Published by Minotaur Books Genres: British mystery, Cozy Mystery
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Source: the publisher
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Also by this author: Murder at Honeychurch Hall, Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall, A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall
The first in a delightful new cozy series by Hannah Dennison, featuring two sisters who inherit an old hotel in the remote Scilly Islands and find it full of intrigue, danger, and romance.
When Evie Mead’s husband, Robert, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, a mysterious note is found among his possessions. It indicates that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Islands of Scilly.
Still grieving, Evie is inclined to leave the matter to the accountant to sort out. Her sister Margot, however, flown in from her glamorous career in LA, has other plans. Envisioning a luxurious weekend getaway, she goes right ahead and buys two tickets—one way—to Tregarrick.
Once at the hotel—used in its heyday to house detective novelists, and more fixer-upper than spa resort, after all—Evie and Margot attempt to get to the bottom of things. But the foul-tempered hotel owner claims he's never met the late Robert, even after Evie finds framed photos of them—alongside Robert's first wife—in his office. The rest of the island inhabitants, ranging from an ex-con receptionist to a vicar who communicates with cats, aren't any easier to read.
But when a murder occurs at the hotel, and then another soon follows, frustration turns to desperation. There’s no getting off the island at high tide. And Evie and Margot, the only current visitors to Tregarrick, are suspects one and two. It falls to them to unravel secrets spanning generations—and several of their own—if they want to make it back alive.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
When Evie’s much-older husband dies, leaving her in financial straits but with the potential inheritance of a hotel in the Isles of Scilly, her glamorous sister Margot persuades her to take a weekend trip to scope out her legacy. But the hotel isn’t quite the luxurious, welcoming resort the sisters envisaged, and soon its faded charms are marred by murder.
Death at High Tide pulled me in immediately, and kept me turning the pages. It’s a great set-up for the series, introducing us to Evie, Margot, and several other characters who I suspect will become series regulars, including a possible love interest and the island’s female police constable. Dennison excels at creating believably quirky characters, and the island has its share, from perennial guest Lily and her cat Mister Tig to the local vicar and the aforementioned constable.
Tregarrick Rock itself is wonderfully atmospheric, and I found myself wishing I could go there to experience the hotel’s lush gardens and windswept isolation for myself. High tide cuts the hotel from the nearby island and village of Tregarrick, adding to the locked-room (locked-island?) suspense as first one, then another character falls victim to an unknown killer. The mystery plot is well-constructed, and Dennison’s sure hand makes sure the pacing doesn’t falter. But it’s the characters and setting that really make Death at High Tide shine. I’m already looking forward to the next book, and Evie’s further adventures on the island of Tregarrick.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Quarantine Edition (2020)