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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley for this advanced reader copy in exchange for my free and honest review. This was a really good novel with a solid storyline and great characters. Relatable and believable, I would definitely love reading more in a series with these same characters. Definitely recommend.

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This was a good story which kept me turning the pages throughout the night. Great mystery, writing and plotting will recommend to all my friends who love this genre.

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I absolutely loved this book and the twists and turns.
This was a first book from this author but I will be reading more

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A good police procedural set in Wales . I liked the team and the investigation was fairly logical to follow , though there are a few loose ends. This book is about the work of the team, some small insights into their characters and experiences. I'm not sure about some of the descriptions of the interviews, but that is perhaps a minor point. This book is more about piecing together evidence than a lot of action.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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P. F. Scott provides a great police procedural with interesting characters, a twisty plot all in a beautiful setting. I did go back and read the first books in the series and learned some of the history of the main characters. A great series!

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A body in the cottage

Posted on October 5, 2023 by Jack

A good book. I enjoyed this police procedural. It pulled me into the story from the beginning. I enjoyed the characters and the story.

The book is “A body in the cottage” by P.F. Ford. It is the fifth book in the West Wales murder series. Although it is the fifth in the series but the only one I’ve read, I never felt lost or wished I had more background

I thank both Netgalley ( and Joffe books ( for the chance to read this before publication. I had read several Joffe books recently and thought I’d try thus one. I’m glad I did.

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Book Title: A Body in the Cottage
Series: West Wales Murder Mystery #5
Author: P.F. (Pete) Ford
Publisher: Joffe Books
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pub Date: October 3, 2023
My Rating: 3.7 rounded up
Pages 304

When I finished "The Murder at the Farmhouse" Number 4 in this series. My comment was that I couldn’t wait for #5!!!

As the title indicates this story starts when a women’s body is found in a cottage located in old mining village in Llangwelli, Wales. The cottage was about to be demolished. The woman is expensively dressed and had been badly beaten. She has no purse, phone or any identification, but certainly seems to be out of place in this rundown village.

Detective Norman is out of retirement and on the investigative team. They have several suspects but no evidence. The suspects all have an alibi so investigators spend a lot of time sorting out who is telling the truth.

I totally enjoyed this!
. Since I am a big psychological thriller and not so much of a police procedure fan it surprises me that I enjoyed this so much.
But I am looking forward to next in this series.

I also enjoyed the info at the back of the book
“The Joffe Books Story”
I did know that Joffe is pronounced like coffee,
Which brings me to the.
‘Glossary of English for US Readers’
This is fun- plus happy to admit nothing was a big surprise!
Did laugh at “Lovely jubbly= someone is pleased.

Want to thank NetGalley and Joffe Books for this early eGalley.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for October 3, 2023.

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Prepare to meet your new favorite detective in P.F. Ford's gripping detective mystery, "A Body in the Cottage." Detective Norman may seem like an old-fashioned cop, but he's back on the beat in the rainy Welsh seaside town of Llangwelli, and he's ready to tackle a series of baffling murders.

Llangwelli might be short on sunshine, but it's certainly not lacking in mysteries. Norman is tasked with solving a perplexing case that begins with the discovery of a battered body in a derelict cottage. The young woman found in Number 9 is dressed in expensive designer clothes, and her presence in the cottage is a mystery in itself. With no handbag or phone to identify her, her true identity remains elusive.

Just when it seems the case is closed with the confession of an elderly man claiming to be the killer, Detective Norman's sharp instincts kick in. Something doesn't add up, and he's determined to uncover the truth.

But the mystery takes a chilling turn when a second body is found in a skip behind the cottages. Norman and his motley crew of recruits are now in a race against time to solve a complex case filled with twists and turns.

P.F. Ford weaves a tale that keeps readers on the edge of their seats, reminiscent of beloved detective mysteries. The series promises to deliver more exciting adventures with Detective Norman Norman at the helm.

With its rainy Welsh setting, quirky characters, and a detective who's not afraid to challenge the status quo, "A Body in the Cottage" is a must-read for fans of classic detective mysteries. Join Norman and his team as they unravel the mysteries hidden in the picturesque yet treacherous town of Llangwelli.

