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A Grave in the Cotswolds (Cotswold Mysteries) [Hardcover]

Rebecca Tope
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2010 Cotswold Mysteries
Undertaker Drew Slocombe is not having a good day. His business is failing, the car needs an MOT and he's driving 120 miles to the Cotswolds to carry out the late Greta Simmonds' final wishes. Unfortunately, when he gets there, a string of bureaucratic mistakes means that he's now the chief suspect of a murder inquiry. He's beginning to wish he had never heard of Greta Simmonds. Thea Osborne and her loyal spaniel Hepzie are still pursuing their occupation as house-sitters, despite the disastrous incidents of the past. At the moment they are staying in Greta Simmonds' house, which is currently between ownership. Thea is torn between moving back home or waiting for the execution of the will. After all, she does have outstanding payments due. Then the discovery of a body in a nearby field takes the decision out of Thea's hands, and she finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation once again. Having befriended the police's only suspect, Drew Slocombe, Thea believes him to be innocent. As Thea and Drew work together to clear his name, it slowly dawns on them that in a village simmering with secrets, a means and a motive could be laid at anybody's door. Set in the beautiful English countryside, readers will once again be enthralled and delighted with Thea's detective work, as she sets out to get to the bottom of the mystery.

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A Grave in the Cotswolds (Cotswold Mysteries) + Fear in the Cotswolds (Cotswold Mystery 7)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749008067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749008062
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 736,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rebecca grew up on farms in the 1950s and 60s, and then went to Swansea University, where she did a BA in English and Philosophy. She had poems and short stories published in small magazines from that time on, but it was only after marrying, producing four children and working at a succession of part-time jobs that she got published with her first crime novel, A DIRTY DEATH. This book is based on childhood memories of farming life. The thrill of publication was slightly marred by the fact that the cow on the cover was a Friesian and not a Jersey. Rebecca still worries that people think she can't tell the difference...
The part-time jobs include freelance indexing and proofreading for London publishers; running antenatal classes for the NCT; counselling couples for Relate; and being the office girl for an undertaker. These were followed by several years as a milk recorder, involving cold dawn visits to mucky farms and working with the wide variety of herdsmen in charge. This experience features prominently in A DEATH TO RECORD. Both this and A DIRTY DEATH are to be reissued in 2012.
She currently writes the Thea Osborne Cotswolds crime series, which is gaining in popularity with every passing week.

Product Description


The classic English village mystery is alive and well and living in Gloucestershire' Sherlock Magazine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is, I think, the fifth book in the series featuring Thea Osborne and her spaniel Hepzie, so I was a might thrown when the book opens with a first person narrative from an undertaker on his way to the Cotswolds to carry out the last wishes of his client Greta Simmonds, to bury her in a field close to her home. The undertaker, Drew Slocombe arranges alternative funerals for those wanting a green experience, ie the coffin is cardboard - willow if you can afford it. The funeral although sparsely attended goes off without a hitch and Drew drives back to his home in Somerset.

But the following day the police contact Drew as a complaint has been lodged by the council regarding the validity of a funeral in a field which they say was not owned by Greta Simmonds. They insist that Drew returns to Broad Camden to sort the matter out. Of course it's not as simple as that, and Drew's problems begin to multiply, not least the costs associated with driving back and forth between the Cotswolds and Somerset. Drew's finances are precariously balanced and a need for new tyres plus journeys at his own cost could upset that delicate balance.

When a body turns up, not that of Greta Simmonds I hasten to add, poor Drew is firmly in the frame. Luckily the person currently house sitting in Greta Simmonds house is Thea Osborne and she befriends Drew, goodness knows he needs a friend, as his life starts to spiral out of control.

The village of Broad Camden is rife with busybodies, family intrigue and mystery. Yes, I loved it. The best mysteries are those that have the reader on the edge of the chair eager to uncover the secrets that families hide.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but good 7 Nov 2010
Although I have read all of Rebecca Topes books, the one which was not written as Thea I could not finish, so started this with some trepadation, however is was okay, I though the main character Drew was a bit of a wuss really and was easily led by the other women in his life, and could not understand his reluctance to tell his wife of his troubles.

But it was a good book, bringing back lots of memories, sitting in the garden of the Bakers Arms in Broad Campden and the description of Stow and Blockley are very accurate.

Its okay, not one of her bext - but an enjoyable read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining 13 Nov 2012
I've read two other Costwold Mysteries and enjoyed them very much. I got this one on a whim, an impulse buy, so haven't read it in order and think I might have missed some back history, but it didn't matter.

It had me hooked from the first paragraph.It was told from a man's perspective this time, which I thought was well done, particularly the conflict and guilt re his family and work commitments. I was thoroughly absorbed by the story and seeing Thea from someone else's eyes.

The mystery was absorbing, and though I had an inkling who-dun-it I read to the end to make sure I'd got it right, and the motive was different from what I was guessing, which is good.

The writing is lucid and easy to read, and I felt, showed a touch more maturity and assuredness than the other ones I've read (I forget which they are now - it was a while ago). It's intelligent and witty in an understated way.

It's cosy but not frivolous because I felt it had hidden depths.

My only quibble was that I felt Drew was too chilled out about the situation. I didn't get any emotional engagement from his predicament. He didn't seem too worried, especially for such a sensitive man. That might have been a skilful rendition of naivity though. This didn't spoil the story one jot, so five stars well deserved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grave in the Cotswolds 3 Mar 2012
By Peaches
Another brilliant work of fiction by Rebecca Tope. A riviting read that kept me up late into the night wanting to read as much as possible. Looking forward to her next issues due to be released in March.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars different format 22 Jan 2012
By Newton
This book is not written from Thea's prospectus and I am not as keen although I am still persevering with it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed it 3 April 2014
By Arlane
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good novel from Rebecca Tope and up to her very high standard. I would recommend it for a thrilling read
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3.0 out of 5 stars passes the time 21 Dec 2013
By dave
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
like other books by this author it follows usual format, not as well constructed as better writers but it's ok
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
Trying to read the whole series of "Cotswold" murders. This is an excellent book to keep you enthralled. love the village setting.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. A. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grave in the Cotswolds.
A Grave In the Cotswolds. A very unusual and enjoyable book. Would certainly recommend it
and will look for others in the Series.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
I always go for books that have a churchyard on the front picture, so I am never too sure if the actual story will be gripping or not but I take a chance. Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by MRS
5.0 out of 5 stars KEPT ME WELL ENTERTAINED..
I love Rebecca Tope's series "Cotswold Mysteries". This one Grave in the Cotswolds is again a really good read. Read more
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by MIDNIGHT
4.0 out of 5 stars Something differrent
I was a little disappointed in this one. I was expecting more of the same and didn't expect the main character of previous titles to play a secondary role. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars oh dear
Having read all Rebecca Tope's other Cotswold mysteries, I was somewhat disappointed by this. Although billed as a Thea Osbourne mystery, Thea played little more than a side part,... Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by Mr. A. G. Lockley
5.0 out of 5 stars ann granger
I like detective novels that aren't too heavy and with a good plot so I love this, as I love all Markby and Mitchell books.
Published on 30 Jan 2011 by annie
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