Death on the Isle

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Pub Date 07 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 07 Jul 2022
Head of Zeus, Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book

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Amateur sleuth Astrid Swift investigates a maritime mystery in this cosy crime adventure set on the Isle of Wight.

The sailors are ashore, and murder is afoot.

It's summer in the Isle of Wight, and the islanders have little more to do than munch crab sandwiches, sip pints of Wight Squirrel, and complain about the hordes of tourists arriving for the world famous Cowes Week regatta. But when the local busybody drowns in the harbour, what was set to be a relaxing sailing festival starts to turn deadly.

Art restorer Astrid Swift realises she has stumbled on a fresh case that only she and her new art-club friends can solve. Soon she is embroiled in an investigation involving a grand seafront mansion, a dead billionaire's nautical paintings, and a sailing prodigy who mysteriously went missing at sea three years ago.

As the deaths stack up, and Astrid confronts ever more dangerous suspects, the Isle of Wight's reputation for being England's friendliest island is put to the test...

Praise for the Astrid Swift mysteries:

'Feelgood fun.' The Times
'I romped through The Trust... A cosy debut set in a house brimming with secrets... An enchanting murder mystery.' Janice Hallett, author of The Appeal
'Macabre murders, quirky characters and delightful settings combine in a way that would make Midsomer proud.' Crime Fiction Lover
'A feisty heroine, an ingenious plot and a cast of quirky characters that soon feel like your best friends, make The Trust a cozy crime to savour.' Merryn Allingham, author of The Bookshop Murder
'Intelligent and gently humorous, with a suitably eccentric cast of characters.' M S Morris, author of the Bridget Hart books

Amateur sleuth Astrid Swift investigates a maritime mystery in this cosy crime adventure set on the Isle of Wight.

The sailors are ashore, and murder is afoot.

It's summer in the Isle of Wight, and the...

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ISBN 9781803287058
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 32 members

Featured Reviews

I was really pleased to find the second in the Astrid Swift series on NetGalley. I continue to enjoy the fact it takes place in a part of the world I'm reasonably familiar with, even if I've not actually *been* to all of the locations mentioned. I have, however, actually been to the IoW, albeit just a day trip, so this was a nice addition to the series. Even though I'm not a sailor, there's not too much sailing talk, just enough to bring in the nautical history and way of life that permeates this coast of England. I'm learning it's a Pretty Big Deal with a large percentage of the population, so having an MC who sails makes sense and is very much a realistic premise.

Keeping to a sailing theme in this book, Astrid is drawn into a mystery around the death of Victor Leech, a local man she runs into on the street, and who is the local busybody. His body is discovered under the town pier and the only people she can rely on to help is the small, local group of artists she has befriended since she arrived on the Island to value a collection of nautical-themed paintings.

There are a lot of characters in this one and the mystery gets a bit lost for a while, before resurfacing for the group to resolve. Astrid also solves another mystery, one that her client - the daughter of the man who owned the paintings she's valuing - wasn't expecting.

This series is definitely staying on my TBR pile. I like the writing, Astrid and her adventures in Dorset. There are plenty of iconic spots to get into trouble.

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.The Trust was absolutely gripping, and Death On The Isle is even better. Astrid Swift sails to to Isle of Wight, slap bang into the middle of Cowes Week to work on the art collection of a late billionaire, and find out what happened to his sailing prodigy daughter who went missing at sea. Her latest case is an intoxicating mix of grit and high society sailing glamour -- a mysterious figure is on her trail as she uses her forensic art skills to solve the death of a local nimby who ends up as crab bait under the pier. Not everyone is what they seem, and there's a good chance the killer will catch her before Astrid works out who is really on her side.

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A great continuation of the series. Loved Astrid as a main character and thought the setting was brilliant too. Really looking forward to book 3!

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It's high summer and, with the grisly events at Dorset's Sherborne Hall behind her, Astrid Swift sets sail for the Isle of Wight. She's been asked to value a collection of maritime art owned by a recently deceased millionaire.

His surviving daughter has inherited the art along with the family's seafront mansion, The Needle's Eye, and wants to sell up. There are too many memories of her twin sister, a sailing prodigy who went missing at sea three years earlier.

When Victor Leech, the local busybody, is found washed up under the town pier, Astrid thinks lightning has struck twice. She's stumbled on a fresh case that only she and her new art club friends can solve. But getting to the bottom of the unexplained death will draw out powerful new enemies...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was an excellent page turner that I couldn’t put down. It’s full of twists and turns throughout that keel you on the edge of your seat. The characters were interesting, the plot was excellent, and the style of writing was perfect.

