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Bitter Poison
Village Mystery Series – Book V
Margaret Mayhew

Severn House
31 December 2015 / ISBN: 9780727885807
Mystery/Cozy / Holiday: Christmas

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


This Christmas the Frog End Players are not going to be putting on a pantomime; instead they are doing a play based on The Snow Queen. Trouble is, in a village mostly inhabited by pensioners, who is going to play the beautiful titular character? It looks as though the only suitable candidate is newcomer and ex-model Joan Dryden. But trouble is in store at a party for the cast.…

This is the fifth in the Village Mysteries series and I hadn't read any of the previous titles. Part of the pleasure of reading a series is catching up with the characters, and often this gives as much enjoyment as the actual plot. As this is a cozy set in a quintessential English village, it is consequently very character led, with a simple linear story that doesn't exactly take a back seat but is certainly secondary to the doings of the various villagers. The Colonel mysteriously does woodwork in his shed; the Major is hen pecked by the redoubtable Marjorie and the essential nosy spinster looks on through a pair of binoculars. People make plans for Christmas and get offered gardening advice, and it all happens in a scant 160 pages. If you enjoy a laid back, gentle tale of modern village life then you will like this.

Reviewed 2016