Imatge de l'autor

Rebecca Tope

Autor/a de A Cotswold Killing

48+ obres 2,036 Membres 86 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Rebecca Tope has led a varied career working as an antenatal teacher, a Relate counsellor and an assistant funeral director. She currently lives on a smallholding in rural Herefordshire rearing Cotswold sheep and Tamworth and Berkshire pigs and produces her own meat and wool.

Inclou aquests noms:  Rebecca Tope, R. Tope, (Author)


Obres de Rebecca Tope

A Cotswold Killing (2004) 177 exemplars
A Cotswold Mystery (2007) 121 exemplars
A Cotswold Ordeal (2005) 108 exemplars
A Grave in the Cotswolds (2010) 100 exemplars
The Windermere Witness (2012) 89 exemplars
Death in the Cotswolds (2006) 88 exemplars
Slaughter in the Cotswolds (2006) 84 exemplars
Fear in the Cotswolds (2006) 81 exemplars
Blood in the Cotswolds (2006) 78 exemplars
The Ambleside Alibi (1757) 77 exemplars
A Dirty Death (1999) 75 exemplars
Dark Undertakings (1999) 72 exemplars
Deception in the Cotswolds (2006) 69 exemplars
Malice in the Cotswolds (1750) 63 exemplars
The Coniston Case (2014) 57 exemplars
Grave Concerns (2000) 56 exemplars
Shadows in the Cotswolds (2013) 55 exemplars
The Sting of Death (2002) 52 exemplars
Death of a Friend (2000) 50 exemplars
A Death to Record (1682) 47 exemplars
Trouble in the Cotswolds (2014) 43 exemplars
A Market for Murder (2003) 42 exemplars
The Troutbeck Testimony (1600) 39 exemplars
The Hawkshead Hostage (2016) 38 exemplars
Guilt in the Cotswolds (1750) 36 exemplars
Revenge in the Cotswolds (1808) 33 exemplars
The Bowness Bequest (2017) 25 exemplars
Peril in the Cotswolds (2017) 21 exemplars
The Staveley Suspect (2018) 20 exemplars
Crisis in the Cotswolds (2018) 20 exemplars
The Grasmere Grudge (2019) 18 exemplars
A Cotswold Christmas Mystery (2020) 13 exemplars
The Ullswater Undertaking (2021) 12 exemplars
A Cotswold Casebook (2016) 12 exemplars
The Patterdale Plot (2020) 12 exemplars
Secrets in the Cotswolds (2019) 11 exemplars
Echoes in the Cotswolds (2021) 10 exemplars
The Threlkeld Theory (2022) 7 exemplars
The Askham Accusation (2023) 5 exemplars
Betrayal in the Cotswolds (2022) 4 exemplars
The Indifference of Tumbleweed (2014) 3 exemplars

Obres associades

The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits (2007) — Col·laborador — 57 exemplars
The Mammoth Book of Comic Crime (2002) — Col·laborador — 47 exemplars
And No Bird Sings (2004) 37 exemplars
Crime on the Move (2005) — Col·laborador — 3 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Having really enjoyed book 1 of this series I was looking forward to an enjoyable read and, to begin with, it was such. It is obvious that the writer really knows her subject on a practical level and I found the details of farming life, with the tedious yet essential paperwork and recording of milk yields etc, interesting. And the murder of the herdsman almost under the noses of the farmer and the milk recorder set up the mystery to be solved.

The problem I found as the story went on was that a lot of ground was gone over repeatedly and eventually a bit boringly, yet the police investigation left promising areas completely unexamined. For example, the victim's participation and possible organising of badger baiting and other cruel pasttimes should at least have put his partner in such activities into the frame, yet although mentioned, this person was not even interviewed.

A lot of the story revolves around the relationship of Lilah, who was a main character of book 1, with the chief suspect, the farmer on whose premises the murder occurred. I found the sexual details a bit unnecessary especially the scene near the end where the particular turn they take seemed to resolve that relationship rather drastically in a way I found unconvincing. And it remained a mystery to me how the farmer was such a stud in the district especially since he came across as a rather creepy controlling character, particularly so in that scene. So by the end it balanced out at an OK 2 star read for me.
… (més)
kitsune_reader | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Nov 23, 2023 |
Number 15 in the Cotswolds cosy crime series which began as Thea Osborne's misadventures as a house sitter and has continued since she married Drew Slocombe, the amateur investigator and professional undertaker hero of another series, whereby his series merged with hers, logically as the Slocombes and Drew's two children have relocated to a house in the Cotswolds which Drew inherited from a client.

The story begins with the visit by a neighbour in the house opposite who wants Drew to tackle a couple who live up the road and are apparently disturbing things due to loud arguments. Drew declines, as he doesn't know them and doesn't want to get people's backs up, as his natural burials business, although now starting to take off, is still fairly vulnerable. Instead he encourages Thea to go along and she comes up with the pretence of wanting to start a local history society based around the area's involvement in the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement.