“P.F. Ford's Detective Norman Norman is the refreshing detective we've been waiting for. His return to the beat in 'A Body in the Cottage' is a triumph of character-driven mystery."

"A classic whodunit with a modern twist. 'A Body in the Cottage' keeps readers on the edge of their seats with its unexpected plot twists."

"P.F. Ford brings the rainy Welsh town of Llangwelli to life, creating the perfect backdrop for this enthralling mystery."

"Detective Norman Norman is a standout character in the detective genre, and 'A Body in the Cottage' illustrates his brilliance."

"An engaging blend of character development and a captivating mystery, 'A Body in the Cottage' is a must-read for fans of classic detective fiction."

"Readers love P.F. Ford's 'West Wales Murder Mysteries' series, and 'A Body in the Cottage' delivers another thrilling installment."

"A page-turner that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next adventure with Detective Norman Norman."

"P.F. Ford's portrayal of the Welsh atmosphere adds depth and authenticity to this compelling detective mystery."

"A mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. 'A Body in the Cottage' is destined to become a beloved classic."

"If you're a fan of Rachel McLean, J.D. Kirk, or Elly Griffiths, you won't want to miss 'A Body in the Cottage' by P.F. Ford."

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department-politics, local-law-enforcement, procedural, crime-thriller, murder-investigation, due-diligence, out-of-retirement, colleagues, cooperation, unputdownable, secrets, lies, rural, suspense, banter, Wales, teamwork, working-partners, demolition, developers, small-town, mystery*****

Another very enjoyable installment in this outstanding procedural populated by the very best sorts of coppers (well, most of them). There's just enough flashes of comic relief in that about the time something disturbing happens in the case, something silly happens to one of the squad. The whole team work hard under budget constraints and muddy weather but are a really cohesive unit that doesn't get hung up on egos. It's set in an interesting part of the Great Britain, and has devious red herrings plus fantastic plot twists! Loved it!
I requested and received an EARC from Joffe Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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🚔Good investigative team, engaging plot🚨

My first time reading a P.F.Ford mystery and I lucked out, with a murder mystery that was a quick read, full of surprise twists and a set of Welsh police that made for a great team. I am always on the lookout for good murder mysteries set in the British Isles and this one definitely met those criteria. It's an excellent police procedure in a fairly brief package (or at least the quality of the writing made it seem effortlessly brief). This story focused almost solely on their hours working the case but, somehow, still each of the small, dedicated police team stood apart from the rest with individuality. The writing style is easy, no-nonsense and no excessive description or introspection, and I enjoyed it mightily.

I know that I will be reading more of these murder mysteries by P.F. Ford and have already gone back to pick up some of the earlier volumes in the West Wales Murder Mystery series. I particularly want to know more about Detective Norman Norman's early days in Wales after coming out of retirement from police work in London and how he met his wife.

My only niggle is that one of the crimes remains unsolved at the book's conclusion.

Thanks to Joffe Books and NetGalley for sharing a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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The author took me down several different avenues that kept me guessing. I couldn’t figure out the mystery even up to the end. I liked the characters but felt there could have been deeper connections. It would’ve been nice to know more about each person as well as the relationships between each other. Perhaps it would’ve been better to have deeper personal connections between the town and the characters to create an overall depth. After the other books in the series, this one still feels surface.

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The call comes on Monday afternoon. About to demolish a row of derelict cottages, workmen discover a body in the bedroom of Number 9. A young woman, expensively dressed in designer clothes. It’s a mystery what she was doing there. 
She’s been badly beaten. But with no handbag or phone to be found, her identity remains unknown. 

Another great tale from Pete Ford. I’ve read a few and, like the rest, this one doesn’t disappoint. It has a nice, easy pace but with enough things happening to maintain interest. The characters are three-dimensional and interesting. It’s got a great ending too.

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A badly beaten womans body
A suicidal missing teen
A shady businessman who seems to antagonise all
A family secret exposed

Another fantastic read in one day novel from P F Ford, having read all his other series i love the fact that Norman is now standing out of the shadows and enjoying coming out of retirement in Wales

Highly recommended and now eagerly awaiting no 6

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of A Body in the Cottage, the fifth novel to feature DS Norman Norman, set in the Welsh Valleys.

