troubled family is in danger from a ruthless murderer Can she prove Paul’s innocence before it’s too late? And will she be able to nail this brutal killer before another life is taken? An absolutely unputdownable murder mystery for fans of PD James Joy Ellis and Faith Martin from the bestselling ueen of cozy crime


10 thoughts on “Death at Dearley Manor

  1. says:

    Well written twisty and engaging Death at Dearley Manor is the second book in Sukey Reynolds seriesSukey’s ex husband’s second wife Myrna is an out and out loathsome individual She is manipulative and merciless and has a propensity to hurt others including her husband When her mutilated body is found in her bedroom who should be the prime suspect but her husband Didn’t he occasionally threaten to kill her one of these days in a fit of rage?But there are others with secrets And there is but one who would feel safe if Myrna didn’t exist at allThanks to the author Bookouture and the NetGalley for providing me with a copy


  2. says:

    Death at Dearley Manor is the second book in the series featuring ambitious amateur sleuth and police photographer Sukey Reynolds from the ueen of cosy mysteries Originally written in the 1990s the book hasn't aged well but that is certainly part of its charm in my opinion It took me back to my formative years with the spot on descriptions of 90s Britain There are plenty of twists in the tale and I appreciated that we saw of Sukey as the central character this time She's astute intelligent and a very likeable protagonist; it seems Ms Rowlands has a knack for creating exceptionally enjoyable characters just as she did with Melissa Craig a series I adoredThe downfall of living in a small rural community means that Sukey as a police photographer can be called to photograph scenes that she knows all too well She also knows the residents of those homes Here she is shocked to be the first to discover the body of the controlling and manipulative woman Sukey's husband Paul left her for despite having been called to Dearley Estate to merely investigate a robbery I look forward to seeing Sukey develop over the course of the thirteen books and for readers to take her to their hearts as they did Melissa Craig Recommended to those who enjoy cosy mysteries and those who loved her magical Melissa Craig series Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC


  3. says:

    Sometimes good things just drop in your lap Well make that drop in your e mailbox; not long ago came an invitation to read advance copies of two of author Betty Rowland's books featuring Susan Sukey Reynolds a civilian scene of crime officer with the County Police Force Although I've heard of Rowlands I've not read any of her books which include a dozen or so Melissa Craig mysteries This one is the second in the Sukey series and the third Death at Beacon Cottage was offered as wellDon't accept the offer I said to myself You've got enough on your NetGalley must read and review list I said They're described as cozy mysteries I said reminding myself that cozies rarely fail to make me want to smack the foolish heroines upside the head But in the end I caved; after all they're short Better still they sounded intriguing And didn't I have a couple of weeks' respite in between deadlines for the rest of my to read stack?Well I'm here to tell you that my words don't taste very good but I'll happily eat them In fact now that I've finished this one I'm eager to get started on the next So much did I enjoy this one that despite my enthusiasm about starting a new book by a favorite big name author think David Baldacci I may even break my usually hard and fast rule of reading only one book at a time and flip back and forth between it and the other by Rowlands having two Kindles make that easier One thing that swayed my opinion of this book is that it really doesn't come across as a true cozy No foolish heroine is Sukey for instance; yes once in a while she pokes her nose where someone has told her she shouldn't go but it's because there's no other good option to get something done that really needs done Better still despite events that threaten the tentative relationship she has with a police colleague Jim Castle there's none of the hand wringing will he won't he should I shouldn't I claptrap that's the hallmark of most of the cozies I've readSukey's ex husband Paul now is married to the very wealthy business owner Myrna who's turned out to be a shrew by all accounts of just every family member and employee at the company or the Dearley Manor estate in which she and Paul live Sukey and Paul's son Fergus makes his home with Sukey but he sees his father regularly Now that Myrna is openly showing her nasty side Fergus is concerned that his beleaguered dad might do something drastic Sure enough one day Myrna turns up brutally murdered and it is Sukey assigned to take photos at Myrna's showplace home after a reported break in who discovers the body As with most spouse murders and particularly since Paul's animosity toward his wife is well known Paul becomes suspect No 1 Fergus doesn't want to believe his dad is responsible but he's willing to accept the possibility Sukey however knows him well and she cannot fathom that he's capable of such a dastardly deedLittle by little other pieces of the murder puzzle emerge reinforcing the possibility that someone else is the culprit Because of the personal relationships both Sukey and Jim are removed from the case but that doesn't stop Sukey at least from doing some outside digging that unearths clues that the police who by the way do a commendable job with the investigation on their own might otherwise have missedEverything comes together at the end along with a few surprises and the promise of a new direction for Sukey in the next book I'm sure she's looking forward to the possibilities and by golly so am I


