Murder at the Gorge by Frances Evesham

Murder at the GorgeBarbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: Exham On Sea Mysteries #7
Publication Date: 11/17/20
Period: Contemporary – Exham on Sea, UK
Number of Pages: 256

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first. The first book I read, Murder At the Lighthouse, was also the first book in the series and I was delighted to see how much the characters and relationships had grown between the first book and this one. The mystery is well-plotted and there are lots of red herrings dropped along the way – just to keep you guessing. It is a well-told tale set in a village filled with interesting characters. Oh! You might also want to buy some low-calorie snacks because all of the chocolate making and cake baking will surely add several pounds to your figure before you are finished reading.

There have been lots of developments in Libby Forest’s life since the first book and I will definitely go back and read the other books as I get a chance. Some of the notable developments between the first book and this one are:

• Frank, the baker (and Libby’s boss), is dancing a jig because he’s retiring. He’s sold the bakery and the new owner is expanding and moving to a new building.
• Mandy and Libby will be supplying the cakes and chocolates for the new café.
• Libby has finished her cookbook and has even written another one.
• Max and Libby are engaged and their wedding will be within two weeks
• Max and his son Joe are less estranged than they were thanks to Libby
• Max and Libby have a private detective business and have investigated a number of cases.
• Libby’s son, Robert, has married and is expecting Libby’s first grandchild
• Libby’s daughter, Ali, has left England and is living in South America.

Max and Libby are as excited as they can be about their upcoming wedding. It is only two weeks away and the planning is well in hand. But, of course, the best-laid plans …

Libby’s daughter, Ali, calls about coming home for the wedding – causing them to push the date back by a week – AND – secretive Max gets a call from his ex-wife, Stella. Without telling Libby about the call, Max goes to meet Stella to learn why she thinks she needs his help. You know things are only going to get worse when, after Stella leaves, Max discovers a dead body. OOPS!

Stella’s need for help stemmed from some anonymous email threats she had received and when local villagers began to receive threatening emails containing nursery rhymes, Max knew they all had to be related. But how? Stella isn’t from Exham, has never lived in Exham, and has no ties to the village whatsoever. Are Stella’s emails just a coincidence that happens at the same time as those in the village?

When a second body is discovered at the same place as the first, more questions arise. Why would that man be in exactly that same spot? Are the murders related to the email threats? How are the two bodies connected? Are they connected? Can Max and Libby solve the mystery before there are more bodies found? Can they protect themselves from the killer? OH! My! Goodness! You’ll just have to read the book to find out the answers to all of these delicious and tantalizing questions.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I hope you will as well. I’ll admit that I had some questions about why a mature (50ish) woman like Libby would continue with the wedding plans when Max is still secretive – especially after her disaster of a first marriage. I’d have wanted to have a very serious talk about trust and honesty before I went that route – so I’m assuming that since Libby is a smart woman, they would have had that talk – just off-page. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, Murder at the Abbey,which will be releasing soon.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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