Second in the traditional British mystery series featuring rural inn owner and amateur sleuth Alex Duggins: an intriguing departure for bestselling romantic suspense author Stella Cameron.
Once again Alex Duggins and her veterinarian friend Tony Harrison are thrown into a major murder investigation. An almost fresh body is discovered in a disused well among the ruins of a 14th-century manor house … the motive for the killing a baffling mystery. The victim was a widow who had lived quietly in the picturesque Cotswolds village of Folly-on-Weir for the past ten years. Who on earth could want her dead, and by such brutal means?
As rumour and speculation engulf the town, another woman is attacked – and Alex discovers that behind a tranquil face lurks a cunning and vengeful mind. Despite warnings from the police to stop interfering, she finds herself in the sights of a ruthless killer who has decided she knows too much …
The Alex Duggins series will appeal to fans of Louise Penny and Elizabeth George.
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“Harriet Burke’s waving hand caught her attention. The wave turned into an urgent beckoning. Major Stroud and Mary Burke looked anxiously in her direction. “Refills?” Alex said, hurrying over to them. “A beef and onion pie would go well, too. I understand George’s outdid themselves today. We also ordered some brilliant cakes from them just to see if we’ve got any sweet-tooths in the house.” “Has that O’Reilly man been in touch with you?” Mary said, ignoring the question. She gripped her walker with one hand and leaned forward to look at Alex through glasses as thick as a couple of closed portholes. “You’d be the first to hear from him. We all know he’s got a soft spot for you.” The comment surprised Alex. She and Detective Inspector Dan O’Reilly had liked one another when he’d been working on a murder near the village only months ago—mostly liked—but this was the first suggestion she’d heard that there was anything more than that. “Well?” Major Stroud prodded, his perfectly clipped gray mustache bristling. “Have you?” “No,” Alex said shortly. His demand annoyed her. “Can I get you anything?” Harriet Burke, her hair as white as her sister’s but short and devoid of the sort of Spanish comb Mary favored wearing in her wiry chignon, held Alex’s eyes and gave her a deliberate smile. Whatever that smile was supposed to mean didn’t enlighten Alex. The major’s face had reddened. “Would you tell us if you had?” “What’s the problem?” Alex said. “Why not say what’s really on your mind? And for the record, Major, I would have no reason to deny hearing from the Inspector if I had.” He snuffled into his mustache. “Where’s Harry?” Alex softened her voice and smiled. “That’s the problem with being a fixture anywhere. If you aren’t there, you’re missed.” “I suppose you think you’re subtle,” he snapped back. “There are questions being asked about Harry and that woman. It’s obvious. There’s nothing between them. Never was anything but a conversation here and there. That’s the end of it.” “By that woman you mean, Pamela Gibbon, poor girl?” Mary asked innocently. “Where can she be? You’d think someone would know. And she didn’t take her car, isn’t that what I heard?” “I heard it, too” Alex said rapidly, anxious to divert Major Stroud. “Saw her just the other day,” Mary said. “She’s not a collector like you, Alex, but she does come into the shop for tea and she looks through any books that have just come in. She bought one or two.” “Oh,” Alex said in mock horror. “I hope you didn’t forget to pull any children’s volumes I might be looking for.” She collected hard-to-find children’s books. “Something about horses—no surprise there,” Mary said. “And an old copy of a Kama Sutra book. She was thrilled with them.” Her expression never changed from one of pure innocence. Alex swallowed and tried not to look at Major Stroud. “Well,” Harriet said. “You should have told me about that. I’m not so old I don’t know what Kama Sutra is and neither are you, Mary, so take that silly look off your face.” “Could have been a gift for Harry,” Mary said. “They say he has broad interests.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
OUT COMES THE EVIL (ALEX DUGGINS MYSTERY, BK 2) by STELLA CAMERON I have been a fan of Stella Cameron's Romantic Suspense books for quite a while. I was surprised to see that she had started a new series that was much more mystery/suspense than romance. Although this is the second of the series featuring Alex Duggins and Dr. Tony Harrison, this is very good as a stand alone. As always, I highly recommend starting with Book 1 so as to pick up all the background information. Quick rundown - Alex is owner of a small restaurant/pub in Folly-on-Weir's, a small but interesting little English village. Dr Tony Harrison is the town's only veterinarian. They have been friends forever, but are now looking at each other with different eyes. The two of them have become amateur sleuths, by accident rather than design. A woman has gone missing and because Tony thought he saw her the night she disappeared, he and Alex go looking. They find her at the bottom of a well, with some of her fingers smashed. And then two more village residents go missing only to turn up dead. I love the author's English Village.... quaint, picturesque, filled with quirky people who make wonderful suspects. Gossip abounds and is truly the place everyone knows everyone else ... except when it comes to murder. Alex and Tony are terrific characters ... perfectly described with their unique traits well thought out. Although complete opposites, they mesh together perfectly. Alex seems to be a little more 'out there' than Tony ... usually risking her very life in the quest for the truth. This is a nice read, the mystery is more than a cozy and kept me turning the pages. I liked the village, the characters, and look forward to seeing where their adventures lead them. My thanks to the author, Stella Cameron, who furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
The title was more terrifying than the book. I would say this was more of a cozy mystery except for one gross part. There were a lot of strange characters in this little town and one very creepy one who had a lot of money and still lived with his mama and daddy. All signs pointed to him, and why not, he was really creepy. However, mystery readers know if the author has got arrows over a character's head with a flashing light every time he's discussed in the book, Yeah, some mystery reader I am. HA!! There was one sex scene and I'm not sure if it was implied or what, I just skipped over the pages. There were only four or five. So, for me it was no big deal. This story was pretty good and believable. I liked most of the characters, except for the creepy one of course. I enjoyed it and pretty much found it entertaining. The author kept me guessing until the very end. Thanks Severn House and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I definitely recommend this book!