  4. says:

    Located in a wooded valley in the Cotswolds is a beautiful old home dating from the early 18th century Dearley Manor and surrounding estate land is the home of Myrna Maxford and her husband Paul Reynolds Yes the very same Paul who abandoned civilian Scene of Crimes Officer Sukey Reynolds and their son Fergus 5 years ago Though some bitterness remains between them Sukey has moved on to a new romantic relationship and is enjoying the resumption of her job with the Country Police Force When she's assigned to work a barn fire at Dearley Farm Sukey soon gets drawn into a much larger drama and a murder It seems that someone has killed Myrna Maxford and there's no shortage of suspects Despite her personal connection to Paul and the police finding him a person of interest Sukey discovers that many believed Myrna to be a ruthless power hungry monster Of course she's dismissed from any investigation so as not to taint the case but that doesn't stop Sukey from trying to help her ex husband and perhaps figure out who else had motive means and opportunity NO SPOILERSThis is the second in this cozy mystery series and I'm hooked The story was fast fun and kept me guessing This is not a bloody thriller with lots of suspense but it is a case that has a lot of red herrings multiple possible suspects and than one suspicious death I enjoy the characters though for heaven's sake this penchant writers have for referring to a woman who is 60 years of age as an old lady sort of gets my back up Seriously? I don't know anyone that age who is a doddering gnarled pathetic wretch Despite some stereotypical characters that have become cliche the reader is beginning to see some real personality in Sukey though others need development It will be interesting to see what new direction Sukey is going to take in subseuent books in the series given the hint at the end Since I've got the third already ueued up on my Kindle I'll be finding out shortlyThank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e book ARC to read and review I'm looking forward to Sukey's next case


  5. says:

    5 starsSusan “Sukey” Reynolds is a police photographer and she is sent to photograph a break in at palatial Dearley Manor The scene looks suspicious While there she has occasion to go upstairs There she discovers the lady of the house dead of knife wounds The very wealthy woman is Myrna wife of Sukey's ex husband Paul She was a tyrant – manipulative and controlling Needless to say she was not well liked Paul is the chief suspect Sukey has been pulled from the case for obvious reasons but her and Paul’s teenage son Fergus “Gus” begs Sukey to get involved for they both believe that Paul couldn't have murdered his wife The investigation gets very intricate with Sukey standing on the sidelines and picking up tips and hints here and there Then another woman is murdered The tension in the story ratchets up and the police are somewhat stymied The identity of the killer was a complete surprise – at least to me it was This book is written in Ms Rowlands' usual hard hitting style For a cozy that is It is exciting and moves apace The reader is hardly aware of the pages flying by I liked Sukey and Gus and the other main characters in the book as well Although I have read Ms Rowlands' other works this is my first Sukey novel I truly enjoyed it and look very much forward to reading the next book in this seriesI want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for forwarding to me a copy of this delightful book for me to read enjoy and review


  6. says:

    Scene of crime officer Sukey Reynolds is called to investigate a barn fire on the Dearley Manor estate then is called to a seemingly routine break in at the beautiful Dearley Manor but when she arrives she is shocked to find the body of someone she knows all too well The owner of Dearley Manor is none other than Myrna the wealthy woman whom Sukey’s husband Paul Reynolds left her for And she has been brutally murderedWith her close personal connection Sukey is officially pulled off the case however as the police close in on Paul convinced he is guilty Sukey realises she has no choice but to try and prove his innocence He may not have been the world’s best husband but he’s no killerWhen yet another woman on the Estate is found dead Sukey fears that anyone who knows too much about the troubled family is in danger from a ruthless murdererThe second book in the series which could easily be read on its own but the events do take place a couple of months after the first book there is the continuing thread of both Sukey Fergus’ romances Another well written page turning read that I read in a sitting I was drawn in from the first page even though Paul was a cheat I was routing for him not to be the murderer Sukey of course can’t keep away from the case by chance finds herself the confidante of a couple of people I'm hooked on the series hope the rest are re releasedMy honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read


  7. says:

    This is the second book in Betty Rowlands' Sukey Reynolds series and the unfamiliarity of the first is a distant memory After twelve Melissa Craig mysteries which I loved I was unsure how long it would take to get as involved in her other set of books I needn't have worriedSukey's ex husband Paul was mentioned a few times in the first book but this time he's front and centre When she finds his second wife dead while working as a scene of crime officer on a break in at his stately home Sukey is removed from the case assigned other work instead and supposed to keep away from her original assignment This is a Betty Rowlands' book however and so that doesn't have a chance of happening I enjoyed this story than the first mainly because I 'knew' the main protagonists Sukey isn't Melissa in a different setting but a very likeable driven character who I look forward to getting to know even better in the forthcoming series Also present once again were her son Fergus and lover Jim both of whom compliment her wellI  was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good cosy crime or enjoyed Ms Rowlands' previous work you won't be disappointed


  8. says:

    This is the first Sukey Reynolds book I've read and it is a good book to read for a visit to the Cotswolds I enjoyed the descriptions of the lovely countryside and a look into the life of a dedicated law and officer and motherWhen a hideous murder occurs Sukey is drawn into solving the crime as it is her ex husband's new rich wife who has been killed At the urging of their son Fergus Sukey balances the love of a mother wanting to help her son exonerate his father with the prospect of losing her job Paul her estranged husband is all too happy to rely on her help Sukey must solve the case and not lose her job or become the killer's next victimThe book was fast moving and the characters were fascinating Sukey and DC Jim Castle were a good match and I liked the respect each had for the other's opinions Fergus and his girlfriend Anita bring a nice balance to the book The book was full of red herrings which I love and while I thought I knew whodunit I was wrongI'll go back and read the first book I think it would give me a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations So another visit with Sukey is on the booksI received an ARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review of the book


  9. says:

    This is the second Sukey Reynolds book and like the Melissa Craig series before it I've got another amateur detective that I'm enjoying reading about As a rule I'm not that keen on so called cosy mysteries I don't know that I'd entirely label this series as that It's not particularly dark or nasty but a lot true to life than some of the comedy style cosy mysteries I prefer to call this type a classic mystery myselfThis time the Sukey find's that the murder is close to home with her ex husband being married to the victim and therefore a potential suspect himself Sukey is not able to be involved directly in the investigation herself and she hands the SOCO work over to a colleague But with her son Gus worried about his father she can't help but try and help to get to the bottom of who has committed the murderUnfortunately this time I didn't solve the mystery There were plenty of suspects that might have been guilty and I just didn't guess right I really enjoyed reading it though and I can't wait to read her next mystery I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own


  10. says:

    When SOCO Sukey Reynolds is sent to gather evidence from a break in at a manor house she realizes it is her ex husband’s home and responds hoping she won’t run into the new Mrs Unfortunately Sukey does than run into her she finds her body in her bedroom where she was violently murdered Having to be removed from the case due to her relationship with the main suspect she still believes he is innocent and for the love of their son she finds herself inserting herself when she should be staying far far awayJust how far will Sukey go to help her ex for the sake of her son Gus? Not only does this murder put Sukey’s relationship with her inspector boyfriend Jim in danger it puts HER clearly in the killer’s line of sight The second book in the series is just as much of a page turner as the first While you will want to read the first one because it’s that good you don’t need to read it before this one as this serves just fine as a stand alone Absolutely adore this series and am off to read the next in the series A great cozy series to add to your must read list