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Cowes Week Chaos…
The second in the Astrid Swift series of mysteries finds Astrid heading to the Isle of Wight where Cowes Week is in full flow. Her assignment is to value a collection of maritime art owned by a recently deceased millionaire. The discovery of a body begins a catalogue of unforeseeable events and the kind of chaos that only the feisty Astrid can deal with. A cosy mystery with a sharp edge and with a wonderfully eccentric and well drawn cast of characters and laced with a subtle humour, not to mention a storyline that soon becomes impossible to part with. Our protagonist, Astrid, is not immediately likeable but that’s rather the point. The mystery itself is solid and engaging and leads to an entirely satisfying denouement. A one sit read which is wholly enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining and a perfect follow up to the first in this hopefully long running series.

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I enjoyed this book. It’s a bit dry and slow but it gets there. The reveal of the killer is unusual. I liked the ending. #DeathontheIsle #NetGalley

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Astrid Swift is on the Isle of Wight, appraising the art collection for the estate of a deceased millionaire. The daughter wants to sell everything, including the island home, lock, stock and barrel, claiming the presumed death of her twin sister has left her with nothing but bad memories of the island. When the body of a local washes ashore, Astrid knows that there’s been way too much death for such a small island, so our intrepid art restorer and her art club buddies set out to uncover the truth. Set amidst the high toned world of Cowe’s Week, one of the most celebrated sailing regattas in the world, Eccelston’s setting and characters make for engrossing reading

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Art conservator Astrid Swift is waiting for life to return to some sort of normality. After her marriage break up, the death of her favourite uncle, and the small matter of solving a murder or two while working at Sherborne Hall in Dorset, she's also hoping for some peace and quiet. When she's asked to assess an art collection, which was the pride and joy of a recently deceased millionaire, Astrid hurriedly sets sail for the Isle of Wight, in the recently inherited Curlew's Rest to start the assignment.

Although now a boat owner Astrid doesn't consider herself an informed member of the sailing community and is surprised to find herself in the  middle of Cowes Week! Her destination, the Needle's Eye, is a lovely house now empty except for memories and a collection of maritime artwork, which Astrid is delighted to cast her expert eye over. She also connects with an eclectic group of locals who have formed a small art club eager to welcome her as their newest member. Everything in life would be heading in the right direction if only she hadn't also discovered a dead body!

This is Astrid Swift's second outing and she is a much more likeable, less entitled main protagonist this time around. The other main characters have only bit parts but their replacements were a fun group who definitely kept Astrid on her toes. The investigation was entertaining, not as clear cut as I expected, and with the potential to rise again in future episodes of this easy read series. There were signposts leading toward a possible third investigation for Astrid which I will definitely be on the lookout for.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. I really enjoyed this and think it makes a great summer beach or back garden read.

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This is the second novel in the Astrid Swift series and, after a dramatic insight into what lies ahead on the Isle of Wight, we find Astrid enjoying time on her boat in Hanbury following the adventures that featured in the first book. That is, until her peace is disturbed by a visit from HMRC seeking her assistance with a private art collection located in a property on the Isle of Wight. With her divorce still being finalised and her time at the English Trust at an end, Astrid accepts the job and sets sail.

A competent follow up to the first book; as with ‘The Trust’, the story is jam packed with interesting characters. The four amateur artists Astrid meets while visiting another English Trust property on the island are an eclectic bunch and reminded me a bit of the characters in Richard Osman’s ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ series. There were a couple of characters elsewhere in the book that I would have liked to have got to know a little better, but this does reflect the fact Astrid is only on the island for a short time. The main plots – murders and missing persons – that Astrid and her new found friends take upon themselves to investigate keep the pages turning and there’s also some gentler, more introspective moments. There are also some lovely descriptions of the land and seascapes.

It is suggested towards the end of the book that Astrid won’t be returning to Hanbury and Kath, Cobb and Sheepdip immediately, which is a shame because I’d become somewhat invested in these characters from the first novel, but I also like the idea of Astrid using her new sailing skills and sense of freedom to seek adventures elsewhere. For me, the characters we meet really make this series of books, so I will be looking forward to seeing who Astrid encounters in the next instalment.

Many thanks to the publishers and to NetGalley for the advance copy on which this review is based.

