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Death at Dovecote Hatch
A Florence Norris Mystery #2
Dorothy Cannell

Severn House Digital (Ebook)
1 July 2015 / ASIN: B00XU6R3Z6
Mystery / England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Not long after the murder At Mullings Kenneth Tenneson dies after tumbling down the stairs in his spooky old house aptly named Bogmire. Both Inspector LeCrane and the village policeman's wife think it suspicious, and the Inspector is keen for the help of Florence Norris after her sleuthing skills during the earlier incident. But Florence is on vacation in London with her cousin, and thinks that a woman she thought about to throw herself in front of a train has died in another way. Meanwhile back in the village Alf the postman has his own troubles due to a dog and a solicitor's letter.

If you want to read a gentle, meandering novel about English village life in the 1930s then this series might be ideal. Like the first in the series there is a murder and sleuthing going on, but the story deals more with the characters and their daily lives. Dovecote Hatch is exactly how you would imagine a village at this time with its slow pace and everybody knowing everybody else's business. Ms. Cannell has fun with many of the names and characteristics of her cast. Some of which have not been fully featured yet and will, presumably, appear in future books. To its detriment the characters are either decent, good people you would gladly have as neighbors or broadly comic, over-the-top villains. This makes the story at times seem rather two-dimensional, and gives it a monochrome quality more suited to a comedy. The addition of a few gray characters would be a boon, but otherwise if you enjoy a placid village mystery then this series fits the bill.

Reviewed 2015