Member Reviews

I love this historical cozy mystery series so I was excited to receive the latest installment! In this one, Cressida and her sweet pug Ruby are solving a murder/theft mystery at an old church. It was pretty tricky to figure out and also fun along the way. Even those this is part of a series, I think you can read each title as a stand-alone.

Thank you for my copy and for making me part of the tour!

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Things are definitely not what they seem! The leadership team of this remarkable cathedral are an interesting bunch with diverging views on right and wrong and the best way forward. An intriguing backdrop to the murder in the crypt.

Once again, Cressida and Ruby, with Albert and Dotty alongside keep the investigation interesting and the result is an enjoyable murder mystery read.

Is their affection building between Albert and Cressy? What would that mean for the independent lifestyle she so values. We'll have to wait and see. It's four out of five stars for me.

My thanks to #Netgalley and Bookouture for my advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review

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Cressida Fawcett is enjoying a tour of Winchester Cathedral with her aunt when they come across the body of a man. Her aunt's maid is standing over the body holding the candlestick that struck him. She is instantly arrested but Cressida is sure she is innocent...
Death in the Crypt is the 5th book set in the 1920s to feature amateur sleuth Cressida Fawcett and her friends.
Nancy the maid is found standing over the body of her fiance. Cressida believes her protestations of innocence and arranges for DCI Andrews to lead the case. Of course, she can't help starting an investigation herself while she waits for him to arrive! She is ably assisted by her dog Ruby and her high class friends Dotty and Alfred. But danger, a ghost and another murder mean trouble...
Cressy is a wonderful lead character. She is feisty and has determined never to marry in order to preserve her independence in an era when gender roles were severe and unfair. But her heart is tempted and confused by her feelings. Her dog Ruby is delightfully naughty which gives Cressida the chance to investigate more subtly.
I loved the familiar setting of Winchester Cathedral. This site has a special place in my heart and I remember the ethereal nature of the crypt. I thought that the historical and geographical settings, social conventions and class/gender roles had been well researched to underpin the plot and character behaviour.
Death in the Crypt is an enjoyable historical murder mystery.

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I’m reading the 1920s vintage era rather a lot and this is a classic example.
There is always an Hon. involved and in this case it’s the Honorable Lady Cressida, amateur sleuth and not one to take things at face value.

On what was supposed to be a quiet holiday, she comes across a body in a crypt and standing over the body her Aunts maid Nancy with a heft bloodied candlestick in her hand. For the local detectives, it’s an open and shut case. Lady Cressida is inclined to think otherwise and the pursuit of village gossip, reluctant clergy, local folklore and a vanishing friar are all clues that have to be pursued to uncover the real murderer.

Typical rural English setting with stalwart and standard characters featuring in the story, this was a lovely read.

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This is a Cressida Fawcett mystery. I've read some of this series before; they're cosy mysteries set in the 1920s. Cressida is a lovely character to read about, and I think the author does a great job of creating an atmosphere and transporting the reader to the 20s.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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It's 1925 and Cressida Fawcett and her pug Ruby are visiting her Aunt Mary in Winchester. Her BFF Dotty, Dotty's brother Alfred and Cressida's friend and designer Maurice Sauvage will all be arriving for a weekend in the house on Cloister Close. The home is across the green from the historical cathedral. Before everyone arrives, Aunt Mary, Cressy and Ruby accompany the church's Dean for a tour, ending in a visit to the crypt. When they arrive they see a bloodied body and Aunt Mary's maid, Nancy Biddle, standing over him with a bloodied candlestick in her hands. Nancy was arrested in what appears to be an open and shut case. Both Aunt Mary and Cressy are sure Nancy is innocent, so she calls her friend Detective Andrews and his sidekick, Kirby, from Scotland Yard to investigate, as well as let her in on what they find, as well as doing some sleuthing of her own. Finding some clues and asking some questions leads Cressy to believe that someone might be selling ancient bones and the verger, apparently Nancy's fiancé, who was killed must be involved somehow. Can Cressy and Detective Andrews solve this crime before Nancy ends up with the noose?

