Good Afternoon Bookworms
Although this post is titled as a review of the last novel in the Swaddlecombe series it is more of an overview of the whole series.
Blurb courtesy of Goodreads website
Victoria West's first Christmas in sleepy Swaddlecombe looks like being a traditional country affair... but then, as the decorations go up, so does the body count.
A Christmas wreath making course, liberally lubricated by local wines, comes to a tragic conclusion. Farmer Albert Moreton has things on his mind and the Reverend Ruminant has been busy plotting...
The whole village is getting festive with a 'Caroloke' in the pub and, of course, there's the infamous old folks' Christmas party to navigate.
Handsome men abound but are they really what they seem? Is the Lord of the Manor a philanderer? Is the gardener safe with his axe? Why would Tipple the pug's owner abandon him, and how far would anyone go to get their hands on a fortune?
Victoria and Albert have their work cut out to identify 'who dunnit' in this frenzied festive free-for-all.
One of the things I love most about the Swaddlecombe series is the sense of humour, it isn't long before I'm giggling away to myself, in fact this time I had only just reached page 5 before I was sniggering to myself! If you have read any of the other books in this series or have read my other reviews you will know that these are light-hearted entertaining cosy mysteries set in a fictional town in Devon with a good dollop of amusement thrown in.
I have lived in villages for the last 10 years or so and before that run a pub, and there are characters and events I could relate to, of course all slightly exaggerated in the book, and I would like to think that I wasn't anywhere near as much of a gossip as Trudy!
I would like to be able to tell you who my favourite character is but the truth is I love them all, they all have their own personalities, you get to know more about these characters throughout the books and I couldn't imagine the books without any of the characters - it's a good job none of them were bumped off! The books aren't over descriptive but tell you just enough to build a picture of the village but it really is the characters that bring the novels to life.
I felt the pace of this novel was slightly slower than the previous three but still an absolute page turner. The murder doesn't happen too quickly in this last installment but that didn't bother me in the slightest as I was thoroughly enjoying the festive comings and goings of the villagers and the ever-blossoming relationship between Albert and Victoria. I was concerned that loose ends would need to be tied up quickly and the ending would feel rushed but this wasn't the case, and as with every other novel in the series, every matter regarding the crime was put to bed and I felt satisfied that all my questions were answered.
Long after I had finished I found myself thinking about the characters and wondering if just maybe they might be the slim chance of another book just so I know how things are going.
That really is the only disappointing thing but I supposed that all good things must come to an end and you really can only have so many murders in one village!
However, I for one am jolly pleased to learn that Julia Wherrell will be going solo and releasing a book of her own, so there is something to look forward to. I am unsure whether Joanna Sheen will be releasing any further novels but with one already under her belt let's hope there are more to come.
Bookworm Blessings. x