Murder at the Abbey
164 pages
English

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164 pages
English

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Description

The Brand NEW instalment in the bestselling Exham-on-Sea series.An unsolved murder echoes down the corridors of Cleeve Abbey for years. The Exham-on-Sea’s History Society's annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey.
Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest's reservations.
Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she's no fan of the supernatural.and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt.
Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.
With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger.
There's no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.

Murder at the Abbey is the eighth in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries from the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.

If you love Agatha Christie-style mysteries, cosy crime, clever dogs and cake, then you'll love these intriguing whodunnits.'


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 11 novembre 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781800480575
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0850€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Murder At The Abbey


Frances Evesham
To Chris, Pippa and Nick with love.
Contents



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54


Acknowledgments

More from Frances Evesham

Also by Frances Evesham

About the Author

About Boldwood Books
1
Picnic

Libby Forest groaned as she hitched her backpack higher. ‘Are we nearly there, yet? I’m roasting.’
Max Ramshore threw a stick for Shipley the springer spaniel to fetch. ‘Almost. And these packs weigh a ton. I blame you, of course. They’re full of your food.’
Libby snorted. ‘Nonsense. It’s all the beer you brought. My creations are as light as a feather. At least, that’s what you said before I married you.’
Shipley returned, somehow looking pleased with himself despite the stick in his mouth.
‘He doesn’t seem to feel the heat at all, does he?’ Libby said, pulling a treat from a pocket. Shipley dropped the stick and crunched the chicken flavoured treat. ‘I’m glad we left Bear at home,’ Libby went on. ‘It would be far too hot for him today and his rheumatic joints would suffer. And,’ she spoke in mock severity, ‘please don’t offer a scientific description of how a Carpathian Sheepdog’s thick fur wicks away sweat and stops him from overheating.’
‘Yes, dear,’ Max said, meekly. ‘Married six months and you’re bullying me already.’ He stopped walking. ‘Come over here, there’s a nice patch of shade under this tree.’
‘Six months already,’ Libby repeated, allowing him to fold her in his arms. She broke into tuneless song. ‘And it don’t seem a day too long.’
Max chuckled. ‘I was terrified something would go wrong at the wedding – that you’d be kidnapped or my ex-wife would turn up with yet another toy boy. But it was perfect, wasn’t it?’
‘Everything I’d dreamed about. You, me, the children and both dogs. Although I think Fuzzy felt left out.’
‘Cats don’t like weddings.’
A voice behind them interrupted, ‘Mrs F., get a room, please.’ Mandy, Libby’s tenant in Hope Cottage, had caught up.
‘Nothing to see here,’ Max said.
Libby linked her arm in Max’s as they walked on. ‘You know, Mandy, you could call me Libby.’
Max mumbled, ‘If you’d agreed to take my name, she could call you Mrs R. instead.’
‘I’m much too old to change my name,’ Libby pronounced, as though they hadn’t enjoyed this argument a hundred times, ‘and we’d also have to change the name of our private investigation business to Ramshore and Ramshore, which would just be silly. Not to mention altering the labels for Mrs Forest’s Chocolates.’
‘Which is a successful brand,’ Mandy pointed out.
Libby asked, ‘Aren’t you hot?’ Despite the unusual heat of the last few June days, Mandy wore a black maxi dress under a red lace shawl.
‘Cotton and lace, that’s the answer.’ Mandy, Libby’s talented and capable assistant, was also a determined Goth, buying most of her clothes at vintage shops in Bristol and Bath and wearing an ever-changing supply of metal face adornments. Today’s addition was a third silver ring through her right eyebrow. ‘And here’s my secret weapon.’ With a flourish, she pulled out a black lace fan from one of the pockets of the voluminous dress and waved it in front of her face, her armful of chain-mail bracelets clinking musically. ‘Anyway, we’ve arrived.’