A body is found in a row of derelict cottages about to be demolished. The woman is expensively dressed but without identification, so all team knows is that she has been badly beaten and seems out of place. They quickly get a confession from an elderly man, but it doesn’t work so it’s back to work and a second body from the same site.

I enjoyed A Body in the Cottage, which, despite the subject matter, is a fun read with several twists and turns. The novel is told from the investigative point of view and that makes up the bulk of the novel. They have several suspects, but initially not much by way of hard evidence so it’s all about interviewing these suspects and anyone with relevant information and that’s where the problems lie. They spend most of their time trying to sort out fact from fiction in alibis, motivation and even character as everyone has a different view of the victim and even their friends an acquaintances. I found it quite absorbing.

The novel moves along at quite a fast pace with new developments in every chapter and ongoing discussion about lies and secrets as the team tries to work out who’s lying about what. It is all leavened by Norm’s banter, when he’s not playing the hard man in interviews. I must admit that I really like the official interviews where he an DI Southall give their interviewees enough rope to hang themselves before tightening the screws with hard evidence. I get a great sense of satisfaction from the lies being undone and a picture being built. I also really liked the denouement in this novel as a great example of this technique. A brainwave from Norm sets it off, a caution is given, the suspect tells a story and the sledgehammer of forensic evidence destroys said story.

A Body in the Cottage is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Review – A Body in the Cottage by P.F. Ford (Joffe Books, TBP Oct. 2023)

I am not a young person (by age that is, not by heart) . . . you would have thought by now that I would have learned by now not to start a book series 5 books in. That is the mistake I made in starting A Body in the Cottage by P.F. Ford. This book was set in West Wales and the author did an excellent job in establishing atmosphere and locality. I found the characters a bit stiff; perhaps the characters were developed more in earlier books in the series? All in all, it was a solid police procedural with some interesting twists along the way.

Rating: 3 Stars

p.s. I am grateful to the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this Advanced Readers Copy. The opinions expressed in this unpaid book review are solely mine.

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A body in the cottage was a thoroughly good read. Available from, it is a police procedural novel set in West Wales, in the UK. The town where the police are based is Llangwelli, which is a quiet, rural place to live but has its fair share of murders!

We follow Detective Sergeant Normal and the rest of the team as they solve a crime. A woman's body is found in a derelict miners cottage on a building site that is soon to be demolished.

The characters are very likeable and realistic and the plot has quite a few twists and turns along the way, much like the winding country lanes of Llangwelli.

A body in the cottage was an enjoyable book and I really connected with old-fashioned DS Norman and DI Southall and the rest of their team. A great read.

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I had read the previous book in the series and enjoyed it, so was looking forward to this one. It was also an enjoyable, light and easy read but then it seemed to end so abruptly and without a satisfactory conclusion. I was left feeling that we needed another chapter to fully explain the killer's motive.
This, however, won't stop me from reading more from the series.

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West Wales Mystery Series #5

Detective Norman is out of retirement and back on the beat in a rainy Welsh seaside town. Llangwelli might be short on sunshine, but it's certainly not short on murders. A battered body. A missing handbag. A false confession. The call comes on a Monday afternoon. About to demolish a row of derelict cottages, workmen discover a body in the bedroom of number 9. A young woman, expensively dressed in designer clothes. It's a mystery what she was doing there. She's been badly beaten. But with no handbag or phone to be found, her identity remains unknown. Then an elderly man comes forward claiming to be the killer....

Set in an old mining village. This is the first book in the series that I've read. The plotline is slowly drip-fed to us. There were lots of twists and red herrings to keep us guessing where the story would take us next. I liked the author's writing style in this steady paced read. The characters were well-developed. This book does read well as a standalone.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #JoffeBooks and the author #PFFord for my ARC of #ABodyinTheCotage in exchange for an honest review.

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A serviceable police mystery novel. It didn't really stand out from the crowd of UK-based mystery fiction that has become popular in recent years, but there was nothing wrong with it either. If this is a genre you like, then you'll probably like this book.

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. I really enjoyed this book, liked the characters and the storyline, will be looking out for my reads from this author.

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