Further Cosy Crime Reads with The Basket Company

The Basket Company’s joyous wicker planters lifting the entrance to our cottage with texture and colour “POTTINGSHED20” for 20% off all their gorgeous baskets and trugs

What a treat to chat to the glamourous Paula Sutton from Hill House Vintage this month.  Rebecca and I loved her first foray into fiction, The Potting Shed Murder.  If ever there was a fictional moniker that might suit Paula best, it’s cosy crime.  It’s perfectly vintage, quintessentially English and there are plenty of characters we can all relate to.  Can’t wait for the next book – I hear there might be a body in the kitchen garden….


From this month’s guest author, Hill House Vintage queen Paula Sutton to three sleuthing novels that will have you following a royal detective, solving a mystery at the vicarage and gallivanting with a pair of nonagenarians.  Here’s my pick of your next cosy crime reads.


S J Bennett’s A Death in Diamonds sees the late Queen taking up sleuthing in the fourth book in SJ’s Her Majesty the Queen Investigates mystery series.  It’s 1957 and a young Queen Elizabeth II begins to navigate the challenging world of post-war Europe and a United Kingdom without empire.  Advised by her father’s old courtiers, the ‘men in moustaches’, all eyes on the Queen in more ways than one.  Maybe these trusted advisors might not have best interests at heart.  Sabotage is almost certainly on the cards: that much she is sure of.  When two bodies are found in Chelsea, the Queen finds herself drawn into being used as the alibi for somebody very close to her.  Curious to get to the truth to preserve and protect, Elizabeth needs the help of someone she can trust.  Joan McGraw, an ex-Bletchley Park code breaker, seems the perfect fit.  Discreet and rather clever, Elizabeth feels sure Joan is someone she can trust, and their investigations begin.  A wonderful story which is delightfully regal and a whodunnit with a difference.  

A Death in The Parish


From the Palace to afternoon tea at the vicarage, I love the way that Rev Richard Coles brings such humour and intrigue to his fiction.  Bringing together a wonderful cast of eccentric characters, Rev Richard Coles’ latest Death in the Parish is a brilliant sequel to Murder Before Evensong, which takes us back to Champton, a few months since murder tore it apart.  With Canon Daniel Clement poised to keep his flock together, the parish merges with Upper and Lower Badsaddle.  The problem is that despite all the upheaval and change, church politics becomes the least of Canon Daniel’s problems.  What is Audrey, Daniel’s headstrong mother, up to?  What is the secret she’s trying to hide?  Perhaps she’s not the only one with something to hide?  But when murder comes a calling in Champton once more, what on earth will Canon Daniel do?  A perfect little murder mystery complete with parish politics.  What’s not to love?  

For those of you who adore Rev Richard Coles’ wry humour and page-turning plots, I hear whispers that the next novel in the series, Murder at the Monastery, will be out in June.


A favourite that had me hooked from the first page is C J Wray’s The Excitements.  Christine Manby is the author of over 40 novels which includes a few Sunday Times bestsellers and writes under a variety of pseudonyms.  This is her first novel as C J Wray.  The Excitements follows the comic adventures of 90 something sisters Penny and Josephine Williamson, two celebrated WW2 veterans with a variety of secrets, both official and otherwise.  Always on the hunt for their next ‘excitement’, they set off to Paris to receive the Légion d’honneur, accompanied by their devoted great-nephew, Archie – but all is not what it seems.  Scandal and crime have quietly trailed the sisters since the war.  Keen historian Archie believes his great aunts had minor roles in the Wrens and the FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), but that’s only half the story. There’s a reason sweet Auntie Penny can dispatch a would-be mugger with a brolly.  Armed with new information about an old adversary, the sisters are keen to settle scores, avenge lost friends, and there’s one last heist to pull off before the curtain comes down on their illustrious careers.  There’s more to them than an M&S cardi.


Revenge is a dish best served old…

Rebecca Fletcher can be found @margotgoodlife

An enormous thank you to our truly wonderful sponsors this month The Basket Company who have just been amazing. The whole team read Paula’s book and were furiously messaging “I love this character!”, “is the murderer this character?” “We are hooked!”.

The team are as lovely as their baskets are beautiful and Rebecca F and I feel so lucky to have worked with such supportive and wonderful people. Thank you wonderful Basket Company. It has been a true pleasure. They have very kindly offered us all a super generous 20% off all their baskets, trugs and planters so treat yourself to some wicker beauty, plant some lavender or cut some fragrant blossom, pop it in your trug and grab Paula’s book for an afternoon of relaxing cosy crime reading!!!! Happy end to April xxxx

The Potting Shed Murder
Antique wash lined trug from The Basket Company

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