Cover Image: Murder at the Book Festival

Murder at the Book Festival

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this one so much that I've bought the first one!

Violet Brewster is enjoying her new life in the village of Merrywell, and is thrilled that the local bookshop owner is creating a Book Festival, hopefully to run annually. The star attraction is author Leonie Stanwick, born locally but no longer attached to the area. Violet is thrilled when she is asked to interview her. However, the next day a body turns up and Violet finds herself determined to find out what's going on . . .

This is another excellent mystery, well planned and skilfully written. There's certainly plenty going on in Merrywell and I have a feeling it's going to be the next Midsomer! A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining novel from beginning to end, and most definitely a series I want to follow. 4.5*.

My thanks to the publisher for my ccopy via NetGalley; this is - as always my honest, original and unbiased review.

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The small and idyllic village of Merrywell is getting ready to host its first ever book festival, and Violet Brewster is delighted when she is asked to interview the star author, Leonie Stanwick who is now a bestselling romance author. She was born in Merrywell, but abruptly left when she was 18 years old and never came back. The festival takes a dark turn when someone is found murdered.
The second book in the series & it’s easily read on its own but I love reading a series from the beginning so that I fully appreciate how relationships develop. I really like Violet & I’m enjoying her budding relationship with Matthew. There are twists & turns as well as red herrings plus I was kept guessing until the end. I look forward to more in the series
My review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

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This was a new author to me. I enjoyed this quick read mystery that kept me guessing throughout the whole book! The small town setting and close knit community of characters, made this story an interesting and fun read.

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Murder at the Book Festival is a great book to curl up with a cup of hot tea and escape to the small Derbyshire village of Merrywell in the English countryside. Stroll among the shops, meet the wonderful people who care about each other and are eagerly anticipating the upcoming book festival with something for everyone. The book festival will bring in much needed revenue and is welcoming home Merrywell's most famous ex-resident Leonie Stanwick, a famous romance novelist.

There is only one thing that will interrupt all this country charm - a murder!

This is the first book I have read by Jane Bettany and I discovered a gem and a go-to author for a well-written British mystery. Ms. Bettany has an easy-going style and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her fictional town and all of the wonderful characters. I am amazed when an author creates an entire place out of their imaginations and all of the fictional inhabitants work together with the shops, restaurants, homes and hotels, to tell the story. I will definitely be a frequent visitor to Merrywell. This is part of a series of books and Violet Brewster, who moved Merrywell to start over from her divorce, is the lead character, who cleverly tells the story and who helps the police solve the mystery.

In addition to Violet and discovering whodunit, we get a budding romance, a quirky ex-husband, fudge. a cat, a luxury hotel, a long-time secret revealed and a rekindling of an old flame as part of the story. Trying to solve the mystery along with Violet will keep you guessing, I thought I had it figured out, but then I realized it could have been several people. This is definitely a book to read when you want a quick, addicting book to escape into for a while.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this wonderful read! This book is cozy, makes you feel at home. It was extremely entertaining and I couldn’t bring myself to put it down.

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This is the second book in the Violet Brewster Mystery series. I have not read the first one, but it was easy to follow this one as a stand alone. I picked it up because, hey, who can resist a book festival?

Description:
When a body is found at the Merrywell Book Festival, amateur sleuth Violet Brewster must leave no page unturned to solve the mystery… The small and idyllic village of Merrywell is getting ready to host its first ever book festival, and Violet Brewster is delighted when she is asked to interview the star author. Leonie Stanwick , now a bestselling romance author, is the featured guest of the festival. She was born in Merrywell, but abruptly left when she was 18 years old and never came back. But the festival takes a dark turn when Leonie is found murdered; her return to the village had clearly shaken someone up. When a shocking secret about Leonie’s past is revealed, Violet’s suspicions must turn to her own neighbours. Who in the village was intent on making sure Leonie could never leave the village again? An utterly gripping and unputdownable English cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Clare Chase, Frances Evesham and Betty Rowlands.

My Thoughts:
This was a fun, cozy mystery and I read it one rainy day, so it was fairly short. There are red herring here so if is difficult to guess the real killer until near the end. The village of Merrywell provided a good backdrop for the close community. I liked Violet and how she wanted to help her friends. Violet's relationship with Matthew seems promising and I liked him as well. There are secrets revealed in the story and it was a fun investigation. What more could you want in a cozy?

Thanks to HQ, HQ Digital through Netgalley for an advance copy. Expected publication on January 16, 2024.

