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Murder in Steeple Martin - A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery (Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series Book 1)

Murder in Steeple Martin - A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery (Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Lesley Cookman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

First in a series of British murder mysteries featuring retired middle-aged actress and sleuth, Libby Sarjeant.

Artist and ex-actress Libby Sarjeant is busy directing a play for the opening of a new theatre in her village when one of her cast is found murdered. The play, written by her friend Peter, is based on real events in his family, disturbing and mysterious, which took place in the village during the last war. As the investigation into the murder begins to uncover a tangled web of relationships in the village, it seems that the events dramatised in the play still cast a long shadow, dark enough to inspire murder.

Libby s natural nosiness soon leads her into the thick of the investigation, but is she too close to Peter s family, and in particular his cousin Ben, to be able to recognise the murderer?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 658 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press Ltd (11 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088OVJTQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Guildford, Surrey, Lesley spent her early life in south London, before marrying and moving all over the south-east of England. Lesley fell into feature writing by accident, then went on to reviewing for both magazines and radio. She writes for the stage, she has written short fiction for women's weekly magazines and is a former editor of The Call Boy, the British Music Hall Society journal. Her first Libby Sarjeant novel, Murder In Steeple Martin, was published to much acclaim in 2006, followed in 2007 by Murder At The Laurels and Murder In Midwinter. In 2008, Lesley's ever-increasing number of fans welcomed the publication of Murder By The Sea. 2009 saw the publication of Murder In Bloom. In addition to Murder In The Green, Murder Imperfect will also be published in 2010.
Her passion for the theatre is reflected in her first non-fiction work, How To Write A Pantomime, also published by Accent Press.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this series of books, having now read all ten back to back. This is the first of the series, introducing all the main players and painting a witty view of village life. Libby, wine in one hand and cigarette in the other, draped in Oxfam cape and wicker basket is a delightful portrayal of the divorced woman of a certain age. Fran, who becomes her regular partner in crime deduction in later books is a trifle annoying here but by and large the story is delightful. I wish I could live next to the Pink Geranium, and have decorative friends like Harry and Peter, not to mention a boyfriend like Ben!

Ah well, the next best thing to having them is reading about them, methinks I will reread these in future as they do resemble the book equivalent of comfy slippers. I recommend the series heartily, and await further developments!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in the series 12 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Libby Sarjeant lives in a small village in Kent. She is an actress and an artist and is directing a play by a local writer to be put on in a newly modernised oast house turned theatre in her village. When a series of accidents at the theatre threaten the production and the author starts to say the play should not be put on Libby gets curious. The disappearance and murder of one of the cast members makes everything much more serious and past history seems to be coming to the fore again.

This is an entertaining, though relatively slow moving mystery with some interesting characters and situations. The plot is well constructed and kept me guessing until very nearly the end of the story. The relationships between the characters are well done and I especially liked Libby's own budding romance with Ben. I liked Libby as a character as well as her cat, Sidney, and I thought Fran was good too. I found the insight into the lives of the hop pickers in the mid twentieth century of interest as my aunt was also one of the many hop pickers during the nineteen forties.

If you like your crime stories without too much on the page violence then give this series a try. If you enjoy authors such as Hazel Holt, Veronica Heley and Rebecca Tope then you may enjoy Lesley Cookman.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely old fashioned murder mystery 2 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is like a Miss Marple but with a modern day setting. Good introduction to the regular characters who run through all the Libby Sarjeant books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I really like the characters in the Libby Sergeant series. They are so varied. I love that the heroine is not the perfect, beautiful sleuth, but a real-life character.
The mystery keeps you guessing right until the end, I kept thinking I knew who it would be, but then I'd be surprised by another twist, and everything would fit in perfectly at the end, without any loose strands.
I liked the gentle feel to the mystery without gory details which make your stomach twist too.
The Libby series is perfect for when you're looking for comfort reads.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 6 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much, hope to read some more books by Lesley Cookman, they are easy to read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning entertainment 25 Oct 2013
By debz31
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this as it was a bit different to the 'usual' murder/mystery. Believable characters and a good plot, will definitely read more of this author
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait 23 Oct 2013
By lormart
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started reading this, the first Libby Sergeant novel, am totally booked. Housework has gone by the board as I have bought all of them, the characters have become friends, please please more of the same !
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1.0 out of 5 stars Stereotypical, derivative and slow-moving 29 Aug 2014
Where to start?

Having enjoyed other books from Accent press I took a chance on this one when it was offered free on Amazon.

It became clear early on that this was a gentle read. I don't mind 'gentle', I found Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazelet Chronicles hugely enjoyable (yes, even the much-derided fifth book) but this takes gentle to a new level.

It is slow. Painfully slow. The characters are so stereotypical it hurts (the two gay men say 'dearheart' and make Alan Carr look like a cage fighter, the lead Libby is painfully one-dimensional, forever fretting about her love life and always flinging on her cape and characters flop into overstuffed chairs (can one buy overstuffed chairs anywhere? It must be possible as they are in no end of books).

The story is (yet) another murder case which has echoes of another from the past and the narrative switches between present day and the past in order to relay this. The prose is well-written and well-edited but the problem lies with the story which is not interesting enough to keep the pages turning and the characters who are not really terribly likeable.

I persevered to the end, despite realising I was not really the target audience, hoping for a payoff in the big reveal but upon finding out the identity of the killer I felt massively let down. Some reviewers here have said they guessed the killer fairly early on. I don't know how they did as there were almost no clues in amongst the easily avoidable red herrings.

This is the first in a series and I will be giving the rest a wide berth.
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