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Best Murder in Show: A Sophie Sayers Village Mystery: Volume 1 (Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries) Paperback – 3 Apr 2017
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"A cracking example of cosy crime" - Katie Fforde, internationally bestselling romantic novelist
"Debbie Young is best known for her short stories, full of wit and with a clever look on life. Best Murder in Show is her first foray into longer fiction, but she has managed to bring all the aspects that make her writing so enjoyable to this, the first in what I hope will be a fun series.The book contains a surfeit of suspects, much clever word play, and a plot that will keep you reading long after you should have gone to sleep.A highly recommended read for all fans of classic mysteries."- David Penny, Author of the Thomas Berrencourt crime series
"I love Debbie Young's writing. It is full of warmth, witty characters and wonderful humour. This is her first novel (do read her short stories - Marry In Haste is a lovely collection for example) and it introduces us to Sophie Sayers, named after Young's favourite crime writer (mine too!) Dorothy L Sayers. This is a real page turner, and a proper feel good book - Debbie Young is an author whose aim is to make you smile, and in this book there are characters to make you giggle and clever lines worthy of Dorothy herself.The crime is more a backdrop to the character development and the plot that is most definitely romantic rather than very mysterious or suspenseful. But that is a small gripe.This is certainly a series to watch out for." - Suzie Grogan, 10Radio presenter, "Talking Books"
"For an entertaining, fun, and witty read you’ll want to pick up this Sophie Sayers book. I couldn’t put it down because the characters are real, the twists are humorous as well as shocking. In a little village story, with a wide cast from the nosy shop owner to the village drunk, everyone with their varied differences comes together for the summer show. The story is injected with comedy amongst the crime and you will have trouble not falling in love with the flawed and adorable Sophie." - Amie McCracken, author and editor
About the Author
Debbie Young writes warm, witty, feelgood fiction inspired by life in the English village where she lives with her husband and daughter. The Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series is her first venture into writing novels, but she has previously published three themed collections of short stories, "Stocking Fillers", "Marry in Haste" and "Quick Change". She publishes a new collection every year. Her stories also feature in many anthologies and she has performed them at many spoken word events including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Evesham Festival of Words and Stroud Short Stories. She is founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival and reviews editor for Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She is a regular guest on BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Book Club and often appears on other regional and community radio stations. She is an ambassador for the British children's reading charity Readathon and for the Type 1 diabetes research charity JDRF. For more information about her writing life, please see her author website: www.authordebbieyoung.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Sophie Sayers, young, too innocent for her own good, and escaping a failed relationship arrives in sleepy Wendlebury Barrow to inherit her aunt’s cottage. She is expecting life to be quiet, until there is a murder during the local village show.
The book contains a surfeit of suspects, much clever word play, and a plot that will keep you reading long after you should have gone to sleep.
A highly recommended read for all fans of classic mysteries.
The characters are well described and interesting. Village life is often an important part of a cosy mystery and that is no different in this book.
Feathers are going to be ruffled, specially when the village fair brings out competition and egos. The heroin is trying to find her footing in her new chosen home and is soon part of it all.
I'm looking forward to reading more about Sophie Sayers in the future.
Perhaps unsurprising for a novel that comes from the pen of an author who is also active in the Alliance of Independent Authors (I half-expected there to be a direct mention at one of the many village meetings!) and who is the founding director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, this is a murder mystery that exudes literary and other bookish references. Take the Sophie Sayer’s name for instance. I’m really hoping that Hector Munro might become her Lord Peter Whimsy.
The story begins at the village show, a highpoint in any yearly calendar, and in the shocking discovery of murder in a manner reminiscent of those pre-opening titles moments that anyone who has watched Death in Paridise will be be familiar with. The story winds back two months to Sophie’s arrival in the village to live in the house she has inherited from her aunt (has another murder taken place here too?). If I can leverage any criticism of this mystery is that much as I love reading the excentricities of the Cotswold village life I did at times want to move on to the murder and solving thereof the mystery a little bit quicker.
Sophie though, is a character with her own backstory that is not as simple as you might think (don’t all detectives have a troubled backstory?) and she must grapple with her own insecurities and life as she she stumbles through her own over-active imagination about what the villagers might be like and be capable of before she can solve the mystery at hand.Read more ›
I read this the day after the 2017 Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival (organised and run by Debbie) and it was the perfect way to keep the warmth of the festival going.
My only complaint (and it's the reason I didn't give 5 stars) is a small one - the size of the print. I was just about OK if I wore my reading glasses, but I loaned the book to my partially sighted mother and she needed her spectacles and a magnifying glass. the fact that she persevered is testimony to how much she was enjoying the story, but a slightly larger font would be much nicer. Of course this wouldn't be a problem with an eBook, but eBooks aren't everybody's cup of tea.
I would love to have given this 5 stars for the pure escapism the author gave me, but it is described as cosy crime, and in this first book of a series I look forward to getting into, the crime is more a backdrop to the character development and the plot that is most definitely romantic rather than very mysterious or suspenseful. But that is a small gripe.This is certainly a series to watch out for.
Sophie throws herself into Cotswold village life with enthusiasm, from helping to organise the village show, to the writer’s group which fines anyone for using a cliché – an idea I am tempted to use myself as, like Sophie, I had no idea how many pop into my head. By the end of the book I could probably afford coffee for two and flapjacks at Costa.
Sophie is incredibly nice, so much so, that when she receives oblique insults from the resident snob, the strange old man next door and the village letch, she doesn’t respond in kind but lets them wash over her.
Her Aunt May’s death is not viewed as suspicious by anyone in the village, but for some reason, Sophie has a nagging feeling that someone might have done away with the old lady and she looks for culprits everywhere. There were a couple of incidences where I wanted to yell in her ear 'Well isn't it obvious?' but that was the fun of the book – that to Sophie it wasn't.
This being a cosy, Sophie's fears become a self-fulfilling prophesy [more a figure of speech than a cliché] and a murder does indeed happen during the village show.
A feel-good, entertaining read with some clever word play that made me laugh, this is the type of book which makes you anticipate a quiet moment so you can get back to it. Perfect in a sun lounger with a cool drink by your side. Well done to Debbie Young on such a fabulous debut novel. I eagerly anticipate more in this series in which I hope the lovely Hector features.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best Murder in Show is a lovely, fun read. The village in which the book is set is full of quirky and engaging characters. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ellie
Here’s a really cosy Cosy Mystery, set in a believable Cotswold village and guaranteed to appeal to nostalgic readers. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Mari Howard
If you want a charming romp through the village life of Wendlebury Barrow spiced up with a taste of mystery, romance and bit of mayhem, Best Murder in Show is the book for you. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Francis Guenette
A lovely first novel from Debbie Young, author of witty short stories. The book has a lovely setting and Sophie and Hector are characters you really care about. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Lucienne Boyce
Leaving her unrewarding boyfriend for an enviable cottage that she's inherited, the heroine quickly involves herself in village life. Read morePublished 16 days ago by D.N.Worthington
Being well acquainted with this author's excellent short stories I was well up for a cheery few hours in the company of her new heroine Sophie Sayers who, as the book opens, has... Read morePublished 28 days ago by AliB
I am not a cosy mystery reader but having really enjoyed two of Debbie Young's short story collections I decided to give it a go and was not disappointed. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Vesuvio
This is a thoroughly enjoyable cosy mystery, full of comedy, wit and a touch of wisdom too. Sophie Sayers is an ‘innocent abroad’ in the English village context when she takes... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Crime Fan