Death in the Crypt is the 5th Cressida Fawcett Mystery, and it was another enjoyable who dunnit. Who would have thought there would be so many secrets surrounding an old cathedral or that men of the cloth could have enemies? I enjoyed spending time with Cressida, Dotty, Alfred and of course Ruby. For a pug pup (only a year old), he stumbles into clues that help Cressida put the mystery together. He is a sweetheart that I love hearing about in these stories, although he is definitely a bit spoiled. Cressida is an independent, intuitive and observant woman who puts herself in danger more than once, in her investigations. I enjoy her teamwork with Andrews, and how he puts up with her investigating, even when he wants her to stop, although he constantly keeps her apprised of everything. I like that her relationship with Alfred is growing, and I think they would make a great couple, even though she insists she has no desire to marry and have a husband. The mystery was interesting and I enjoyed learning a bit of history surrounding the Church of England. The clues were well placed, and took a bit to put together. I had an idea of what was going on, but didn't have all the answers until the end. The twists keep me reading and I closed this one with satisfaction. If you enjoy a good historical cozy mystery, I recommend you pick up Death in the Crypt of any of the Cressida Fawcett mysteries.

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Historic eleventh-century Winchester Cathedral makes a splendid setting for Chester’s fifth 1920s cosy mystery featuring the Honourable Cressida Fawcett and her friends Dotty and Alfred Chatterton. Cressy’s Aunt Mary lives a short walk from the cathedral, and the dean has offered to give them a tour, taking them momentarily out of the tedium of redecorating plans for Aunt Mary’s fabulous Queen Anne-style home, where design-conscious Cressy is doing her best to politely manoeuvre around her aunt’s dreadful decorating choices!

It’s not been long since Cressy and co.’s thrilling train adventure, Murder on the Scotland Express, a fun read but not a necessary one in a stand-alone series. Cathedral staff are mourning a recent death, a ghost is wandering the cathedral grounds, and the archives have been broken into, so Cressy is horrified to discover the just-murdered verger during their tour of the crypt. Standing over the body is Aunt Mary’s maid, Nancy, poised with a hefty, blood-dripping candlestick, proclaiming her innocence and love for the dead man at her feet. Cressy immediately calls Scotland Yard’s DCI Andrews, but withholds some details (and some evidence). Despite being warned against further investigations, she barrels ahead, but this is part of Cressy’s endearing and enduring charm as a no-longer-quite-so-amateur sleuth.

This title is a little slower out of the starting gate than the previous books as our heroine follows the many threads of culpability, but one unforeseen event sends the plot racing to the finish line with natural ease. Alfred is still working his way to being more than a friend, adding a little romantic spice to a delightful whodunnit series which keeps its readers guessing.

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Another great edition to the series. Cressida and her pug Ruby arrive at Cressida’s Aunt’s place and tour a crypt and find her Aunt’s maid standing over a dead body. Along with her best friend Dotty, her brother Alfred and DCI Andrews, Cressida is on the case to prove Mary’s innocence.

series is always fun and entertaining. Cressida is spunky and independent for the era. This almost reminds me a little of a cross between Downton Abbey and an Agatha Christie novel except that you need to throw in an amateur sleuth.

There are plenty of suspects, and plenty of sleuthing by Cressida and of course Ruby. I didn’t know much about the Church of England and enjoyed a little of that history.

This cozy mystery series is always enjoyable and entertaining. The relationships and the growth of Cressida and Alfred in addition to the immersion in the era add depth to the mystery.

