Thursday, June 11, 2020

BLOG TOUR - Mystery at Seagrave Hall

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Mystery At Seagrave Hall by Clare Chase. Because I read the first book in this series, Mystery on Hidden Lane, I read the second book in the series, Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage, which is also included in this Blog Tour post.


Title:   Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage
Author:  Clare Chase
Series:  Eve Mallow Mystery #2
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   319
Date of Publication:   March 12, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is enjoying life in sleepy Saxford St Peter – until a mysterious murder lands right at her door…

It’s spring in Saxford St Peter – time to get back in the garden, listen to the birds, and take gentle strolls in the woods. But for some, it’s the season for murder.

Eve Mallow is relishing the gentle pace of the village until a new arrival stirs everyone up. Ashton Foley is back: a teenage tearaway turned interior designer to the stars. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know, but charming too – as Eve herself can testify – and every house in Saxford opens its doors to him.

So when he’s found murdered in the woods near his mother’s home, Apple Tree Cottage, there’s no shortage of suspects. A jealous husband? A spurned lover? Or has someone from his past life caught up with him?

The police soon hit on a simple solution, and arrest his mother’s partner Howard. Ashton always hated him, and he bears all the marks of a recent fight. But Ashton’s mother, miles away in New Zealand, is convinced he’s innocent, and enlists Eve’s help to prove it.

There’s just one problem. Eve saw Howard sniffing around Apple Tree Cottage on the morning of the murder, and she’s fairly sure he’s guilty, too…

An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.


Eve Mallow is an obituary writer turned sleuth. A previous writing assignment (see Mystery on Hidden Lane, the first book in the series), which was to write a musician’s obituary. The way things worked out Eve ended up investigating his death. Is this the way that she is going to approach every obituary she plans on writing?

Ashton Foley left town some time ago and folks know about his involvement in drugs. It seems that Ashton has turned a new leaf as he has made a success of himself. While his mother is pleased he is back in town, others are not so sure. Before long, his body is found and it is proved to be murder.

When the police decide that the most likely suspect is Ashton‘s mother’s partner, Howard, they go ahead and arrest him. So Ashton’s mother begs Eve to prove Howard’s innocence. As she is then asked to write Ashton’s obituary, Eve becomes an amateur sleuth yet again. The problem is Eve does not go in thinking that Howard is innocent. So not only does she have a lot of people to talk to and have a lot of questions to ask, she must work with her own doubt.

Eve does an excellent job ferreting information from what proves to be a barrage of suspects. The deeper she goes the more Eve depends on sharing the information she turns up with former Chief Inspector, Robin. It will be interesting to know whether or not in future books if the two will develop a relationship. This second book in this series is a very nice cozy mystery with a few twists and turns and leaves readers with a satisfying conclusion.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

***Featured Blog Tour post***


Title:   Mystery at Seagrave Hall
Author:  Clare Chase
Series:  Eve Mallow Mystery #3
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   315
Date of Publication:   June 11, 2020
My Rating:   4 Stars

It’s Eve Mallow’s first visit to the local village fair. But amidst the booths, stalls, tables and tents lurks something darker… A mysterious fall means a new case for amateur detective Eve!

The charity fair at Seagrave Hall is a key date in the Saxford St Peter calendar – a chance for the villagers to nose around the house and grounds and cross paths with the rich and famous.

New resident Eve Mallow is particularly excited by this year’s special guest: the explorer Verity Nye, who is engaged to the heir to the Hall. Eve loves Verity’s determination, and she can’t wait to meet her.

But when they talk, Verity hints that she has something troubling on her mind. So after the festive mood is tragically interrupted by Verity’s fall from a third-floor window, Eve can’t be sure that it’s an appalling accident. Especially when one small boy claims he saw someone behind her…

Soon Eve finds herself tasked with writing Verity’s obituary. As she dusts off her notebook and begins her interviews alongside her trusted dachshund sidekick Gus she realises she has a fine array of suspects before her. Could it be a corrupt charity manager, the distraught fiancĂ©, or jealous cousin Cora? And can Eve find out before her questions cause the killer to turn on her?

A charming and gripping page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.


Eve Mallow’s constant attempts at finding relaxation in the gorgeous village at Saxton St. Peter just never even seems a possibility. Even while attending a village fair. It soon proves true after meeting an famous diver named Verity Nye, a woman Eve has been very excited to meet. the meeting went rather well, although Verity shared some concerns with Eve. With Verity’s shocking fall from a window, not only is Eve tasked with writing the obituary, she soon proves her worth as an amateur sleuth.

This is the third review that I have written for this wonderful cozy mystery series by Clare Chase, and I have not yet mentioned her gorgeous dachshund named Gus. He is always a delight in these stories. Another wonderful character in this book is Robin Yardley, a gardener and former detective inspector, is Eve’s confidante and friend, always there for her to bounce ideas off. The fact that there is a slow romance developing between the pair is an extra bonus.

Of course, writing the obituary should be Eve’s primary purpose, but she cannot help but try and get behind the cause of Verity’s death. from the very beginning, Eve sensed that it was more than an accident, so therefore she also seeks to find a motive. As always when handling one of her “cases”, Eve has no shortage of suspects, including Verity’s fiancĂ©.

As I have enjoyed the series from the beginning I loved watching Eve grow. An American transplant, with undeniable smarts, curiosity and instincts, she is becoming one of my favorite protagonists in these delightful cozy mysteries. In any event, reading the series out of order won’t detract from the actual story contained therein.

The mystery was done quite well, and with Eve’s likable nature, and her love of spreadsheets - mine as well - make this engaging series, one I really look forward to continuing.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries. After graduating from London University with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She's fascinated by the city's contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She's worked in diverse settings - from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons - and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people's books.

You can find Clare's website and blog at

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