Cover Image: A Racing Murder

A Racing Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

4.5 Stars

Frances Evesham expertly blends bucolic charm with pulse-racing drama and nail-biting suspense in her delightful cosy mystery, A Racing Murder.

Local hotelier Imogen Bishop has got her hands full at the moment. Her hotel is absolutely packed to the rafters and the entire village can barely contain their excitement over Racing Day at the nearby Wincanton racecourse. The entire community of this charming Somerset village is looking forward to a day spent poring over the Racing Post, betting on their favourites and cheering on Belinda Sandford as she thunders on to victory on her horse Butterfly Charm. Her race is one which everybody watches with baited breath and everybody is delighted that she has pipped her rivals to the post – until a stewards’ enquiry overturns the result and awards the race to her long-time rival Alexandra Deacon. However, Alex’s victory is set to be short-lived as she is found dead in very mysterious circumstances…

With the finger of suspicion pointing squarely at Belinda, her distraught mother turns to former police officer turned publican Adam Hennessy to help clear her daughter’s name. As Adam begins to investigate, Imogen cannot help but offer Adam her assistance and as the two of them begin to dig deep into the world of horse-racing, they discover a murky world of high stakes, secrets and deception. With a killer on the loose waiting for the right moment to strike again, will Adam and Imogen manage to discover who killed Alex? Can they get to the bottom of this complex and twisted mystery? Or are are there further surprises round the corner which will end up derailing Adam and Imogen’s investigation?

Frances Evesham’s terrific cosy mysteries keep going from strength to strength and in A Racing Murder, she has penned an immensely enjoyable page-turner I devoured in a matter of hours. A Racing Murder is packed with red herrings, twists and turns and shocking revelations that will keep readers absolutely riveted to the page.

Adam and Imogen are a fantastic duo readers are simply going to love. Their witty banter, contrasting personalities and brilliant methods of detection are sure to keep readers completely gripped and have them eagerly awaiting the next Ham Hill mystery.

An absolute treat for cosy mystery fans, fans of M C Beaton and Faith Martin will want to add Frances Evesham’s A Racing Murder to their auto-buy list.
Was this review helpful?
A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

A winning horse…
A fierce rivalry…
A sudden death…

This was a good book.  I compared it to Dick Francis’ novels.  A murder in the racing theater.  It also mentions about young females competing with each other, as well as with the male jockeys.  I recommend this book.

Thanks to Net Galley for sending me an advanced reader’s copy for my review.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book.  It was a great storyline with excellent characters.  I would highly recommend this book as it was a great read.
Was this review helpful?
The second installment in The Ham-Hill Murder Mysteries by Frances Evesham did not disappoint. I am very happy that I have been there since the very beginning and started the journey together with the main characters horticulturalist Imogen Bishop and retired detective turned publican Adam Hennessy. Together with their friends, and let's be honest, romantic interests, this duo is investigating yet another murder in the picturesque village and in Hall's gardens.

This time around the murder of equestrian flavour. Two competing jockeys, two competing stables and however many more competing, fighting, hiding, scheming make for a very complicated case. One of the jockeys is found dead after the race. The suspicions falls squarely on her competitor and girl's mother asks Adam Hennessy for help to clear her daughter's name.

The voice, the dynamics, the characters of the story are fun and light.. The setting is amazing, be it grounds of the hall, stables or anything in between. The main duo are the friends you'd love to have. They uncover the culprit and so much more...

I like these series for the likable characters, amazing setting, relationship between characters and sense of community. Frances Evesham has done an amazing job creating a voice, a space, a team that are so much fun, easy to read and easy to like and want more.
Was this review helpful?
A Racing Murder is the second book in a murder cozy mystery series by Frances Evesham. Released 15th June 2021, it's 264 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

This is a charming and quaint village cozy series. This installment shows some of the competitive underbelly of steeplechase, greed, money, and the hidden currents of village life. It's an ensemble cast including a publican who's a former police officer, a hotelier with a more-than-average inquisitive nature, and a nice group of supporting characters. The language is clean, there is no graphic sexual content (there's a little light romance, but not objectionably much), and the violence is off-scene and relatively restrained. 

