Here’s the blurb:
Foraging for Murder
MORTIFORDE’S FOOD FESTIVAL IS A RECIPE FOR MURDER.
Three butchers. Two deaths. One four-hundred-year-old grudge.
It’s Aldermaston’s first food festival as the Eighth Marquess of Mortiforde and it’s not going well. One butcher is missing. Another has been threatened. And the Vegetarian Society has been sent a meaty ultimatum.
Meanwhile, Lady Mortiforde desperately needs her husband to find some wild boar meat for her savoury pie entry into the festival’s Bake Off competition.
When the Council’s Chief Archivist disappears, along with the Food History Marquee’s star attraction, a seventeenth-century recipe book, Aldermaston has all the ingredients of a murder mystery that’s been marinating for over four hundred years.
Can he find the missing butchers before it’s too late? Will Lady Mortiforde avoid a soggy bottom in the Bake Off competition? And why do all the butchers take their pet pigs for a walk in the woods at night?
Wow. Foraging for Murder is a fantastic book. It’s stuffed with some very British quirkiness, rival butchers, an obnoxious new Chief Executive for the local Council, and a slightly bumbling, but good-hearted, member of the nobility, his wife, his eminently competent butler, as well as his extremely eccentric brother.
Genuinely, I can’t recommend this book enough. It made me laugh out loud and was a joy to read.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, and each character is well sketched, and unique. It’s filled with all the sorts of little details that I love – it has a strong historical element running through it, and of course, an ancient manuscript. It’s also filled with quirky little details, the sort of eccentric characters that make up a small community and yet none of it feels overcooked. And the mystery is both complex enough, and realistic enough, that you’re not going to quibble with the eventual resolution, even if we, as the readers, get there before the cast do.
I have book 1 in the series ready to read and I really hope we get more books featuring this wonderful cast. And wow, book 1 has an amazing opening chapter. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(I would just like to reassure that this book is not stuffed with animal butchery – in fact a few of the animals do get to star in it. There is some reference to parts of an animal when they’re no longer on that animal – if that makes sense. I don’t want to give anything away, but also, don’t want someone to stumble into the book unawares.)
For fellow readers, if you’ve read Skeltons Guide to Suitcase Murders then this will definitely appeal, even if it has a more modern setting. I’m so pleased I signed up for this book tour and had the opportunity to discover a wonderful book, and series, like this. As you can tell, I’m wildly excited about it.
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Meet the Author
Simon Whaley is an author, writer and photographer who lives in the hilly bit of Shropshire. Foraging for Murder is the second in his Marquess of Mortiforde Mysteries, set in the idyllic Welsh Borders – a place many people struggle to locate on a map (including by some of those who live here). He’s written several non-fiction books, many if which contain his humorous take on the world, including the bestselling One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human and two editions in the hugely popular Bluffer’s Guide series (The Bluffer’s Guide to Dogs and The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking). His short stories have appeared in Take A Break, Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special, The Weekly News and The People’s Friend. Meanwhile his magazine articles have delighted readers in a variety of publications including BBC Countryfile, The People’s Friend, Coast, The Simple Things and Country Walking.
Simon lives in Shropshire (which just happens to be a Welsh Border county) and, when he gets stuck with his writing, he tramps the Shropshire hills looking for inspiration and something to photograph. Some of his photographs appear on the national and regional BBC weather broadcasts under his BBC WeatherWatcher nickname of Snapper Simon. (For those of you who don’t know, they get a lot of weather in Shropshire.)
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