Murder in Steeple Martin (Libby Sarjeant Series #1)

Murder in Steeple Martin (Libby Sarjeant Series #1)

by Lesley Cookman

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New edition includes map of Steeple Martin, list of characters and free bonus chapter from the next title in the bestselling Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery series.

Artist and ex-actress Libby Sarjeant is busy directing a play for the opening of a new theatre in her village when one of her cast is found murdered. The play, written by her friend Peter, is based on real events in his family, disturbing and mysterious, which took place in the village during the last war.

As the investigation into the murder begins to uncover a tangled web of relationships in the village, it seems that the events dramatised in the play still cast a long shadow, dark enough to inspire murder.

Libby’s natural nosiness soon leads her into the thick of the investigation, but is she too close to Peter’s family, and in particular his cousin Ben, to be able to recognise the murderer?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781908917072
Publisher: Accent Press
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Series: Libby Sarjeant Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 309
Sales rank: 107,018
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Like many authors, Lesley started writing stories as a child. After a checquered beginning, including jobs as varied as actor, model, cabin crew and nightclub DJ, she fell into feature writing for publications including Business Matters, Which Computer and Poultry Farmers Weekly.

She progressed to short stories for the vibrant Women’s magazine market and, following a Master’s Degree where she met her publisher, she turned to her first literary love of Traditional British Mysteries. The Libby Sarjeant series is still going strong, and has been joined by The Alexandrians, an Edwardian mystery series.

Lesley also continues to work with her local theatre, which often finds its way into her books.

Read an Excerpt

Number 17 Allhallow's Lane was in the middle of a terrace of three, red-bricked with small white-painted windows, and a step down to trap the unwary immediately behind the front door.

Sidney, a large silver tabby with an unpredictable nature, glared at Libby from his vantage point half-way up the stairs as she tripped down the step.

'All right, I know I'm late,' she said and wondered why she was saying it. There was no need to apologise, no excuses to make, nobody to placate. Not now. Not at all - not ever, if she didn't want to. But old habits died hard. After twenty years of living with other people, being on one's own came as rather a shock and not always a welcome shock at that, if she were honest. She wove her way between assorted tables and chairs, displacing several newspapers, books and typescripts as she did so and switched on the kitchen light. Sidney had been at the bread bin again.

'Listen,' she said, as he jumped up on to the table, having tried the Rayburn once or twice and suffered the indignity of burnt paws. 'You are not a vegetarian - neither am I. And cats don't like bread.'

She moved the big kettle on to the hot-plate and hunted round for the half-full tin of cat food.

'There,' she said, decanting it into a chipped Victorian saucer. 'Get on with that and shut up.'

She made her coffee, took it into the living room and sat down by the empty fireplace. The script of The Hop Pickers lay on the hearth, interleaved with pages of untidy notes. She picked it up and riffled through it.

She had been so enthusiastic about this project, everything falling into place just as she was in the process of buying the cottage. Peter's lovely play and the newly converted Oast House theatre had fired her imagination and given her an entree into the village community. But now her enthusiasm was ebbing away, leaving behind it a flat, uncomfortable sensation rather like thinking there was an extra step and finding that there wasn't.

'It isn't fair, you know,' she said out loud to Sidney, who spread himself out on her feet and gave a desultory purr. 'After all I've been through, this bit should go right.'

Sidney opened one eye to a slit and slowly closed it again.

Sighing, she began to read the first page of the script where the young Hetty met the handsome young squire's son Gregory. Incredible really, that this positively Shakespearean plot should be true and should actually have happened to people still living here.

Customer Reviews

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Murder in Steeple Martin 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrilled to discover this excellent series! Well written page turner - couldn't put it down! Good mystery, great plot twists, characters you care about and want to get to know better. Can't wait to get the next in the series! Content: For adults, handful of cursing, one brief seduction - not graphic.
NinaJon More than 1 year ago
Murder in Steeple Martin is the first in the Libby Sarjeant murder mystery series, and the first Libby Sarjeant read by me. It's a cosy murder mystery along the lines of Agatha Raisin. Unexplained accidents at the theatre and the murder of a cast member, turns Libby Sarjeant amateur theatre director, into Libby Sarjeant amateur detective. The protagonist is a likeable woman, who doesn't wish to see any murder go unsolved. Being conscientious, she also knows the show must go on and therefore carries on directing while detecting. Like all good murder mysteries, the crime isn't solved until the last few pages, and kept me guessing. The subplots are nicely done too. This is a popular series, and I can see why. Alongside Libby ‘Miss Marple’ Sarjeant, we meet a cast of characters set to become regulars in the series, including a possible love interest, and Fran, her psychic friend and partner in sleuthing. In this novel, they all investigate together and have fun on the way, a formula which has proved successful enough to spawn a series of ten novels so far. One for all who prefer their murder mysteries on the less gritty side.
TheDownloader More than 1 year ago
An excellent read! Well-written and edited, with an interesting plot and characters. A fun and enjoyable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good but i like more suspence
bookwormsbynight More than 1 year ago
Lesley Cookman, Sets the stage for you to be a part of the family that has murder in there past and when they put the murder into a play things become very bad for the players. A must read, that will hold you captive until the end.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Bookbox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With a touch of Caroline Graham's "Midsomer" series, and a hint of Katie Forde's rural romance, this is a tale of engaging misfits and muddlers in a Kent village, whose theatrical endeavours rouse the long arm of the past with murderous consequences.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Libby Sarjeant retired from acting to re-invent her life. She's helping produce a play about local events which is getting mixed reactions from the people originally involved. When one of the actors dies, is it a reflection of the older murders and is it linked to the accidents happening in the theatre.Not an impressive read but not a bad read, in fact it's quite pedestrian and wouldn't induce me to hunt up more books by this author, however I wouldn't avoid books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nolenreads More than 1 year ago
The author kept me guessing until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel. I always like a good English mystery, especially when history is thrown in. This one will not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not get into it from the start. From the awful writing to the british slang which needed translations to everyone not from Briton to the homosexuals in the first few pages it was a complete letdown. Dont waste time with this author. She is terrible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story with fun and interesting characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this mystery. There was variety to the characters, and I didn't guess who did it. I do remember thinking it was a good thing I've read a lot of British mysteries or some of the references would go right over my head. I believe only one or two made me wonder, and they didn't interfere with the flow of the story. I suppose some of the plot was a little far fetched, but it hung together well. I do wonder what will happen next with Libbt and the village and the theatre. I'll have to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good, complex plot, but it drags too much in places where it seems to cover the same theories and the dialog is too drawn out. The main character Libby is likeable but not a very good sleuth. Overall, it was an okay read. If the author's next book in the series is discounted, I might give it a try. JB
Guest More than 1 year ago
Libby Sarjeant is helping to produce a play at an exciting new venture, the Oast House Theatre, in a Kentish village. The play depicts true events from Peter¿s family¿s past during the hop-picking era. Some family members are not too happy with this play being produced. Some strange things begin to happen with rehearsals. In the midst of all this, Libby finds herself with a new romance with Ben. She never expected that to happen. Will the stirring up of the old murder bring tragedy to the play and the people in it? I really like Libby. She is such a wonderful character. She is good with the people in the play. I only wish the Oast Theatre was a real venue to go watch the play and meet Libby. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little hard to understand at times with the British slang.