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Cosy crime drama from Boston author involves convincing characters in believable situations

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BOOK REVIEW: The Cat and the Corpse in the Barn

By Kate High

Were it not for lockdown, I may have declined the offer to review this novel, the debut effort of Boston author Kate High. But with my weekends and evenings crying out for entertainment, I readily agreed to have a read and I'm pleasantly surprised I did.

The Cat and the Corpse in the Barn (45973998)
The Cat and the Corpse in the Barn (45973998)

Set in the Lincolnshire Wolds, the main protagonist is the recently-separated Clarice Beech, a ceramic artist who mixes her passion for animal rescue with amateur sleuthing.

The book is being marketed as ideal for fans of Caroline Graham, who penned Midsomer Murders and, if you are a fan of that franchise, then this comfy crime drama will be right up your street.

Clarice, who has been separated from Detective Inspector Rick Beech for six months, shares her love of contemporary ceramics with Lady Vita Fayrepoynt, of nearby Weatherby Hall, and also helps her adopt a three-legged ginger cat called Walter.

But when Walter disappears, Clarice is called in to find him and the wheels are set in motion for an intriguing murder-mystery, which sees her and Rick drawn back together as they try to find answers.

As they investigate and the body count rises, all roads lead back to Weatherby Hall and a shady world of blackmail, scams and violence.

The clever plot has enough twists to keep readers on their toes and involves convincing characters in believable situations. And animal lovers will delight in a plethora of cats and dogs too, integral to the plot but in a far-from-obvious way.

This is a really encouraging debut from Kate, a graduate of the Faber Academy, and I'm really looking forward to her follow up, 'The Man Who Vanished And The Dog Who Waited'.

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