The quiet English village of Prior’s Ford is happy to welcome a celebrity resident, but not so much another murder.
Cookbook author Laura Tylerr has purchased a cottage against her husband Allan Hunter’s wishes, for retired Chief Superintendent Allan is perfectly happy to do his writing at home in Leeds. Once they’re settled in, Laura is quick to join village activities, including the drama club run by former journalist Kevin Pearce. Many of the village residents are facing their own difficulties. The Ralston-Kerrs are trying to restore Linn Hall to its former glory with the help of garden expert Ginny Whitelaw, who adores their son Lewis, even though he’s trying to get flighty Molly Ewing to marry him. The Fishers run the local pub, and their widowed daughter Alison is in love with Ewan McNair, a struggling farmer who feels that he can’t afford to marry. Retired teacher Clarissa Ramsay, who loves the much younger Alastair Marshall, is encouraged by her American friend Amy Rose to pursue the relationship despite Clarissa’s fear of ridicule. Even village constable Neil White is separated from his wife, an ambitious police officer who puts her career first. Then Kevin Pearce is found strangled by a feather boa Laura had bought for use in the play the drama club is rehearsing. Kevin seems like an unlikely target for murder, but the police, along with the ever-curious Amy Rose, manage to find some suspects.
The first of Hood’s Prior’s Ford mysteries to be published in the U.S. (Scandal in Prior’s Ford, 2011, etc.) is more village romance than mystery, but it does draw you into the lives of the villagers.