A winning horse. A fierce rivalry. A sudden death.
Belinda Sandford thrills to the cheers of the crowd as her beautiful grey racehorse, ‘Butterfly Charm’, thunders past the finishing post first at Wincanton Racecourse. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world.
But joy soon turns to despair as a stewards’ enquiry overturns the result and awards the race to her long-time rival, Alexandra Deacon.
When Alex is found dead in suspicious circumstances, a host of accusing eyes turn to Belinda and her distraught mother begs Adam Hennessy, her neighbour, retired police officer and publican, to help clear her daughter’s name.
As Adam, and local hotelier Imogen Bishop, dig deep into the murky and powerful undercurrents of the horse racing world, they lay bare the lives and loves of local jockeys, grooms, trainers and owners.
They soon uncover a web of secrets hidden within the spectacular Somerset countryside as they strive to find the killer in time to prevent more murders.
What I Thought:
I picked up A Racing Murder not realising that it was the second book in a series but, on finishing it, I immediately grabbed that first book!
Quiet village life in Somerset is interrupted by the murder of a promising young jockey, and a retired police officer turned publican and his gang of friends set out to solve the crime.
Having read The Thursday Murder Club last year, this book as something of a similar feel with older people using their life experience and connections to find the real killer once the police have written the case off. This book definitely compares favourably to that best seller! There is also quite a touch of Midsomer Murders – fingers crossed for the residents of Lower Hembrow that this series doesn’t make it the murder capital of Somerset!!
I’m really enjoying cosy crime books at the moment – solid mystery and murder plots, but without so much of the grime and gore of urban crime fiction. The inclusion of older people at the protagonists, instead of bright young things also appeals to me as so often fiction fails to see that older people still have things to offer, aside from being a plucky sidekick, or comic relief…
The murder plot here is clever, with a fair few red herrings thrown in and lots of potential suspects and the resolution is expertly laid out and not quite what I had expected. The fact that it all comes out at the most public of moments just adds more excitement into the mix!
As I said, this book is the second in a series and, although there is reference to the previous book, there is not enough to spoil it, so I am excited to read it – and indeed more in the Ham Hill Murder Mystery series…
A Racing Murder is published by Boldwood Books.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the publication of A Racing Murder – why not check out some of the other participating blogs below for more reviews and exclusive content?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.