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Set in the Village of Merrywell, in Derbyshire’s Peak District, the first Merrywell Book Festival is taking place. Violet Brewster, despite being a newcomer has been asked to interview the headline author, Leonie Stanwick at the first event, It’s a fairly fraught affair as Leonie is late and difficult, she refuses to answer some of the carefully crafted questions and “friends” of old want a piece of the action. Next day Leonie is late again, Violet goes to seek her out and in the process finds a body by Leonie’s car. A murder enquiry begins and Violet feels duty bound, despite warnings not to, to get involved. Her personal life takes a turn for the worse, as her ex husband Paul appears expecting to stay with her during the festival, alienating possible love interest Matthew.

I enjoyed this book, it is described as a cozy mystery and it is, with beautiful countryside, some romance and lots of identifiable characters, I curled up in front of the fire to read it. It’s nice for the protagonist to be an older woman who uses her little grey cells to work out the killer, before the detectives., who I suspect may have more than a professional interest in Violet.

I want to read more about Violet and Matthew and the delightful village of Merrywell ( where despite the quantity of murders, is a quintessentially English village, with all that entails)

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A great cosy mystery that keeps you hooked start to finish. I did work out one of the main plot lines but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book. Grab a cuppa and a warm blanket and get comfy to read this lovely book. Look forward to Violet's next adventure.

When a body is found at the Merrywell Book Festival, amateur sleuth Violet Brewster must leave no page unturned to solve the mystery…

The small and idyllic village of Merrywell is getting ready to host its first ever book festival, and Violet Brewster is delighted when she is asked to interview the star author.

Leonie Stanwick, now a bestselling romance author, is the featured guest of the festival. She was born in Merrywell, but abruptly left when she was 18 years old and never came back. Who would want to kill her?

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The second book in the Violet Brewster series return us to a wonderful small village setting with a cast of great characters and an intriguing mystery. The characters feel like old friends already and there is a real feeling in the book that they know each other well. It's not always easy for authors to pull that off, but Jane Bettany manages to do so. It adds to the overall charm of the story and the setting.

The setup of the mystery is something book lovers will enjoy, that being a local literary festival and the return of an author who grew up locally. It's not a unique concept, but it's well written and has a few exciting twists and surprises that make you wonder about characters early on. Even before the mystery starts. I enjoyed that setup very much.

So while we have a strong mystery that will keep you guessing, the author doesn't forget to bring the cosy elements into the story. Violet's ex-husband appears unannounced, stating he's there for the festival, but does he have other motives? And will that interfere with Violet's budding friendship with Matthew? There's also themes about family and generational taboos thrown into the story that add to the cosy and mystery themes. For a cosy mystery that is such a breeze to read, there are complex themes and threads through this story. I also very much enjoyed the writing style, which only adds to the enjoyment of the book.

I really hope this series continues because the setting, the characters, and the mystery are all very well written. I found this a delight to read.

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book to read for an honest review. All comments are my own.

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Violet Brewster is asked to interview star author Leonie Stanwick at the first Merrywell Book Festival. Leonie was born in the village, but left under a cloud and hadn't returned in many years. When a body is found, Violet finds herself caught up in the investigation - can she solve the mystery of Leonie before the murderer strikes again?

A good cosy mystery, it kept my attention. I really liked the characters and the style of writing, I would definitely read more by this author.

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Release Date: January 16, 2024
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The small and idyllic village of Merrywell is getting ready to host its first ever book festival, and Violet Brewster is delighted when she is asked to interview the star author.

Leonie Stanwick, now a bestselling romance author, is the featured guest of the festival. She was born in Merrywell, but abruptly left when she was 18 years old and never came back.

But the festival takes a dark turn when Leonie is found murdered; her return to the village had clearly shaken someone up. When a shocking secret about Leonie’s past is revealed, Violet’s suspicions must turn to her own neighbours. Who in the village was intent on making sure Leonie could never leave the village again?

This is the second in the #violetbrewstermystery series. I did not read the first but found that it did not hinder my enjoyment of this book! The book had great pace and lots of twists! Very enjoyable and I look forward to book 3!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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#janebettany #HQ #HQdigital #netgalleyreads #cozymystery #capecodreads #bookreview #bookstagram #booklover #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #booktok #bookrecommendations #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookblogger #igreads #goodreads #bookclub #bookreviews #bookblog

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I had just finished reading and enjoying A Murder in Merrywell, so I was delighted to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of the 2nd book in the Violet Brewster series thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. I thoroughly liked this one as well. Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy the characters and setting, and there are many twists and turns to solving the mysteries. As I love both cozy mysteries and book festivals, this was a perfect escape for me, and I flew through the book. I highly recommend this book and the series to cozy mystery readers, and I look forward to the next installment..

