“Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anyting one cannot talk about after dinner.” ––Oscar Wilde
This is the first of two books in The Prunella Pearce Mysteries which, if you like cosy crime with a good dollop of laughter and a smattering of slapstick, is most definitely the book for you. For me, reading it, while tucked up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night was a real treat and something I really looked forward to. A murder story I knew I could indulge in without fear of nightmares, and often saw me snorting out loud, more likely to die laughing than worrying about things that go bump in the night.
Set in the quaint town of Winterbottom, this is a story of murder and mayhem as one by one, several members of the local Women’s Institute meet their untimely and, may I add, rather unique deaths – if only because the killer has both an imaginative and rather wicked sense of humour (never again will I look at lemon drizzle cake in quite the same way!). However, because we know who the perpetrator is very early on, this is not a typical murder-mystery. The real mystery behind this story is the reason for the killings in the first place, which, as we follow amateur sleuths and WI members, Librarian Pru (Prunella Pearce) and best friend, Bree, who take it upon themselves to follow the clues left by the killer, is slowly but surely revealed.
A little dark in places with an unexpected twist at the end, Murders at the Winterbottom’s Women’s Institute is best described as light-hearted escapism that is easy to read but brilliantly written. The characters are well-drawn and likeable, including the villain who, as the story unravelled, I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for. A fab read and one I highly recommend.