Cover Image: Murder in Langley Woods (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 8)

Murder in Langley Woods (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 8)

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Actual rating of 3.5

Book number 8 in the Melissa Craig series sees Melissa trying to navigate personal relationships, deal with the fact that her good friend and eccentric neighbour, Iris, is moving to France with her soon to be husband, and get her manuscript finished in what may very well be the last book in her long running series, while attempting to decide which idea she should follow next. On top of all this, a young woman's body has been found discarded, naked, in an old, broken freezer that the Major and his wife discarded for hard rubbish collection. The young lady appears to be part of the Gipsy camp staying in the area, and the Romany have their own way of meting out punishment to those responsible. Melissa finds herself embroiled in the case along with her reporter friend, and what they will discover will be surprising, to say the least...

I had requested book 1 and 2 of this series in the earlier days of my Netgalley membership. I enjoyed the cosy mysteries so much so, that when I discovered other installments in the series available, I went on a spree and requested books 8 through 11. I do enjoy a cosy mystery, but I was beginning to think, what more could be offered in the series, so I put of reading the ones I requested. I ended up biting the bullet and attempting to whittle them down (along with my stupidly long Netgalley eARC list), and I wasn't disappointed in this one (I didn't think I would be to be honest). I've come to quite enjoy the characters that Rowlands has created in this series and I'll admit, I'm eager to see what happens to them next.

As per usual, Melissa finds herself in the middle of an investigation because she just can't help herself, however, I found this one to be a little bit darker and a bit more dangerous than the previous two that I've read (yes, I'll admit, I've missed five books in the series). This installment deals with domestic violence, bigotry, and deals with the relationships in the book a lot deeper than I was expecting. So you have the normal cosy mystery happening, with a darker tinge to it, but a lot of the book is also dealing with Melissa and her beau, Ken's relationship and the fact that he wishes to marry her. The tenuous relationship that she had with her father is touched upon, which I thought was great because all we knew about her was that her parents essentially kicked her out when she was pregnant with her son, Simon, and her love died, leaving his parents as the ones to care for her and the child (which they were happy to do). So it was nice to get a bit of a backstory to Melissa's parents. There's also the fact that Iris is to be wed soon, and is moving with her fiancee to France, which I feel like Melissa is not ready for, to be honest, I know I'm not. I quite enjoy the character of Iris, so I'm a little worried that this will mean she becomes less and less involved in the stories.

Ken is an overbearing character, and he annoyed me from the beginning of this book. I can remember his character from the previous books I've read, but I didn't see their relationship grow because, as mentioned above, I skipped five books, but honestly, I don't know how Melissa has put up with him for so long (however long that is, it might not be very long at all). He is overbearing, arrogant and thinks that he has the right to order Melissa around and tell her what to do. Now, I've always seen Melissa as a strong character who doesn't take any crap from anyone, so I was really surprised to see her bowing down to some of Ken's temper tantrums. It just didn't seem like the character that I've come to know and enjoy. As always the Fords annoy me, they're gossipers and are so worried about appearances and social standing, which I've never understood. I came to enjoy the character of Mel's reporter friend (who's name I just cannot remember for the life of me) I think his name is Bruce? He seems less stuck up and annoying in this installment, and it seems like they've become good friends.

The mystery was well thought out and executed. I had an inkling early on on WHO dunnit, and sort of why, but not the whole story. So when the reveal happened at the end, it wasn't a total surprise for me, but the why and how was explained well so it all made sense and was tied up nice and neat in a little bow. I'm interested to see how the dynamic of the village changes after this book to be honest. I feel like Rowlands did a good job of painting the picture of the Romany Gipsies and I feel like it was done tastefully, though because I'm not one, I can't honestly say for sure how well it was done.

