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Secrets In Prior's Ford: Number 1 in series Paperback – 10 Jan 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (10 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751539619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751539615
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 249,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Entertaining . . . the final twist in the tale is kept right up until the end, making this a most enjoyable read . . . a promising start to an interesting new series (Scottish Home and Country **)

Subterfuge, secrecy [and] unexpected romances . . . [A] safe, cosy read, well written and easy to enjoy (Reader review, New Books Magazine)

Book Description

Prior's Ford - a small village hiding a surprising number of secrets . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is apparently the first book in a series of stories based around the sleepy small Scottish village of Prior's Ford. The quiet peace of the place is threatened here by the proposed re-opening of an old quarry, which splits the community. Some villagers think it will destroy the quiet peace of the small village, others think it will bring opportunities for employment and growth for the small businesses. No, it's not a metaphor for the state of the nation or the divisions caused by the war on terror - Secrets in Prior's Ford has no deeper purpose than an episode of Emmerdale, and a pretty tame one at that.

The series promises "intrigue, passion and scandal" and there is certainly plenty of that here, but it's all played out very much in a harmless, inoffensive and gossipy manner - the wholesome model village is not exactly a hotbed of vice and corruption. Secrets there are, but they don't stay secrets long and are happily chatted about between friends or confided in with the vicar over tea and scones so that an amicable solution and accommodation can be reached without too much over-excitement. Even while fund-raising for their cause, the anti-quarry group even decide to organise a traditional village fayre, so that their opponents don't feel too left out.

Yep - village fayre's, garden parties, Easter Egg hunts - Prior's Ford is that kind of place and Secrets in Prior's Ford is that kind of novel. These are predictable, commonplace old-fashioned soap-opera style situations with bland, stock characters who never act the slightest bit like real people.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 May 2008
Format: Paperback
I find 'village' fiction enjoyable and this book is no exception. Clarissa is suddenly widowed and has to stand on her own feet; Alistair is an artist renting a cottage on the local impoverished laird's estate, then there's Ingrid who runs the village gift shop and Glen and Libby who run the pub - the Neurotic Cuckoo - and Sam and Marcy who have the post office and general stores. These are all well realised characters with secrets they don't want others to know. A stranger in their midst heralds change and the villagers are united and divided when a long disused quarry looks as though it may re-open. Which way will it go? Whatever the result the village will not be the same again and life changing secrets will be revealed.

The plot was easy to keep track of - I read it on the bus to and from work in 20 minute sections and had no trouble remembering where I'd got to. Village life with all its advantages and disadvantages was realistically portrayed and there were enough loose ends to show where the next book will continue the story. Long may this series last as it will certainly please the people who enjoy Miss Read and Rebecca Shaw. My only complaint was that everyone refers to the pub by its full name whereas I'm certain it would be abbreviated to simply 'The Cuckoo'. But this is still a good read.
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I am always drawn to `village tales' for their quaint twee look on life and their simple activities and adventures. This book was no exception and fulfilled all the criteria that you require in a village story.

Set in the borders of Scotland, Secrets in Prior's Ford is going to be the first (in many I hope) tales based around this village and its many varied characters. Look out for the vicar in this case a woman, Naomi who is larger than life and tries to remain on the fence when dealing with the problems and disputes within the village. Clarissa is newly widowed and we watch as she finds secrets about her past and move forward in her recovery thanks to the village handyman, Alastair. The village shop with Sam and Marcy is the hotbed of gossip on both sides of the counter and there is the obvious local pub who have what appears to be two ordinary people, Glen and Libby in charge, but two people actually hiding a fairly big secret.

The big house is always a main central place in village stories and Prior's Ford is no different with Linn Hall, an old building slowly falling apart due to lack of money but not due to lack of care and love from the Ralston-Kerrs.

The thread of the story revolves around the possibility of reopening an old quarry which could bring work and money to the village but also destroy the view and environment. It would also be a lifeline for Linn Hall. This effects everybody in the village drawing them together, driving them apart and also opening the closets to let skeletons fall out and surprise others.

This is a good escapism read and while doesn't tax the brain overly, it does let your imagination develop as mine did creating the set and the scene of Prior's Ford. I will be waiting to escape into the next book.
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I only bought this book because a friend recommended it as I love rebecca shaws novels & get withdrawal symptoms as she only brings one out once a year .......... well Im so pleased I did a wonderful book of village life that is so relaxing to read its easy to get to know the characters & very soon you are part of that village I would highly recommend this book for readers who like stories of village life & fans of rebecca shaw
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