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3.0 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2008
This is a deftly handled murder story that eschews all the usual nonsense that often pushes this kind of subject matter into cliché and parody.

Only 170 pages long, Honey-dew certainly has flesh on its bones but not a single ounce of flab; if only more novelists could resist excess as well as Doughty does! Past and present are well balanced and we find out what we need to about the characters without being bribed into feeling too much sympathy for them; no-one is particulary likeable, but no-one is competely dislikeable.

Threaded through with a knowing streak of dark humour this novel is a rare thing -it leaves you wanting to know more.
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on 3 June 1999
Good atmosphere, Doughty gets inside the heads of various self-absorbed women, including the teenager at the heart of the mystery. I enjoyed it whilst reading it, but although I only finished it two days ago, much has already evaporated, hence only 3 crowns. Books like this should stay with you and make you think. Also, I could find no reason in the text for the title. Worth reading but not as substantial as the subject matter might suggest.
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I really wanted to enjoy Honey-Dew. I'd just finished Apple Tree Yard which swept me up and kept me involved for days. However Honey Dew is a different kettle of fish, maybe a literary joke I didn't really get, a pastiche perhaps. For me there was no complex plot, just an unfolding. There is a crime to solve but no one tries very hard as it all appears to be immediately explainable. This came across as flat.

The two female leads, teenage Gemma and local reporter Alison have both endured damaging childhoods with over powering parents. As we are introduced to their lives they seem to blend - for me this was too much, they could have been the same person.

Rutland in summer is an unexpected setting for this Midsomer Scenario. References are made to previous political ructions, independence, part of the authors background.

Described as `a bitterly funny satire on the whole tradition of the cosy English killing', to me it came across as an unsatisfactory hybrid. I liked it in parts, the bits that were Barbara Vine-ish yes, with some sharp and thoughtful observations that I took to.

I didn't get what the title referred to. An answer would be appreciated!
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on 7 May 2014
I agree with the reviews saying that this novel is a disappointment. I felt this was flat and kept waiting for a twist in the tale which never appeared. I had just read Apple Tree Yard and passed it to all my reader friends as it was so good. I won't discard Louise Doughty though as her ATY was a brilliant book and I am looking forward to reading more. I just wished this plot had had more point to it - i felt the story was just a retelling of a story you may read in the news. I know it's hard to create plot twists without seeming crude but there was no hook for me here.
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on 8 October 2010
As I hugely enjoyed and admired Ms Doughtys "Fires in the Dark" and "Stone Cradle" I treated myself to her back catalogue.
I did not realise - though I may have missed seeing the memo ? that "A very English Murder " and "Honey Dew" are one and the same book! One printed in USA and one in the Uk -.
Anyways having read HoneyDew -the one with the nicer cover and print of the two. - It could have been me but I just could not get involved with either characters or plot and found it a bit disjointed and therefore disappointing? I did read to the end - out of respect for Ms Doughty and something i don't usually do -( Life is way too short to read bad books )She certainly has a gift with words but this one didn't do it for me and I now cannot remember anything about it - whereas Fires in the Dark & Stone Cradle remain crystal clear still?
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on 4 October 2008
This is quite a short book but I still finished it in record time as you just want to find out more about the characters, and it is an easy read. I'm not quite sure what I expected from this book after reading the cover but didn't expect it to be such a dark tale, because dark it is; while there are streaks of black humour in it, it can be pretty depressing. About 3/4 through the book, Alison does something (or intends to do something) which makes you dislike her, and after that I didn't really care for what happened her that much.

The reason I only gave this three stars is that it becomes quite obvious from early on who killed the Cowpers, and because it is a very dark book, which I didn't really expect it to be. But I would still recommend it as a quick in-between other books read.
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on 29 April 2014
Can't believe how week and boring this book was having just read one of the best books ever 'Appletree Yard' by Louise Doughty.
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on 20 April 2015
Loved this book she is a great author would recommend all her books brilliant
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on 22 April 2016
good delivery
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on 15 September 2014
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