Out Comes the Evil: A Cotswold murder mystery

Out Comes the Evil: A Cotswold murder mystery

by Stella Cameron

Hardcover(First World Publication)

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

10/19/2015
At the start of Cameron’s captivating sequel to Folly, widow Pam Gibbon, “a fit, attractive, sexual woman,” goes looking late one night for a lover of hers, Harry Stroud, at Ebring Manor, a ruined 14th-century house, in the quaint Cotswold village of Folly-on-Weir. Pam meets a bad end, but days pass before Alex Duggins, the owner of the Black Dog pub, and her handsome boyfriend, veterinarian Tony Harrison, discover Pam’s dismembered body at the bottom of a well near the ruined manor house. At the risk of irritating the local police, Alex investigates. Tony does his best to keep Alex safe, though the impetuous, unpredictable Alex has a tendency to get into tight fixes, such as the time she gets locked inside Harry’s house while doing some snooping. Various assaults and a second murder raise the stakes. An appealing heroine and an atmospheric setting make this romantic mystery a winner. Agent: Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Associates. (Dec.)

Kirkus Reviews

2015-10-08
Two friends try to turn small-town gossip into a reasonable murder investigation when they discover a body and some clues that spur them on. Veterinarian Tony Harrison is a nice guy. At least, that's what his closest friend, Alex Duggins, reassures him when she tries to understand why Tony doesn't stop on seeing a woman crouched at the side of the road in his small town of Folly-on-Weir. Alex helps Tony re-enact the scene to make sure that what he's seen isn't a figment of his imagination, and that's when things begin to get creepy. First they stumble on an abandoned pair of binoculars as they approach the ruins of the building nearest the re-enactment, the deserted Ebring Manor. Then they find evidence of a body in a well on the property. Both suspect that the body is that of Pamela Gibbons, who's recently disappeared without a trace. When the two bring talk of the death back to The Black Dog, the tavern Alex manages, the town swirls with rumors about who could have done Pamela in. The public suspect No. 1 is Harry Stroud, a wealthy eccentric who happens to be a childhood acquaintance of Alex. Because of her connection to Harry, Alex feels compelled to learn more about his relationship with Pamela, even if it brings her into danger's way. Tony just wants to keep Alex safe and find out if their friendship is finally becoming something more. Many characters but little character development, and the story luxuriates in gruesome details. Though Cameron (Second to None, 2012, etc.) obviously loves her characters, she assumes the reader's interest rather than earns it.

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell

"Alex Duggins is back on the job, peeling away layer after layer of the loves and hatreds of a small English town. Even when deaths and her own injuries mount, Alex pushes ahead, determined that right win out. Out Comes the Evil is a page-turner not to be missed by Stella’s fans!"

Booklist

A feisty heroine, plenty of eerie suspense, and unusual twists make this village cozy thoroughly engaging

John A Charles

"if you miss Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby books this should be just your cup of tea."

Booklist

A feisty heroine, plenty of eerie suspense, and unusual twists make this village cozy thoroughly engaging

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780290782
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Series: Alex Duggins Mystery Series , #2
Edition description: First World Publication
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt

“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.”

Customer Reviews