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It's the roaring '20s. Wealthy heiress Cressida Fawcett is known for being fiercely independent (though never apart from her little pug Ruby) with an eye for interior design. In this installment, Cressy is on a mission of mercy: her aunt wants to redecorate her Queen Ann mansion with some Art Deco elements, something that would never do! But soon after arriving, she and her aunt find the body of the verger – with her aunt’s maid Nancy standing over him. Nancy claims she’s innocent – she and the verger were in love! – which Cressy believes. Thus, she sets out with her
BFF Lady Dorothy Chattworth and Dorthoy's older brother Alfred (who arrived later by train, not quite up to the challenge of riding with Cressy), to prove Nancy’s innocence. Along the way, Cressy continues to analyze her feelings for Alfred.

I’m a fan of all the Cressy Fawcett books, and this one is no exception. I didn’t quite enjoy the plot as I did some of the previous books, but I do like how the characters are developing. For example, Cressy has long maintained she’ll never marry and lose her independence, but here is her favorite aunt who managed to maintain her independence and had a happy marriage.

Highly recommended – while it would be helpful to have read the previous books, it’s not necessary (although they’re a lot of fun, too!).

I received a copy of this from that I voluntarily chose to review.

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Fliss Chester has given us another delightful adventure with Cressida Fawcett and friends! Here Cressy is visiting her Aunt Mary in Winchester. She’s come to help her aunt with some interior design questions, and her dear friends Dotty and Alfred will be joining them as well. Winchester, in addition to offering a lovely spot for a vacation and a bit of shopping, is also home to a venerable old cathedral. While on a tour of the cathedral, Cressy comes upon the body of Anthony, the recently, violently deceased verger, with Aunt Mary’s maid Nancy standing over the body, holding a heavy candlestick that appears to be the weapon responsible for the man’s demise.

Cressy can’t help but start digging for answers, but she also calls for law enforcement assistance in the form of DCI Andrews and his sergeant, Kirby. When they arrive, they’re inclined to call it an open-and-shut case. Suspect found standing over the body with the murder weapon, what could be more straightforward? But Nancy protests her innocence, saying she and the verger were in love, and neither Cressy nor Aunt Mary can believe sweet Nancy guilty of such a heinous crime. So Cressy enlists Dotty and Alfred’s help (eventually with Andrews’ blessing!) to see what more she can uncover.

I had to go look up what a verger was, y’all. (For those with inquisitive minds like me, it’s a layperson who serves the church in a ministry of organization, service, and welcome. That educational tidbit aside, Fliss Chester spins an engaging yarn here!

This may be my favorite Cressida mystery yet. The setting is fabulous. If I were visiting England, I’d gladly go potter around old cathedrals, and reading the historical details about Winchester Cathedral, while not quite as enjoyable as seeing it for myself, was a lot of fun. Chester also gave us a sense of the town environment by having Cressy’s investigations bring her into contact with local shopkeepers and church members, both lay and clergy alike.

And boy, do we have mysteries! Chester gives us not one but two murders, and for an added twist, has Alfred pegged as the murderer of one of them (or maybe both?). Then there’s the question of who might have wanted to sell the sainted relics of the cathedral enough to kill over it, and why some of Aunt Mary’s silver is in the local antiques shop. And is the Silent Friar really a ghost wandering the grounds of the cathedral, or a very real person up to malice aforethought?

Red herrings aplenty, Cressy (and Dotty!) wondering if this is the dangerous position they can’t get out of, lots of suspects with plenty of motives – Death in the Crypt has everything I love in a good cozy. Ruby the pug is the hero of the day, making the final discovery that ties it all together. And finally, Cressida, who has always been an avowed single woman, is realizing that those feelings she has for Alfred are more than just friendly affection! That move toward romance is the icing on the cake for me. I can’t wait to see where Fliss Chester transports us on Cressy’s next adventure!