The buildup is well done and the denouement and resolution are satisfying. There were a few twists along the way which I didn't anticipate. Although it's the second book in the series, it works perfectly well as a standalone.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
It was a great book I enjoyed it. Its not a dick Francis comparative. Its a good mystery surround a murder that happens to a female jockey and the villages ex policeman and 3 others solve the mystery. It reads well with a slight love story going through.
Was this review helpful?
First time reading this author and I'm willing to try her again. I liked the mystery and the setting. I found the characters interesting and would like to find out more about what happens with them.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Terrific first read and am eagerly looking forward to the next book.  Great characters, well crafted mystery, and an afternoon well spent curled up with a book.
Was this review helpful?
Loved how it kept you guessing. As soon as you think you know who it is the killer comes out of nowhere
Was this review helpful?
A Racing Murder is the second book in the Ham Hill murder mysteries series. This was a new one for me. I have not read the previous book in the series, though I did not feel that this was necessary to get to grips with this story.
The plot was, I thought, a very good one and a new one for me. I don't follow horse racing or know much about it but it isn't wasn't a problem as the story provides the needed information regarding this world. I really liked the plot and the amount of suspects kept me guessing.
The pace of the story was more trot than gallop which I didn't mind in this instance as there was so much mystery to unearth and so much going on.
Frances Evesham has done a good job with this cosy mystery that will appeal to a wide audience.
Was this review helpful?
Fantastic book! 
A brilliant rollercoaster of a ride… I read this book in one sitting in less than a day and loved every minute of it
Was this review helpful?
Although I haven't read the first in the series, this didn't detract from the story here. I really enjoyed meeting the characters and particularly the horse racing setting. The crime solving duo of Adam and Imogen are great and I liked the blend of a bit of romance amongst the murder mystery. All the ingredients for a fabulous series of cozy crime.
Was this review helpful?
A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham is the second book in The Ham Hill Murder Myster series. You can read this as a standalone with no issue. I enjoy reading books in order when I can, but rest assured, there is enough back story so you’re not lost.

This fun, quirky mystery that kept me entertained. I love the description of village life. It made this novel so cozy. And while this is a murder mystery, the story is lighthearted and an easy read.

As with the first book, I really enjoyed these characters. Their personalities stole the show and this is definitely a character driven novel.

A great read that I recommend!

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the review copy and the opportunity to honestly review this book on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
Was this review helpful?
Wow this is an excellent read.

If you like your murder mysteries on the darker side this is for you, I for one loved it and am so glad it is part of a series.

Dr Harrison Lane is a great character, a unique invention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and the extraordinary case he is faced with. The case sees him looking into the death of a boy and there may be an satanic element to the murder.

The author has created a great story with a terrific cast of characters.

Thoroughly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this cozy mystery.

This book starts about a year after the first one. Adam and Imogene are comfortably ensconced in their businesses in Lower Hembrow. They take a trip to the race track to see two young jockeys in a steeplechase. Shortly after the race, one of the girls is found dead, drowned in a water trough. Adam, as a former police officer, is asked by the mother of the other jockey to investigate the murder, as suspicion is being cast on her daughter. A group is also organized to plan the Spring Fair, to be held at the Streamside Hotel.

The first part of this book was quite talky, introducing lots of new characters, but the action picked up at the latter parts. I enjoyed the small town vibe.
Was this review helpful?
The second book in The Ham Hill Murder Mystery series focuses on the horse racing set. Popular in the 1970s and 1980s as a topic for crime and mystery, it was lovely to reacquaint with the horse racing set in this cosy mystery.

When Adam and Imogen are requested to clear a female jockey's name after the suspicious death of a rival, they uncover many secrets and motives. It's like 'Riders' focusing on horse racing rather than showjumping, but a little less racy.

The cosy mystery ethos is immersive reading, with vibrant characters and vivid settings that complement the twisty plot perfectly.

This story is a perfect escape with crime, mystery and a touch of romance.

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A Racing murder is the second book in Frances Evesham's new series called the Ham-Hill Murder Mysteries. If you are a fan of her Exham-on-Sea series or just like books set in small English towns, this is a book for you.

