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Murder At St Anne's by J R Ellis - Review

Tuesday, May 31, 2022


At the beginning of May I wasn't feeling too well so I needed something easy to read, so I went for the next in J R Ellis' series of books set in Harrogate. This is the last one which is out at the moment, although I've pre ordered the eighth in the series so that's something to look forward to in November! 

DCI Oldroyd is back in this book, but called very quickly to Knaresborough. A vicar by the name of Clare Wilcox has been found murdered in her parish church. Oldroyd and Andy head over there and are immediately told about the stories about a ghost monk that haunts the church - could there be a supernatural element to the murder? There's no obvious murder weapon, but Clare has extensive injuries to her neck and shoulder. 

Oldroyd and Andy get snowed in and end up having to spend the night in the vestry of the church. They have a ghostly visitation - but Oldroyd remains unconvinced that a ghost could have murdered Clare. After all, he can't arrest a ghost.

There are lots of suspects in the murder, from Clare's husband Jeremy, who was having an affair, to one of the church wardens, Donald Avison, to a few of the parishioners who are against women priests. Then there's Violet Saunders, the church cleaner, who seems just a little bit too keen to tell Oldroyd and Andy all about the story of the ghostly monk. 

Clare was also friends with Oldroyd's sister, Alison, so her death is a huge blow to Alison. I like Alison and was glad to see her again. There's barely any of Steph Johnson in this book, which is a shame - I hope next time she gets to go and have some adventures with Oldroyd!

I enjoyed this book and read it quickly. I liked the mystery and the look at the Church of England - I work for the CofE so am quite used to the jargon and hierarchy,  but I thought it was quite funny to read it in a book! I'm giving this four out of five. 


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