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Astrid was meant to be evaluating paintings at a mansion on the Isle of Wight not solving a murder but here we are! She's sailed to the Isle to look at nautical themed paintings (there's a whole sailing theme to this) and then finds a body under the pier. The victim was not, in the cozy tradition, well liked, so there are a number of suspects. Astrid makes friends with a loose group of artistically inclined residents and visitors and together they solve the crime. I'd not read the first book so this was a standalone for me and it was fine that way. While the mystery itself was not too tricky, I liked the setting and Astrid is entertaining. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

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art, art-history, art-detective, island-life, amateur-sleuth, channel-islands, sailing-activities, cosy-mystery, family, friendship, inheritance, sly-humor****

I haven't read the first in series, so I can't comment on any continuity. The story itself is a pretty good whodunit and I had no trouble following the art conservator assessing a maritime artwork collection on the Isle of Wight. It was all the sailing references that had me at disadvantage. But the sometimes peculiar characters and sly humor made it all worthwhile to stay up late to finish.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Head of Zeus/an Aries Book via NetGalley. Thank you!

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When I saw that this was an art mystery and set on the Isle of Wight, I wanted to read it. I'm glad I did. Astrid Swift, art restorer, is on the Isle of Wight to appraise the nautical paintings of a deceased billionaire. She has arrived just in time for Cowes Week regatta so the place is packed. Add to her job and the festivities, the is a killer in their midst. The body of a disliked local turns up under a pier, sleeping with the fishes. As Astrid has already had success unmasking a killer she decides she can do it again. With help of a local art group who welcome her as a member, off they go to find out who done it. Added to the mystery is the three year old disappearance of one of the dead billionaire's daughters who was lost at sea.
Overall I found it to be an enjoyable read due to the setting and the art theme. As I had somehow missed the previous book in the series, The Trust, I do want to get a copy and find out how Astrid got involved in sleuthing. The next in the series, Death Comes to the Costa Del Sol is due out April 13, 2023 and it's now on my TBR list.
My thanks to the publisher Head of Zeus and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Death on the Isle By M.H Eccleston.

I have been waiting for this book since I read The Trust ( a book which I loved) and this book did not disappoint.

This time Astrid is now in the Isle of Wight and it is the famous Cowes week (something to do with sailing) and Astrid is cataloguing a deceased millionaires art collection..

While on the Isle, there is an unexplained death of a nosy parker that Astrid met on her first day on the island, which is classed as an accidental drowning and then there is another death which Astrid connects to the first and the race is on for her to find the killer….

I loved Astrid and what I am loving in this book is that there is a new group of friends that are helping Astrid get to the bottom of the murders… I would of actually liked to have seen more of them. I liked each of these characters and I liked that they were each given their own time to shine.

Astrid is more settled in this book and she is more like the person she wants to be.. I hope Astrid continues to grow and that she becomes the person she wants to be.

The mystery was really well thought out and although the killer is revealed earlier in the book than normal, the mystery is both how does Astrid convince other people and how to make sure they receive the punishment they deserve.

A good book and I highly recommend that people read book 1 first to get to know Astrid first..

And now I hear there is a third book for Astrid Swift and hopefully it will shed some light on her missing father… and will Astrid ever go back to Dorset and Cobb??? MORE ASTRID PLEASE!!

#Mystery #Contempary #English #Netgally

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Death on the Isle (Astrid Swift #2) by M.H. Eccleston from Net Galley and Head of Zeus Publishing in order to read and give an honest review.

…I enjoyed this entry with its new and quirky cast of characters, including a sociopathic antagonist…

After the events of The Trust, book one of the Astrid Swift series recently separated and, on a mission to find oneself in Death on the Isle, art conservator Astrid Swift decides to leave Dorset to take on a freelance gig on the Isle of Wight. Finally getting used to living on the boat Curlew’s Rest bequeathed to her by her favourite uncle, Astrid is seeking out a change. A far cry from the materialistic and entitled person she was when she arrived. Astrid’s hoping for some time to process what has happened and find what she is seeking in life. When she is given the opportunity to work on an estate’s art collection, Astrid eagerly sets sail to start her new assignment.

When she arrives, she lucks out finding a slip in the harbor during Cowes Week, one of the biggest sailing events of the season. As she did in book one, it does not take long for Astrid to connect with the locals, become the focus of a stalker and stumble across a dead body…. or two. Add in a missing woman connected to Astrid’s new job and this book keeps one guessing until the end.

Having enjoyed the first book in the series I was concerned that she was leaving Dorset and her new friends behind, but I grew to understand Astrid’s motivation for moving on. Although I enjoyed this entry with its new and quirky cast of characters including a sociopathic antagonist, at times it felt a bit muddled with a feeling of uncertainty as the story ends, which I am guessing could continue and add intrigue to the next book in the series. I really enjoy this well-written and quirky series and look forward to reading more of Astrid’s adventures. I highly recommend it!

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