They rounded a clump of trees and Cleeve Abbey, the twelfth-century Cistercian abbey, this year’s destination for the Exham-on-Sea History Society’s picnic, rose before them, semi-ruined but still exuding an air of gentle rural calm.
With relief, they chose a spot in the shade of the majestic trees within the abbey walls and dropped their backpacks on the grass. Libby spread a checked cloth on the grass and Max peeped into a series of sealed containers stuffed with tiny goats’ cheese and onion filo tartlets, smoked salmon and beetroot baguettes, a selection of salads and individual jars of strawberry cheesecake.
‘No chocolate today, I’m afraid. Not in this heat,’ Libby said.
Soon, the other members of the society arrived. Some had left cars across the lane, while others had followed the example of Libby, Max and Mandy and taken the steam train to nearby Washford Station, walking the last half-mile to the abbey.
They bought guidebooks from the shop and wandered happily through the well-preserved ruins, exclaiming at the preservation of the indoor areas, soaking up the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity in the cloister, and chatting with a couple of knowledgeable volunteers.
An hour later, Libby lay supine with her head in Max’s lap, her stomach comfortably full, enjoying the warmth of the dappled sunlight on her face. Nearby, a cow lowed, contented. Rooks cawed from the tops of the trees. Peering through her sunglasses, Libby spotted a skylark rising, singing its heart out, until it was a tiny dot in the perfect azure sky.
‘You know,’ she murmured, ‘that Caribbean island was a great place for our honeymoon, and sunshine in January was a wonderful treat, but there’s nothing to beat a beautiful summer day in Somerset.’ She sat up. ‘In fact, that must be why it’s called Somerset. I hadn’t thought of that, before.’
Quentin Dobson, folded like a spider into a camping chair nearby, turned and smiled. Elderly but still spry, the curator of the museum at nearby Watchet could never resist an opportunity to pass on what he called ‘fun facts’ from his remarkable fund of historical knowledge. ‘As you would expect,’ he began, settling his wire-rimmed spectacles more comfortably over his ears, ‘Somerset originally referred to “people who live near Somerton”, with Somerton meaning a summer settlement. I believe it was the Celts, looking across from Wales, who originally named it in honour of the green fields they could see across the Bristol Channel. But I’m afraid I can’t remember the attribution, just now, so perhaps it would be best not to quote me.’
Max nudged Libby. ‘No danger of that,’ he whispered, as Jemima Bakewell, a retired, unmarried school teacher with a passion for history, offered an alternative theory. Something about mispronunciation – Libby really didn’t care. It was far too hot to worry.
She watched as Max listened to the earnest conversation with a puzzled frown. He maintained a love-hate relationship with the History Society, for he lacked the members’ enthusiasm for gossip. Libby had shamelessly dangled the chance to drink his favourite Hook Norton beer in the sun as a bribe to get him to today’s picnic.
The society members finished eating and Dr Archie Phillips, the aging librarian at Wells Cathedral, rose and stretched. ‘Time for a little exercise,’ he said. ‘Jemima, come for a stroll?’ He’d driven Jemima Bakewell to the picnic himself, claiming the right to set her chair close to his. He’d seemed none too pleased when Quentin joined them.
Jemima stood awkwardly, leaning on the flimsy arm of her chair. It tipped sideways and only Archie’s supporting arm saved her from a fall. ‘Oops.’ She blushed. ‘I’m always falling over. It’s a good thing no one expects me to wear stilettos like the young folks. I’d be on the floor all the time.’ Giggling like a teenager after her two glasses of white wine, she set off towards the river, Archie at her side.
Mandy slipped a slice of ham to Shipley. ‘I think it’s adorable,’ she said. ‘At their age.’
‘What do you mean by that, young lady?’ Quentin, older than either Jemima or Archie, had overheard.
‘Sorry,’ Mandy grinned, not at all apologetic. ‘I just think it’s lovely when older people get together. You know, for companionship or whatever.’
Quentin’s face was beetroot red. ‘Good gracious m

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