Thursday, August 26, 2021

Review - Murder in the Village

Title:   Murder in the Village
Series:  A Belinda Penshurt Mystery #1
Author Lisa Cutts
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Audio and Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   252
Date of Publication:   August 25, 2021
My Rating:   4 Stars

Nothing ever happens in Little Challham… until the local pub owner is drowned in his own ale. Belinda Penshurst, owner of Challham Castle, is on the case!

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?

A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!


Whether due to the murder of pub landlord Tupper or a slew of missing dogs, Belinda Penshurst is on the case. Amateur detective to be sure, Belinda has every intention of solving both cases. When Harry Powell, a retired dectective, moves into Belinda's small town, he certainly had no intention to be dealing with yet another murder. In fact, Harry and the police in the small village just don't appear to be taking things as seriously as Belinda.

Just as the police are certain that they found the killer, Belinda digs even deeper, proving that she is the perfect person to solve the mysteries at hand. Murder in the Village most certainly makes a fabulous first book in what promises to be an entertaining series. I loved Belinda, Harry and other characters in this story. Belinda's doggedness (pun intended) to get to the bottom of what was going on was enjoyable from start to finish. I loved the possible romance between Belinda and Harry and especially how the book ended which no doubt made me anticipate what just might be next. 

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


Lisa Cutts is the daughter of a former Metropolitan Police officer and obtained her first degree in Law, working in a number of jobs in London and around the South East area, before becoming a police officer herself in 1996. She later achieved a second degree in Applied Criminal Investigation.

She lives in Kent with her husband, a retired Police Officer, close to her three step-children and five step-grandchildren, where she balances working full-time for Kent Police with writing crime fiction. An extract from her debut novel, Never Forget, won the Writers Retreat Competition in 2012 and was published by Myriad in July 2013.

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