The Secluded Village Murders
By: Shelly Frome
Boutique of Quality Books
Publication Date: September 01, 2018
Emily Ryder lives in Lydfield, Connecticut. There she runs her travel business which provides guided excursions to tourists to destinations in the UK including Lydfield’s sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor. Her mother is also in the tourist business and runs a Bed and Breakfast in Lydfield. Emily’s life is turned upside down when the Gordon Development Corporation comes to town with the intention of putting in an apartment and entertainment complex. Not only is Emily worried that the development will ruin the quaintness of the town, she is also worried about her mother’s bed and breakfast because it will be adjacent to the new development. A father-like figure to Emily, Chris Cooper, appears to be the only member of the Village Planning Commission openly opposed to this development. When Chris dies in a sudden accident, Emily immediately suspects that the development company had something to do with his death. Emily’s sleuthing take her across the pond and back in an attempt to sort through all the clues.
For me, Emily’s instant distrust of the Gordon Development Corporation’s deed seemed a little over the top for me. I can see why she would be wary of the company because it could have a direct impact on her mother’s livelihood. However, what was hard to believe, was how quickly she believed that they were willing to take out Chris Cooper to get him out of the way. Before anything even happens to him, Emily is rushing off to save him. It just felt like the action built too quickly.
Once the characters have a chance to realistically catch up with the action, the author builds a good story with interesting plot twists. The whodunit was a surprise, but looking back there were cleverly hidden clues throughout the story for the reader to catch.
The characters themselves fell a little flat for me. They seemed underdeveloped which made it hard to care for them and to understand their actions.
The ending of the book left it open for a follow up to this book. If the author improves on his characters, he may have a good series on his hand.
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC of this book. #NetGalley #TheSecludedVillageMurders