Cause of Death by Anna Legat – A Murder Mystery set in the English village of Bishops Well – The Shires Mysteries Book Three – Maggie and Sam back in action

Have you read A Cause of Death yet? If you’re in two minds, here is a fantastic review by Northern Reader to help you decide.
There is a lot of action in this murder mystery set in the evidently dangerous village of Bishops Well, but it is mainly of a non gory nature as this is the third in a series featuring the memorable Maggie and her more sensible friend Sam. I believe it can be read as a standalone as all the relevant characters are well introduced (or reintroduced) and as with the earlier Shires Mysteries the settings in and around the village are well described. Maggie is a remarkable character and recounts some of the chapters from her own point of view which enables her to explain why she takes some of the actions she does; her special “gift” gives her some insight into what may have happened. The author has created a story with several strands and many mysteries which take some solving as they are certainly more than straightforward whodunnits. There is, as usual, a fair bit of humour as Maggie has her obsessions like jaffa cakes and a particular kind of fudge, as well as a dubious choice of footwear on a day which ends up needing a lot of walking and running. Sam’s background as a lawyer will be tested in this story, but it will be the story of his late wife Alice which will occupy many of his thoughts and emotions. This is a lively and exciting novel which I found completely enthralling as always, challenging to work out and with plenty of surprises. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this enjoyable book.

The members of the Bishops Well Archaeological Association have rallied round at Maggie’s behest to create an apparently historical white horse. The fact that it looks a little more like a donkey does not impress Maggie, but they hope it will help them to fend off the attempts of local developers eager to exploit the disputed land. Various people in the village have vested interests in the possibilities of selling and buying the land, especially as it includes a building which has sheltered orphans from various war zones over the years. Local politics come to the fore as the various interest groups express themselves freely at meetings. When Maggie and Sam make a tragic discovery in the church it presses them into wondering what motivated a brutal act, and sends Maggie into investigative overdrive despite the warnings of the local police in the person of DI Gillian Marsh, the main character in Anne Legat’s other series of novels. In this book she finds Maggie and Sam’s involvement a bit annoying, not to mention sometimes illegal. Maggie discovers that there may have been something at another place which may have implications for her current investigation, and typically she throws herself into an undercover role. Meanwhile the need to finally go through Alice’s paperwork which has been stored in the garage means that Sam finally makes discoveries that could explain her tragic loss, despite the apparent verdict on what happened.

This is a very interesting book with so much going on, with Maggie usually in the thick of it. I have always enjoyed the stories of the remarkable residents of Bishop’s Well, and this novel presents new developments. I certainly recommend this novel in this series, and am keen to know what happens next.

Northern Reader

Cause of Death by Anna Legat

There is a lot of action in this murder mystery set in the evidently dangerous village of Bishops Well, but it is mainly of a non gory nature as this is the third in a series featuring the memorable Maggie and her more sensible friend Sam. I believe it can be read as a standalone as all the relevant characters are well introduced (or reintroduced) and as with the earlier Shires Mysteries the settings in and around the village are well described. Maggie is a remarkable character and recounts some of the chapters from her own point of view which enables her to explain why she takes some of the actions she does; her special “gift” gives her some insight into what may have happened. The author has created a story with several strands and many mysteries which take some solving as they are…

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