The protagonists/amateur sleuths (in Agatha Christie's Miss Marple style) are Imogen Bishop, the owner of small hotel, and her friend Adam Hennessey, a former police officer who runs the local pub in the village of Low Hembrow in South Somerset.

We join the villagers as they watch a horse race, which is unexpectedly won by a new horse Butterfly Charm. Then, there is a controversy, as the Steward Committee looks into what happened on the last stretch of the race and decides that the winning jockey Belinda Sandford obstructed the progress of another jockey, Alex Deacon, who had to pull back and came in second. Belinda isn't fined, but Alex (who isn't exactly a likeable character) is given the first place by the Committee. While Belinda is trying to forget what happened, learn from her mistake and move on, Alex is found dead, and, naturally, the police and a lot of other people suspect Belinda, who had a motive. Belinda's mother Diana is desperate to help her young, inexperienced girl.

The mystery was really absorbing and it was fascinating to get this glimpse into the world I had known very little about: stables, horse trainers, grooms, horse syndicates and, of course, jockey rivalry. I didn't guess the identity of the murderer (actually, it came as a complete surprise, as it was the person you would suspectthe least), but I really enjoyed Adam and Imogen's investigation. Both sleuths have likeable personalities and complement each other with their different life experiences. Adam's police background and connections also come in handy. Imogen and Adam are helped by Steph, a local journalist, and Daniel, a painter, both of whom are Imogen's old school friends. There is a bit of romance on the horizon, but, first and foremost, this is a cozy mystery. There's a whole range of secondary characters, as you would expect in a small town setting where everyone knows everyone and gossip is a national sport. The village of Low HemBrow has a lovely community and is a great setting for this series.

The book is well-written with several unexected twists and a lot of attention to details. I was thoroughly entertained and I would like to continue with the series.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love a mystery set in the world of racing – Dick Francis is one of my all-time favourite authors – so I jumped at the chance to read and review this book, despite the fact that I had not read the first Ham Hill mystery book. The fact that I was new to the series did not matter at all, this book works perfectly well as a standalone, but it did make me want to go back and read A Village Murder, which is the first book.

The book is set in a quaint, rural village in Somerset, as you would expect for a cosy, murder mystery, with picturesque houses, a lovely hotel and snug pub… and all the usual bickering, rivalry and intrigue that seems to abound in such backwaters. I live in a small village in Yorkshire and we never have any murders, but the rest of the plot rings very true as to the goings on in a rural setting. They are always gossip central, and no one can ever keep anything quiet, so the idea that a group of locals could solve a murder through wagging tongues and their personal contacts I find entirely feasible!

I really love the gang of characters that the author has created here, especially Imogen and Adam and the friendship between them. They are very authentic, well-rounded and likeable characters, and I love the way Frances has included intrigue and tension in their personal lives, as well as the murder mystery, to push the plot along. In fact, it is the characterisation in particular that has made me want to go back and read the first book in the series and find out more of their back stories, although there is enough information contained in this book to enable the reader to enjoy this storyline without making that necessary.

The murder plot is gentle, not especially gory, but entertaining and diverting and kept me guessing throughout. I loved the peek inside the world of racing and thought Frances had captured that world very well compared to other books I have read written by people actually involved in it (as I said, I am a fan of the genre, and I come from a town where horse-racing is one of our biggest industries). Frances’s writing is very engaging and extremely easy to read, so the pages just slip by. This is a book you can easily devour in one indulgent afternoon without any strain, and you will probably want to as you race to find out whodunnit.

A great book for fans of M.C. Beaton, Betty Rowlands and other cosy mystery writers. Lovely setting, attractive characters and an enticing and gripping plot, what more can you ask for from a book? Thoroughly enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
This is a well written English cozy mystery. Although I didn't read the first book in the series I didn't have any trouble getting into this book. The setting is great, the subject of horse racing is interesting and the plot is clever and well written. I really enjoyed the cast of characters and their wisdom of age.
Was this review helpful?
A Racing Murder is a very well written cozy mystery.  Great plot and character development.  The plot has many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.  I recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?