Thursday, June 21, 2018

“Murder at the Bridge” by Frances Evesham

Libby Forest seems to attract crime like flowers attract bees. Even at her own son’s wedding in Exham on Sea in Somerset, a titled lady makes a ruckus about her diamond ring being stolen. A young farmer is accused and is found with the ring in his pocket. But Libby senses more is going on.

Then the young man is killed in what looks like a tractor accident – or made to look like one. The local police, having experience with Libby’s skills and those of her serious other, Max Ramshore, take them on as consultants on the crime. Aside from being a fairly quiet town, Exham abounds with potential suspects.

Murder at the Bridge is Frances Evesham’s fifth Exham on Sea mystery. A relatively short and fast-reading novel, it is packed with twists, turns, events, red herrings, and genuine clues. The suspects include the farm couple the murder victim worked for, a local cult leader and his wife, people the young man might have been blackmailing, and more. (Keeping track of the susp[ects requires a close reading.) 

Frances Evesham
Then Libby’s friend Gina disappears, followed by Gina’s daughter, who just happens to be Libby’s new daughter-in-law. And Libby is finding herself jealous of the attention Max is paying to one of the suspects, an old friend from school days.

Evesham is the author of four other Exham on Sea mysteries, Murder on the Levels, Murder on the Tor, Murder at the Cathedral, and Murder at the Lighthouseand two historical mystery romances set in Victorian England, Danger at Thatcher Hall and An Independent Woman. She’s been a speech therapist, professional communicator, and a road sweeper, and worked in the criminal courts. She lives in Somerset, England.

Murder at the Bridge is another example of the cozy mystery (I have my own definition of that sub-genre – a murder mystery without graphic gore and violence). Evesham keeps the reader guessing until the very end.


Top photograph by George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

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