There's not a whole lot to say on this book as it's number 8 in the series. But if you like a good little cosy mystery set in England, maybe give the series a go. Be mindful, this series was originally written in the 90s, so answering machines and the like were the way of communication hahahaha, this was actually the first book where I saw a mobile phone mentioned.
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I enjoyed this book. There were many friendly characters with lots of twists int he story. Murder in Langley Woods is about a body which is found in an old donated freezer. The freezer had been stolen from Major Ford’s yard. The question is when was the body placed in the freezer? Before or after it was stolen? Melissa Craig is out to find out the answer. I recommend this book to all my fellow readers and I will be reading this series. Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me an advanced reader’s copy.
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This is book 8 in the Melissa Craig series, but you will not be lost if you haven't read the others. This one has a young gypsy girl found dead in a freezer unit that was suppose to be picked up for disposal, and the game is a foot. The twists and turns and the characters overall make this a wonderful cozy mystery. The only thing I found slow and skimmable was the supposed romance between Melissa and her ex-cop boyfriend Ken. He tends to bark orders and demand things that he should know will not go well. Didn't see the attraction. Otherwise, highly recommend this book and series. Didn't see the ending, which is always fun.
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This book in the Melissa Craig mystery series was one of the best.  It combines the mysterious death of a young gypsy girl with Melissa's angst over her neighbor Iris' move to the south of France.  In addition, her relationship with Ken, the police detective turned PI is at a crisis point--is Melissa ready to take the next step?  

Lots of action in this book, along with some personal dilemmas, make it a page turner.  And, it also made me anxious for the next book in the series.  Can't wait to see what happens next!
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I absolutely love these books and look forward to everyone. 
Lovely cosy mysteries, with great characterisation and a good plot that always keeps you guessing. I can't praise them highly enough.
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Previously published as The Cherry Pickers,  Murder in Langley Woods (book 8 in the Melissa Craig Mystery Series) showcases one of my favorite witty sleuths - Melissa Craig, the Agatha Raisin of the Cotswolds. 

Brimming with a full cast of realistic characters, book 8 adds significant flair and spunk to the series. 

When a body is found in this seemingly perfect world, Melissa kicks into gear. Bounding with tension, a murderous undercurrent is felt throughout the text. This alone makes this reboot of the former novel teeter on the edge of cozy mystery and thriller. 

Highly recommend for those cozy reader fans who want to dip there toes into the thriller genre.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  In the idyllic Cotswold village, the discovery of a naked body in a discarded fridge leads to all sorts of complications for Melissa Craig.  She becomes involved when she realizes that the girl is a gypsy whose picture she has seen in a caravan.  Even when she tries to distance herself from the investigating, she seems drawn in deeper and deeper.  Not only is it keeping her from finishing her latest novel but it is putting considerable strain on her romantic relationship.
The upcoming marriage of her friend and neighbour and the proposal from her own swain that they marry or, barring that, live together is causing her grief.  She is torn but must decide whether she wants to buy her friend’s cottage and whether she wants to commit to a permanent relationship.  She is a very independent lady, understandably so with her backstory.  To yield any of it is a very tough decision.
She does put herself in some tricky situations but she is not a foolish.  She does try to convince the local police in her discoveries.  She does some borderline chancy things but she seems pretty capable.  That does not stop her beau from trying to read her the riot act.  We can well imagine how well she takes that.
It’s a good story with strong characters and some satisfying twists.  Four purrs and two paws up.
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A great cozy mystery that is surrounded by a well established cast of characters that Betty Rowlands' readers have come to know and love.  There is plenty of story to go along with the murder that must be solved and plenty of arguing when Melissa's boyfriend decides it should not be her solving it.  But Melissa has never been one to stand by and watch so off she goes with the news reporter and comes up with the best clue the police have.  These characters remind you of your friends and neighbors and you can't help but love them.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this cozy mystery.

This is the 8th book in this series. Melissa Craig is a writer of detective stories, and is working away in her garden when her neighbour, Colonel Ford, comes by and tells her that his freezer has been stolen. A few days later, the freezer is found - with the naked body of a gypsy woman in it. Mel and her newspaper friend Bruce visit the gypsy camp and Mel sees a photograph of the dead girl. She gets friendly with the dead girl's aunt, Rachel, and invites her to come to her house to show her lace. When her boyfriend, Ken, a retired cop and private investigator, learns she been talking with gypsies, he's angry and forbids her from continuing the acquaintance. This gets Mel's back up - Ken has asked her to marry him, and wants to buy Iris's adjoining cottage and join them into one unit, and Mel is doubting that she could live with him. 