She meets Hilary who is very enthusiastic about the idea, and her husband who perpetually shouts at the top of his voice and seems rather overbearing and rude. Another couple arrive for a bridge session along with a woman, Rachel Ottaway, and Hilary asks Thea to come back later that afternoon. When she does, she is confronted with a meltdown: the dog which Hilary was minding for her sister, who is dying in hospital, has run off and her husband has had a row with Rachel. Rachel has already gone to look for the dog and Thea offers to go also.

While trying to find it, she encounters a man walking his dog who seems quite amenable to taking over the search - since she has to go back and meet the children who are soon returning from school. His dog is a good tracker and is given the scent from a belt which Thea was given as a makeshift lead. The next day, Thea returns to enquire about the dog which Hilary seemed very unconcerned about - and meets Rachel on the doorstep. The woman says she has returned to patch things up, following an apologetic call from Hilary's husband - but when no one answers the door, takes it upon herself to go round the back. Thea tags along and they make a gruesome discovery in the kitchen. I won't say any more about the plot to avoid spoilers.

I had a few problems with this story sadly. One is that Thea is trying not to get involved and isn't going round asking people nosy questions as she used to do. Instead people are constantly coming to her and involving her. Yet Drew seems to be perpetually tetchy about this, even though he sent her to the house in the first place, and used to do this sort of thing himself. I recall him once going up London to interrogate someone because he was adamant that a miscarriage of justice was being done. So it is a bit hypocritical of him to react this way I feel. Possibly it is because most of the stress of the business is on his shoulders now, whereas in the past he had the dependable Maggs to rely on while he went round investigating crimes, (Maggs and her husband having taken over the original business). Thea is not suited to perform the role of an assistant undertaker by temperament and needs an outside outlet which isn't recognised by Drew until late in the story.

The other is that things seemed a bit slow. I did work out eventually near the end of the book who was responsible, although not the motive, so I can't fault that aspect of the book. But there does seem to be a lot of going back and forth over the same ground. The female detective makes a couple of cameo appearances but isn't strongly characterised this time around and her reliance on Thea makes her seem a bit feeble. There are red herrings about certain characters who behave suspiciously, but there isn't really any tension or threat to Thea herself, and I think there were opportunities to create that. So not my favourite of the series and I can only really award it an OK 2 star rating.
… (més)
kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Second in the series about Drew Slocombe, alternative undertaker and amateur sleuth, this finds Drew now having started his eco funeral business and struggling with getting custom. Business is not helped when a body is found buried in his field, and seems to have been buried there while he was still awaiting planning permission, as if someone had heard about it and decided it was a suitable place. The woman is in her 70s, with distinctive long white hair and dressed in a simple shift and an Egyptian necklace. The police are not very interested when she cannot be identified, but Drew is unable to rest and is drawn into investigating when a woman whom he has met before and found very attractive, turns up, several months pregnant and wanting him to establish whether or not it is her mother Gwen, a free spirit who travelled widely and was, in fact, a tour guide in Egypt at one point. She doesn't want to involve the police as she says she is concerned that her husband may have murdered Gwen, but Drew suspects - rightly, as it happens - other motives.

Thus a complicated interweave begins of hidden agendas and red herrings. Drew's difficulties are compounded because someone appears to be trying to sabotague his nascent business by leaving "black magic" memorabilia and dead animals in his field, and sending poison pen letters. Also, his wife Karen, far from being the keen and likeminded partner of old, is now, following the birth of their daughter (who is now ten months old), depressed and grouchy. Part of the novel deals with these personal difficulties and Drew's struggle to provide care for their daughter so that Karen can return to her teaching job - but they then discover she is pregnant again, only this time with a child neither of them wants. Having read some of the later books in the series, I can see that this is the beginning of the difficult situation Drew later finds himself in, including his inability to love his second child as much as the first.

Although there are no grisly murders, there is a rather graphic description of childbirth which may put some people off and a rather unfortunate comment about what happens to the bodies of people who die after chemotherapy which may be upsetting to anyone who has lost someone close after such treatment.

I enjoyed the story on the whole, but the main problem is that the end is rather rushed and the solving of the mystery seems pure dumb luck (although to be fair there were some pointers to the involvement of certain individuals). Therefore on the whole I can give this only 3 stars.
… (més)
kitsune_reader | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Nov 23, 2023 |
Second in the Den Cooper series of crime novels, this differs from the author's other series in being more of a police procedural, which for me added interest. The cast list at the start is however very necessary as the focus does shift away from Den's difficulties as a rookie detective very frequently to show the various groups of people involved in the two deaths - one accidental, one murder
- which the story encompasses.

There is a slight red herring to do with the difficulty in interviewing one possible suspect, but that eventually leads to a good twist though I did have suspicions as to who the murderer might be. Along the way, other old family-centered crimes are laid open, and the victims are not the obvious ones with whom the police were concerned originally. Not as good as the first in this series, but still an enjoyable read.… (més)
kitsune_reader | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Nov 23, 2023 |

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