Tope, Rebecca - 'A Cotswold Mystery'
Since the death of her husband several years ago, Thea Osborne earns extra income by house-sitting. This time Thea is asked to stay in a house in the beautiful Cotswold village of Blockley. However, this job isn't going to be as easy as most. The mother of the owner lives in the cottage next door and Thea has been asked to keep an eye on her. She is told that "Granny" is a bit forgetful and isn't much trouble. But at 92, Granny is feisty and refuses to behave the way expected of 92 year old Grannies. She is also erratic and unpredictable. One minute she is as sharp as a tack, the next she doesn't know what time of day it is.
The arrival of Thea's daughter Jessica is a welcome surprise. Jessica is on a few days leave from her job as a probationary constable, but she has made a mistake at work and is worried about the consequences. Things are complicated when Jessica discovers the body of Julian, Granny's near neighbour and friend, murdered in his house. The death provides Jessica with a distraction from work and together with Thea, she tries to find out who killed Julian and why.
A COTSWOLD MYSTERY is light reading without being too cosy. There is a cast of interesting characters and the descriptions of Blockley and its history make the reader want to visit the area. The relationship between Thea and Jessica in particular is well portrayed. The pair are close, but their relationship is frequently prickly so there are flare ups and squabbles. It is just what you'd expect from a strong-minded mother and daughter.
I liked Thea and Jessica a great deal and found the mystery to be engrossing. If there is a criticism of the book it is that perhaps the resolution felt a little rushed, but it is a minor quibble. A COTSWOLD MYSTERY is Rebecca Tope's fourth in the 'Cotswold Mystery' series.
Sunnie Gill, Australia