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Thank you Bookouture for inviting me to be part of the Books on Tour for “Death in the Crypt”. If you like Agatha Christie, this book is for you!
Cressida Fawcett is in Winchester, visiting her aunt when she stumbles across a murder. She relies on her friends to help her catch the killer. I loved all of the characters, but Ruby, the pug, stole the show!
This book will have you flipping the pages so fast to see what happens. If you are looking for a cozy mystery that is filled with action, this book is for you. Many thanks to the author, Bookouture and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
#DeathInTheCrypt #FlissChester #NetGalley #Bookouture #BooksOnTour #BookLove #Bookstagram #NewBook #ILoveBooks

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This had everything that I enjoyed from the previous four books in the Cressida Fawcett Mystery series, it had everything that I was expecting from Fliss Chester. I thought this worked well as a entry in this series. It uses the 1920s elements perfectly and enjoyed how the characters worked with the mystery going on. It left me wanting to read more in this universe and from the author.

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Cressida and Ruby are taking a short break in Winchester, staying with the formidable Aunt Mary aka Lady Mary Dashwood-Howard. Cressida is there to assist with some interior decorating with the assistance of old friend Mr Sauvage from Liberty's. But a tour of the local cathedral leads to a very fresh and bloody body being found in the crypt. With Aunt Mary's maid, Nancy, literally holding the murder weapon, Cressida has a very personal reason to solve the murder.

But do not fear, Cressida is not solo crewed! She has called in reinforcements in the shape of DCI Andrews & Sergeant Kirby. But Dotty and Alfred also find themselves added to the roster of amateur detectives. But no sooner does the original murder investigation kick in than Cressida has another land in her lap - one which leads to dear friend landing in some hot, framed for murder, water! l

There are red herrings, bluffs, double bluffs and some very murky individuals to apprehend. There is plenty to keep you on your toes. I enjoyed seeing Cressida get all tangled up in her emotions with this one. She can deny it all she wants but a certain Viscount gets her all aflutter, even when still claiming that she loves her independence too much!

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Cressida (and her adorable and smart pug, Ruby) are visiting Cressida’s Aunt Mary when they get embroiled in another murder investigation. Since Nancy, Mary’s maid is the prime suspect, Mary encourages Cressida to use her detecting skills to help.

With support from DCI Andrew, Sgt Kirby, Cressida’s best friend, Lady Dorothy Chatterton (Dotty) and Dotty’s brother, Lord Alfred, Cressida should have all the help she needs to solve this case. But there are a few surprising twists and turns that tangle up this case. It’s almost more than Cressida can handle since she has to clear Nancy’s name, catch a killer, AND now she has to help Alfred too, who has managed to land himself in a serious spot of trouble.

This is book 5 in the Cressida Fawcett series and each one has been entertaining in its own way. I’m really enjoying the way that Cressida’s character has developed (although she does sometimes still take some reckless risks) and the relationships and friendships between the various characters is always engaging. Plus, Ruby gets her moment to shine (smart little dog!)

I highly recommend this series for anyone looking for a charming, smart historical mystery and I personally can’t wait for more adventures with Cressida and Ruby!

*** Thank you to the publisher, Bookouture, for providing me with an e-copy of this book for review purposes.

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Winchester 1825

Cressida Fawcett finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery again, and this time, the suspect is found over the dead body!

Visiting her Aunt, the murder occurs in the beautiful Cathedral and it is her aunt's maid charged with the murder.

With her usual wit and humor, and of course her faithful pug, it seems the murder is solved. But not with Cressida on the case!

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Another great addition to this great series. It is well paced with plenty of twists that keep you guessing who the culprit is. The development of the relationship between Cressida and Alfred which has progressed from friends to possible more and Cressida is now willing to contemplate giving up her independence for marriage. Can't wait for more developments. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

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I thank NetGalley and Bookouture for an advance reader copy of “Death in the Crypt.” All opinions and comments are my own.

The Hon. Cressida Fawcett, along with her faithful companion Ruby the Pug, finds more than a reason for a little help with interior design when she visits her Aunt Mary’s house near Winchester Cathedral -- she finds murder, in “Death in the Crypt,” the fifth in the 1920’s-era murder mystery series by Fliss Chester.

