Friday, July 8, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Murder at the Priory Hotel


Join Flora Steele  bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, and amateur detective  as she faces her most puzzling case yet!

Sussex, 1957: When Flora Steele andhandsome crime writer Jack Carrington attend the grand re-opening of the Priory Hotel in the beautiful little village of Abbeymead, their day out is cut short when the flame-haired female singer in the band suddenly drops dead before their eyes.

Flora is stunned by the unexpected turn of events and immediately deduces foul play. 
Beverly Russo was a spirited young woman with a big voice and Flora is determined to get to the bottom of her untimely demise – especially as the detective sergeant leading the investigation is so hopeless. The first clue in the extraordinary case is Beverly’s missing ruby ring…

As Flora makes her enquiries, she discovers that Beverly wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and there’s more than one person in Abbeymead who had reason to dislike her. But who had the biggest motive: 
Beverly’s former beau Tommy May, jealous love rival Sally Jenner, or the local doctor who seems to be up to no good…

Then one of the suspects is found dead in the woods near the Priory Hotel. The murder weapon – a musical instrument. As the investigation reaches a high note, Flora knows she must find the culprit and make them face the music before anyone else is hurt. But will Flora’s tenacity put a dangerous spotlight on both her and Jack?

A delightful cozy crime novel, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis!

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Title:   Murder at the Priory Hotel
Author:  Merryn Allingham 
Series:  Flora Steele Mystery #4
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Historical Cozy Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   253
Date of Publication:   July 8, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars

Join Flora Steele, amateur detective extraordinaire, as she finds herself in position yet again to solve another murder. While Flora and Jack, who are good friends - although Jack apparently wants more - are set to enjoy the grand re-opening of the Priory Hotel. The hotel has had its troubles, but the re-opening is being celebrated with a musical performance. One of the singers suddenly drops dead - literally. The singer's manner of death is more than shocking, leaving some to wonder if it was perhaps a sudden heart attack. However, could it have been more, more meaning foul play was behind her death?

When Beverly Russo's performance definitely proves that someone succeeded in killing her, Flora plans on leaving no stone unturned as she start her own investigation. With very little faith in the police solving this curious murder, Flora begins digging deeply, only to discover that Ms. Russo was woman that was not well-liked by many, leaving more than one suspect in this newest case where Flora shines when it comes to uncovering secrets and lies. With Jack by her side also looking for clues, the pair prove indomitable when it comes to finding answers when even the police fall short.  

However, one of the subjects is also found dead, and the weapon appears to be a musical instrument, leaving no doubt that the two deaths are both murders that are connected. Not only must Flora act even more quickly, she must avoid falling into the killer's crosshairs. Meanwhile, Jack is glad he is there at the hotel, as he feels that it is time for his relationship with Flora to be defined. 

Murder at the Priory Hotel is an enjoyable addition to an engaging cozy mystery series. Since Jack is so distracted by his writing, these murders take a lot of his time. One thing that leads Flora and Jack in their pursuit of clues is the fact that Beverly Russo's ruby ring appears to be missing. That clue is the first of many in this intriguing entry of a series that I thoroughly enjoy.

I love that each book in this series stands on its own, but I really enjoy the continuity that reading this series in order brings, especially as Flora and Jack's relationship takes a slow turn from friendship to possibly more, and this leaves me more than eager for the next book in the series. 

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

Please enjoy my YouTube video review as well - 


Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.

Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband and one last cat, Bluebell. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.

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