Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook by Julie Butterfield

Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook: A delightful cozy mystery about gossip, village life and murder! (Isabelle Darby Cozy Village Mysteries Book 2)Barara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Isabelle Darby Cozy Village Mysteries #2
Publication Date: 12/16/20
Period: Contemporary – Cotswolds
Number of Pages:220

I’ve read this series out of order, but that hasn’t been a problem. I read the first book, Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook, and then I read the third book, Key Mishaps in Lower Dimblebrook, before I read this one. What I have learned so far is that this is a delightfully entertaining series, with great mysteries with a bit of a romance included. The romance is definitely secondary to the mystery, so don’t think it is a romance series. For me personally, I really want a bit of romance to go along with a great mystery.

The characters who inhabit the small Cotswold village of Lower Dimblebrook are delightful. From Doris Stokes, the village’s gossip machine, to Miriam Hollier, the serene and helpful wife of the vicar, to the intrepid octogenarian, Madeline Halesowen, and everybody in between, you’ll quickly come to love them all. DI Dave Wainwright was promoted and moved to the Cotswold area from Manchester. He was fully attuned to the fast-paced, hard-knocks policing of Manchester, and is having a really hard time adjusting to policing in the Cotswolds. Who serves tea and discusses the weather with a police inspector prior to getting down to telling what you know? Well – the answer to that is everybody in Lower Dimblebrook! The one person I have a tad of trouble with is Isabelle (Issie) Darby. As the female lead, I want her to be intelligent, astute, strong, etc. – someone to look up to. Instead, she seems terribly naïve and often TSTL. Some of the decisions she makes – and the internal dialogue that goes along with them just make me cringe. She usually, totally by accident, comes across some vital piece of evidence and decides it isn’t important and that she doesn’t need to share it with DI Wainwright. She then ends up in a life-or-death situation and Wainwright has to save her. Don’t get me wrong – I sort of like her a bit ditzy – I just don’t like her being TSTL. I still thoroughly enjoy the books – I just wish she were a bit wiser.

Issie moved to Lower Dimblebrook a couple of years ago to heal from the break-up of her marriage. She spent the first year living in her own little world, but the citizens have slowly brought her out of her shell with their friendly greetings, invites to tea, and lovely visits. A few months ago, Issie met Della Burrows in a bookshop in a nearby village. She liked the woman and they became – not exactly friends – but better acquaintances – since both of them lived in Lower Dimblebrook.

When Della is found stabbed to death in her bedroom, Issie is shocked. Issie had just been in her home that very morning watering her tropical plants because Della was supposed to be out of town. Poor Della! Poor Issie – it seems if she befriends someone, they end up murdered and that certainly doesn’t recommend her to all of her neighbors!

Issie tries to stay out of Wainwright’s investigation, but, as always, she ends up landing right in the middle of it with both feet. I mean – she can’t help doing at least a little internet sleuthing with all of the gossip that is going around. Goodness, what can it hurt? She’ll definitely get the answer to that question! It seems there was a whole lot more to Della that Issie had realized – and some of that just might get Issie killed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you will as well. BTW – I love the name of the village Lower Dimblebrook – however – I always want to call it Dumbledor, so if you see me use that in a review, you’ll know I like Harry Potter.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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