When I learned the identity of the killer, I was surprised! Another nice read by Betty Rowlands. I will continue reading her books.
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This book is full of charm and is part of a series but also can be read as a stand alone book. 
It is a good mystery book with an undercurrant of chilling mystery throughout 
A superb addition to this amazing series.
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Murder in Langley Woods, is  the eighth novel in the Melissa Craig Cozy Mystery series. This is a delightful  addition to the series and a fun sleuth. I recommend the entire series. This book can be read as a stand alone.  I enjoy the location of the Cotswold's in this series as the stand out favorite location to solve a murder. .
 The  protagonist Melissa is a smart savvy  sleuth who has elements of Miss Marple as she pursues her suspects and clues. I love the well rounded cast of local charcters who all add to each new addition of the series. The sleuth was well rounded with a tension to the undercurrents of the crime that kept me turning pages into the night until the conclusion. 
This was a entertaining fun addition to the series. I look forward to the next in series. Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher for the opportunity to review this next in series.
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I never get tired of this series; this installment does not disappoint, either with the plot, or the development of the main characters. The sub-title says it all: A completely addictive cozy mystery novel!
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This was a really good book!! I need to read the rest of them in the series, but this totally is a fine standalone as well!!  Well thought out plot, well written, definitely a page turner.  I really like the lead character, and I practically devoured this book in a single day.  Can’t wait to read more of them!
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A very good story with quite a few twists and turns, a good plot and very good characters. Just a little too much of everyday life and repetitions for my liking, but enjoyable.
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So lovely to be back in The Cotswolds with Melissa Craig and a cast of wonderful characters. The murders get darker and more menacing and even though this can be read as a standalone story. If like me you’re addicted to this cozy mystery series, you’ll enjoy the developments in Melissa’s life too.

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Murder in Langley Woods, the eighth novel in the Melissa Craig Cozy Mystery series, uses the beautiful Cotswolds setting as one of the central aspects of the story and reminds me a lot of the chocolate-box villages portrayed in Midsomer Murders. It's a story that is full of charm and works well as a standalone - it certainly isn't necessary to have read the previous instalments. The author is adept at moulding interesting characters that you really care about, an intriguing plot and the twists and turns throughout make for a satisfying tale. We also get more development of main protagonist Melissa which is exciting to see and book eight is definitely the best of the series so far.

It's an engaging mystery with a menacing undertone and chilling atmosphere running through it. Importantly for a cozy there is no profanity, sexual liaisons or blood and gore, and the conclusion was unexpected and satisfying. Previously published as The Cherry Pickers, fans of Agatha Christie and MC Beaton should enjoy this as well as those who love to read cozies. A superb and highly entertaining addition to an already popular series, and a perfect read for those dark, chilly nights.

Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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I'm a fan of this series and even if this is not my favourite installment it's an engaging and entertaining book.
It was great to meet again the cast of characters and see the evolutions in their life even if some came as a surprise.
The mystery was solid and full of twists and turns. It was easier to spot the culprit than other times but I enjoyed it.
I look forward to read the next installment in this series.
Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for this ARC
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This series is a really great read. Mel and friends continue to make changes in their lives, moving forward rather than always being in the same place. We find out more about some of her neighbors in this mystery. Ms. Rowlands is always able to keep me guessing on who done it. Ms. Rowlands also describes the scenes so well I feel like I am visiting the location. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Number 8 of the series and I really don't tire of them. As I said before, not only the murder cases become more and more thrilling and intriguing, but the lives of the main characters develop in a very interesting way as well.

I will certainly miss reading about Melissa and the other protagonists at the end of the series, but fortunately I have some more adventures coming.

Once again the author has taken me by surprise. I had not one single idea how this plot would turn out and she totally chose an unexpected suspect.

I am afraid that I have a new favourite one, but let's be honest : they are all more than worth reading.

These books are top of the bill in the cozy mystery novel genre. 5 stars.

Thank you, Betty Rowlands, Bookouture and Netgalley for the review copy.
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Thank you Netgalley, Betty Rowlands and Bookouture for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

Commonly referred to as a cosy mystery, Betty Rowlands new book focuses on Melissa Craig and the bizarre circumstances in which she's caught up in.

As the #8 book in the Melissa Craig Mystery Series, it certainly doesn't disappoint, and although it can be read as a standalone, the story is at its best when read after the previous books.

I found the plot interesting, and the title straightforward.
The front cover, however, was rather bland.
It wouldn't have hurt to make the cover a bit more intriguing or attractive.
The language used in the book was also quite old-fashioned, although that could be because it isn't aimed for my age.

In the end, the book wasn't interesting enough for me to finish it in one day, as I typically do, although the ending was rather enjoyable.

This is definitely a book for those who prefer murder mysteries to be more peaceful in contrast to the usual gruesome horror stories.
I would also recommend this book to readers that love the classics, as they both have a similar type of writing and vibe.
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