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5.0 out of 5 stars Used book
I have no hesitation in recommending this crime novel to anyone. I have been reading these in order and I have got caught up in Thea's house sitting adventures, she is one lady who does seem jinxed. The stories of the Cotswold villages are very entertaining and the crime content is well covered to keep you page turning. I have purchased this book in "used"...
Published 2 months ago by Jean Naysmith

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars murder mystery
I have to agree with most of the other reviewers. By the end of the book I really couldn't stand the moody and cold hearted Thea any more and I wonder if I really want another of the same series. I had liked her (well, most of the time)during the previous books in the series, but as Shirley Sawyer wrote, it does seem as if Rebecca Tope wrote the book in a bad mood! The...
Published on 10 July 2010 by ruralbuyer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars murder mystery, 10 July 2010
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ruralbuyer (Lincolnshire UK) - See all my reviews
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I have to agree with most of the other reviewers. By the end of the book I really couldn't stand the moody and cold hearted Thea any more and I wonder if I really want another of the same series. I had liked her (well, most of the time)during the previous books in the series, but as Shirley Sawyer wrote, it does seem as if Rebecca Tope wrote the book in a bad mood! The ending was such that I had to re-read a couple of pages beacuse I thought I had missed a vital bit explaining the reason for the crimes. Such a shame after what I consider to be a really good series thus far. Best character in this book is Hepzie!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and no-one's fun, 13 Jan 2010
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Book Freak (United States) - See all my reviews
I bought this book as an escapist holiday read based solely on its title, which appeared to offer a lighthearted and slightly amusing murder mystery. What I got became more and more dreary. DS Phil Hollis goes to spend a much earned weekend with his lover, Thea and her spaniel, while she house-sits a beautiful Cotswold home. He slips a disc in his back and we discover how miserable his lover is in her lack of sympathy for him, which appears to be justified because she admits it. She also seems to be pretty irresponsible in her attitude to house-sitting. A skeleton is discovered in the roots of a fallen tree, and Hollis and Thea work out who dunnit eventually with a few adjacent characters, although he is not in charge of the case. Ms. Toye is brutal in her description of one character whom Hollis regards as subhuman because of her weight, and he shows the typically entrenched attitudes many people have who cannot see beyond appearances to the human being beneath, be they obese, physically or mentally handicapped, very old or very young. This makes him a startlingly unattractive character who has poor judgement in spite of being a senior police officer, and he richly deserves the miserable unkind Thea, whose only virtue seems to be her looks.

Sorry, I like a murder mystery where I can enjoy the characters. This was just tedious and I was glad to finish it, even though I had worked it out well before the last page.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blood in the Cotswolds, 11 Oct 2009
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Shirley Sawyer (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I've read most of Rebecca Tope's books and was extremely disappointed in this one.
I have to wonder if Ms Tope wrote it whilst in a perpetual bad mood.
None of the characters had any warmth, and I ended up loathing the two supposed 'heroes'. Phil Hollis was brought low by a bad back, and that was an annoying sub text which seemed to excuse the writer from making any effort on the rest of the plot.
The character Thea turned into a bad tempered robot without any sympathy for the man she's supposed to care about. I realise some people aren't very sympathetic but this was just cruel in it's depiction.
The author also seemed to be on a political crusade that was anti fat people, anti police, and anti supermarkets.
There was no plot, and in the end the characters were so without warmth or any realistic traits that I couldn't care less as to 'whodunnit'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull in the Cotswolds, 11 Aug 2011
I read the first in this series and thought it OK, enjoyable enough to read another but I struggled to finish this book. The story line was dull, the characters flat and predictable, the ending lame. I found the lead characters irritating and depressing, the constant negative references to obesity were just awful - "..and wondered again just what level of intelligence there was beneath the rolls of fat".

By the end I was hoping Janey would use her "considerable bulk", "meaty shoulders" and "acres of skirt" to do away with Thea and Phil leaving Hepzie to solve any future Cotswolds murders but even she (Hepzie) seemed to have lost her usual joie de vivre but to be honest after living with the cold Thea and the snide Phil, I would of lost mine too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No more, thank you, 9 Sep 2010
I'm afraid that I couldn't even find a reasonable storyline behind the snide comments made by one of the lead characters (for instance, about a fat woman he remarks: "The woman responded with a complicated smile, acknowledging her size, her borderline claim to being fully human, her willingness to pretend that social intercourse was possible...") and the completely vapid qualities of the other. This is one author I will not be reading again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal, 21 Jun 2010
Can there be a more dreary and humourless sleuth than Thea? She comes across as decidedly sanctimonious, spouting socio-political judgments against everyone, whilst displaying an utter lack of compassion herself.
After a brisk start, the plot meanders through many tedious chapters before reaching its conclusion. The publishers failed to take the opportunity for some necessary editing. Altogether, a disappointing read.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very bad, 13 Oct 2009
By 
I was not surprised to read the review by Ms Sawyer as I thought exactly the same. The last 3 books have all been written from the perspective of another character, so perhaps Ms Tope finds Thea as tedious as I do. I found it hard to believe that anyone could be as unsympathetic towards their partner as Thea and also lacking in support for him regarding his profession. We are always being told in the books about how perfect and beautiful Thea is but what annoyed me most were the descriptions of an overweight character (about 20st) with a "borderline claim to being fully human" and a "willingness to pretend normal social intercourse was possible" simply because of their weight. She also described the character as having the "oddly similar features of all fat people, small half buried eyes, rosebud mouth, multiple chins"! There was a very unsatisfactory ending to the book on the basis that the reason for a large part of what happened was only guessed at by them but no confirmation of this was given. I do not intend to buy any more books by this authoress.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreary, 22 Feb 2011
An awful lot of waffle about unbelievable characters.
I've only read one other "Cotswold" novel by Ms Tope and that too rambled on for page after page until the unexpectedly swift finalisation in the last few pages.
I wouldn't trust Thea to look after my home in my absence.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just awful, 9 May 2010
Having read 3 of the previous books in the series (not great, but readable), when I was recently stranded by the volcanic ash cloud without anything to read, was pleased to find a copy of 'Blood in the Cotswolds'. I really wish I hadn't bothered. Reading 'cancelled, cancelled, cancelled' on the departure boards would have been more entertaining. No plot, dislikable and far-fetched characters and all the while it reads like a campaign for the Countryside Alliance. Won't be bothering to read any more of Ms Tope's efforts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Holes in the plot, 23 Jun 2014
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Some people enjoy these books, but can not say that I do. Th plots are contrived and have more holes than the average sieve
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Blood in the Cotswolds
Blood in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope (Hardcover - 28 July 2008)
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