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This was a superb read. I haven't read any others by Jane but the title of this book drew my attention. The setting of a book festival was a great concept and it was well executed. The characters were drawn out and well shaped. The plot was simple and yet very effective. I would certainly recommend this book.

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I absolutely adored this book. One of those that you never want to put down. Whenever life forced itself between me and my reading time, I got twitchy, desperate to get back to Violet, Merrywell and murder.
Merrywell is hosting its first book festival and its highest profile author grew up in that very village, Leonie Stanwick. However, Leonie brings with her more than just a case of signed copies of her latest book. What secrets will be revealed by her return? And can Violet Brewster unravel the tangled web in time to stop a murderer escaping justice?
This is the perfect cosy crime. Violet Brewster is a Miss Marple for the modern age, Merrywell is every bit as perfect as St Mary Mead and I can’t wait to revisit Violet, Matthew and the rest of the inhabitants in, what I hope will be, the next instalment of a long and successful series.

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3.5/5 ⭐️
Violet Brewster is back again when a woman is murdered at Merrywell’s book festival.

I feel the same about this one as I did the first in this series - an overall decent mystery but still with some slow parts. This one did have a slight twist at the end where you think it’s one person but then it is someone else. I still think this one might build in pace as we get more character development.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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What a fantastic cosy murder mystery. Great characters, a wonderful setting and a solid plot. This is the perfect book to curl up in front of the fire with.

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The popularity of cosy crime seems to be rising and rising, and previously undiscovered gems like Derbyshire are now steadily being discovered by intrepid tourists like me. So when NetGalley suggested this book ripe for review, I did not waste a minute in requesting it! Set in the fictional village of Merrywell, this cosy crime thriller introduces amateur detective Violet Brewster who has a starring role at the local book festival: she is to interview local romance writer Leonie Stanwick. But less than 24 hours later, a body is found in the usually quiet village, and Violet has to switch her attention from books to murder once more …
Hugely enjoyable, even if some of the characters are perhaps a bit superfluous, this is a wonderful introduction to beautiful Derbyshire, or indeed, to any of the detective talents of any of the beautiful Shires. I am grateful to NetGalley and to the publishers for the free ARC that allowed me to read this novel and produce this unbiased book review.

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Violet Brewster has recently moved to Merrywell and is slowly becoming accepted by the local community. A book festival has been planned and author, Leonie Stanwick, famous for her racy romances, has been invited as the first guest at the opening. Violet is enticed into doing the interview with Leonie and as she prepares for the event she starts to find out more about the author. Such as Leonie is originally from Merrywell but won’t answer questions about her time there or her estranged family. Leonie also announces that her next book will be autobiographical.

The murder victim appears obvious from early on and the answer must lie in her past. However, all is not as it seems! There are numerous suspects and Violet weaves her way through various conversations and interesting plot twists to the conclusion.

This book has good pace and kept my attention throughout. The core characters are nicely developed. The exception being the ex husband whose character portrayal I found was not convincing and also he did not really add to the story.

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United States Publication: January 16, 2024

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for this advanced reader's copy. In exchange, I am providing an honest review.

Violet Brewster's first few months in the village of Merrywell have been interesting, to say the least. First, she stumbled into solving a village mystery, and now she's helping new friends prepare for the village's first-ever book festival. Asked to interview the headline author, Violet is excited to be taking part in her new village that doesn't involve crime. The village is excited to welcome back to Merrywell Leonie Stanwick, a famous romance author who grew up in Merrywell but hasn't been back since she was 18 years old. But it doesn't seem like everyone is excited to welcome Leonie back when she's found murdered and suddenly Violet is embroiled in another crime in sleepy Merrywell. But the murder takes another turn when it isn't Leonie found murdered but her relative. Everyone then wonders if the killer succeeded, or failed, and will there be another murder in Merrywell?

Book 2 was a fun read for the bookworm and the bookworm who loves mysteries. Bettany crafted a good mystery, providing some unpredictable twists and turns to get to the who-dun-it. She also really spent some time developing the character of Violet and other Merrywell residents that I'm guessing we'll get to know better in future titles. This is a fun series, I'll keep up with it as long as Bettany keeps writing Violet Brewster sleuthing around Merrywell.

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Wow, what a read! Great plot and characters. Everything you want in a mystery. This series gets better with every book. Very well done!

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