Was it the work of the Silent Friar, the resident ghost that’s supposedly been sighted? Not to Cressida’s rational mind. No ghost killed the verger; it’s Aunt Mary’s maid that’s found looming over the body, candlesticks in hand. And certainly, no ghost looted the cathedral’s archives. And to add to all this, the wife of the dean of the cathedral was recently found drowned. It’s a trifecta of trouble, as author Fliss Chester leads everyone on a twisted account of dead bodies, missing documents, lost relics, shady antiques dealers, and a whole bunch of bad people.

And if this wasn’t enough, Lord Alfred Delafield, Cress’ boyfriend that isn’t a boyfriend, gets himself in really, really hot water. Besides all the trouble in the cathedral, she gets to deal with this. Luckily, DCI Andrews from Scotland Yard is on hand to assist. And Lady Dorothy, Alfred’s sister and Cress’s best friend, can be relied upon to help. And Ruby gets in her two barks, of course.

Our mystery is resolved in the crypt, where Cressida Explains It All, and in a rather lengthy fashion. You might need a scorecard, because I found it rather involved and very convoluted. It’s here that our best detective, Ruby gets her spotlight moment, uncovering the final secret. A dog’s job, indeed.

“Death in the Crypt” will keep you guessing, and Cressida and her friends are entertaining characters. There’s never a dull moment, although that ending could have been tightened up a bit. Also enjoyed the “tour” of the cathedral (sinking foundations, anyone?), incorporating the “history” which makes the genre so enjoyable to read. Happily, Cressida even gets an endorsement (from someone “high in the police force”) that she did a good job, which bodes well for future books.

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When Cressida finds her aunt's maid standing over a body murder weapon in hand, it seems pretty obvious that she's the killer. But with Nancy protesting her innocence and Cressida's aunt not believing Nancy could be a killer Cressida decides to call her police contact and do some investigating on her own.

I really enjoyed Cressida's relationship with her aunt and her best friend Dot. Cressida is smart and determined and doesn't let what seems obvious get in the way of finding out the truth. The mystery kept me guessing and I didn't figure it out until it was all revealed.

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A ghostly friar, bones of a saint and a famous cathedral… When Cressida, an heiress and ameuter sleuth goes to stay with her aunt, she doesn't have investigating a murder on her mind, but on a tour of the crypt in Winchester Cathedral, a murder is uncovered. This was a plot driven novel with plenty of action and shocks. It was a like a spiders web that kept drawing you in with all the strands of plot that developed as the novel continued. I loved all those cliffhanger chapter endings - they kept me hooked into the story too. All in all, the plot was well thought out and executed. Good use of different tropes here, including a ghostly element. It really was all going on in Winchester! Cressida had really found her feet so to speak, when it came to finding clues and interviewing suspects in this book. She has a sharp mind and boy can she give the police a run for their money. It was lovely to see her development from her tentative investigations at the start of the series to the fully fledged sleuth she is in this book (so far I have read book one and five in the series - but I am keen to read more).

We went more into Cressida's character in this novel, seeing her relationship with her close family and we had little glimpses of her past life. There were some brief references to previous books, but not I think in any great detail that would stop your enjoyment of reading the rest of the series. I guessed some of the plot, but it still didn't spoil it for me, especially with that shock ending. Some of the working class were a bit type cast and portrayed as not very bright, which irrated me slightly. Alfred was also a bit of an annoying character at times, it was like he'd been taken from a gentlemans club in the 1920s. However, having said that he 'got' Cressida so he redeemed himself as a character. This is one I'd recommend on plot alone and could be read with or without reading the other books in the series.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Fliss Chester for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for Death in the Crypt coming out April 26, 2024. The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I’ve been interested in checking out her books. Historical cozy mysteries is one of my favorite genres. I loved this book so much! The plot was fascinating. I loved the setting. Crypts are really interesting. I think Cressida is a fun and strong character. She’s used to getting into things and solving mysteries. I loved the ghostly backstory as well. The research was well done. I definitely want to check out other books by this author.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys 1920s adventure mysteries!

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