"Murder at the Mill by M. B. Shaw is a great sweeping adventure. Ideal for holiday reading." M. C. Beaton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
"a rich, mystery debut" Kirkus Starred Review
A picture hides a thousand lies... And only Iris Grey can uncover the truth.
Iris Grey rents a quaint cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighboring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.
At the Wetherby's Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow - but so are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?
With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets, and murder.
About the Author
M.B Shaw is the pen-name of New York Times bestselling writer Tilly Bagshawe. A teenage single mother at 17, Tilly won a place at Cambridge University and took her baby daughter with her. She went on to enjoy a successful career before becoming a writer. As a journalist, Tilly contributed regularly to the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, and Evening Standard, before turning her hand to novels.
Tilly's first book, ADORED, was a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming an instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. She now divides her time between the UK and America, writing her own books and the new series of Sidney Sheldon novels.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Murder at the Mill is set in Hampshire, England which will please readers who enjoy English cozy mysteries especially those with a bit of edge to them. Hampshire is a small village where gossip runs rampant. Iris Grey is a portrait painter known for capturing the essence of her subjects. Doing a portrait of Dom Wetherby would be a feather in her cap and would greatly help her career. Iris has a colorful and quirky clothing style which some find garish. Dom is known for being charming and flirtatious which makes it hard to get to know the real man. Billy Wetherby, the middle son, is the villain of our piece. He has just been released from prison and a lack of funds has him living at home once again. Billy and Ariadne are frequently at odds. There are numerous characters in Murder at the Mill. It can be hard to keep them all straight. It is made more difficult since the point-of-view alternates between several of them including Iris, Marcus Wetherby, Ariadne Wetherby, and Jenna Wetherby. I think the novel would have benefited if the story had been told from Iris’ perspective or in the third person. It would have helped the flow of the story. The author has a descriptive writing style and likes to use similes. Some of the authors comparisons made me cringe (“the spindly tree branches swayed and shivered pathetically in the wind like the starved limbs of concentration-camp prisoners, pleading for escape” or “Lorcan tore at the wrapping on his gift like a starving child clawing at a bag of rice”). Her descriptions, though, help readers imagine the scenes in the book and bring the story to life. There are two mysteries in Murder at the Mill with multiple suspects, good clues and red herrings. I like how the two whodunits tied together and all the threads were tired up at the end. I do want to warn readers that there is a significant amount of foul language and animal lovers will be offended at how Ariadne uses real animals as subjects for her sculptures (she uses anesthesia to put them to sleep while she sculpts). Murder at the Mill is a potboiler that will have you on the edge of your seat as you quickly turn the pages to the surprising ending.
psychological drama with a multilayered mystery MURDER AT THE MILL by M. B. Shaw The First Iris Grey Mystery Iris Grey is an accomplished portrait painter looking for a respite from a bad marriage. Staying at the cottage of Mill House she finds comfort in her doll house and opportunity in painting a portrait of her landlord, famous crime writer Dom Wetherby. But all is not what it seems in Mill House. Undercurrents simmer beneath the family that strives to be so perfect. On Christmas day, Dom's body is found dead. The author, retiring his favorite character, both in book and TV, has committed suicide. His daughter in law doesn't believe it and enlists Iris' aid to prove it was murder. Will Iris be able to uncover the secrets of the Wetherby family? Will she stay in her unhappy marriage or will she find a new life for herself? Or will trying to find a killer only bring death? Although set at Christmastime, MURDER AT THE MILL is not a cheerful holiday mystery. It's an involved psychological drama with a multilayered mystery. The Weatherby family seemingly has it all, but what have they done to get there? And what will they do to keep their image intact? The book is also a journey as Iris Grey comes into her own. I enjoyed watching Iris evolve, finding her confidence, discovering who she really is, and not letting anything or anyone stop her. She will uncover the truth, no matter how difficult. MURDER AT THE MILL is a complex mystery that looks to the very core of its characters. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
I really enjoyed this first book in a new series. I loved Iris Grey and look forward to her helping solve more murders. This book had many twists and turns that had me guessing as to themurderer. I will look forward to reading more books by this author. I received a copy of this book from Minotaur for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Family secrets abound in Murder at the Mill. Painter Iris rents a cottage on the grounds of famous mystery writer Dom’s large Hampshire family estate. Iris is deciding what to do about her verbally abusive husband and failing marriage. When Ariadne, Dom’s wife, hires Iris to paint his portrait, Iris is happy to comply. However, when Dom is found dead in the river, the police believe it’s suicide. Iris cannot picture the vain and self-centered author taking his own life so she investigates. Iris is a refreshingly new detective. She uses her eye for visual details to solve the crime. However, Murder at the Mill cannot be compared to the tightly plotted Agatha Christie books. The author never used one adjective when a ten-word simile could be used. Every character has a multitude of secrets that are repeated over-and-over throughout the book. The plot goes down dead ends without explanation. This is the first book in a new series. I would read another just because of Iris. I pray the editing will be better in the next entry. Murder at the Mill is recommended for readers looking more for atmosphere than plot. 3 stars! Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.