Happy hump day! Today, I’m taking you to one of my favourite London areas – Dulwich!
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me to be part of this tour!
Title: Revenge on the Rye (London Murder Mystery #5)
Author: Alice Castle
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Date of publication: December 2018
Format: uncorrected e-copy
Number of pages: 176
Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, thinks she is going for a carefree stroll on Peckham Rye with her best friend, Katie, and her annoying new puppy, Teddy. But before Beth knows it, she is embroiled in her most perplexing mystery yet.
Strange events from her family’s past, present-day skulduggery in the art world, and the pressures of moving school in south London threaten to overwhelm Beth. Will she be able to piece together the puzzle before her son’s crucial interview at Wyatt’s? Or will Beth’s insatiable curiosity finally drag down all her dreams for the future?
Join Beth, her irascible on-off boyfriend, Detective Inspector Harry York of the Metropolitan Police, and the dog walkers of Peckham Rye in a tale of murder, mayhem – and bloody revenge.
There’s something very different about reading a book set in a place you know. During my time in London, I had the chance to live and experience the south of London, and more particularly Dulwich. I first discovered Alice Castle (her books, not the author herself!) on one of the shelves of Dulwich Books, a fantastic independent bookstore, while wandering around and trying to make the best of my time off by taking in the neighbourhood and atmosphere I was living in.
I wanted a souvenir and I picked Death In Dulwich. The perfect title for a crime lover, don’t you think?
And today I am happy to talk about Revenge on the Rye, the 5th book in the London Murder Mysteries series, starring the trouble magnet single mother Beth, her cat Magpie, her best friend Katie, her son Ben and no-nonsense cop Harry York.
I have read three of the books in this series and I find them to be a good definition of a cosy mystery. Revenge in the Rye, like the previous books, is perfect for a night in with a blanket and tea. In a comforting linear way, we find Beth where we last left her, trying to juggle her work at the famous Wyatt school, fit the Dulwich mother duties, and cope with a relationship she can’t describe.
In a nutshell, Beth is your favourite Dulwich neighbour. To me, this bright, kinda crazy, but extremely resilient and strong-willed woman brings colour to the place with this idea of hers that solving crimes is as good a hobby as any! Not that she goes looking for dead corpses. They tend to find her!
It is said that dog-owners are most likely to find death, well, death did find a guy and his dog. It is as innocently as ever that Beth turns out to be the one finding both of them during an attempt at supporting her best friend Katie and her puppy. I didn’t know having dogs could be so dangerous! But I did smile several times during the book as Beth discovers the joys and … well, small issues of having a furry thing to take care of. I love cats, and Magpie, Beth’s cat, reminded me of all the little four-legged predators I’d seen while walking the streets of Dulwich or sitting in a garden. Those beauties kept the book fun and offered some very ‘interesting’ moments alongside the investigation.
What would you do if you found a dead man in a park? I would happily leave it all to the police, but the least we can say is that Beth doesn’t have a lot of faith in them, despite being close to a very competent officer… It is true that London is a humongous city and that all murders don’t get the attention they deserve, but give Harry York some credit! (No, I am not biased because I like him :p) Still, I understand the author’s way as this is not a procedural series, but a charming ‘let’s try and figure this out with luck, a good dose of curiosity, and our brain’ mystery.
With lots of things going on, including getting kids into the best schools, walking into the art world, and trying to crack another secret of Dulwich, there is no time to waste. I happily met with lots of different people, trying to channel the Miss Marple in me to see through them and find the culprit… I had my suspicions and I was so glad when I was proved right! I will never get enough of this feeling! Maybe some of this spurs Beth, too!
I spent a delightful evening following Beth striding down pretty streets where blood is hidden far from the perfectly cut hedges. I thought the author had done a pretty good job taking me back to a place I cherish. I didn’t always agree with our main character, but she is so endearing and so keen on finding the truth about events that burst into her life without her asking for it that it is okay to go easy on details and just go with the flow.
Revenge on the Rye is an enjoyable trip to South London and its secrets. Reading this series is like meeting old friends for coffee: pleasantly entertaining!
You can get your copy here: Amazon
Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Alice is currently working on the sixth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth
Haldane and DI Harry York.
Alice is also a top mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website.