Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy **Blog Tour Review**
Today I am delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication of the second book in the Cornish Castle series, Rubies in the Roses. Following on from Death Plays a Part, this 'cosy crime' novel returns to the castle at Cornisea, off the Cornish coast.
Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.
But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?
Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?
I do enjoy a 'cosy crime' story where untangling the mystery and seeing beyond the red herrings is the main point of the read. Set in a fictitious tidal island in Cornwall, inspired by the real-life St Michael's Mount , among others, you have a sense of the Cornish history, nature and folklore.
Guinevere is such a likeable character, with her gorgeous dachshund, Dolly, though I found all the cast of characters to be interesting in their own right. The most intriguing to me, turned out to be the redoubtable Inspector Lefevre and of course, Oliver. I soon discovered that though I had my own ideas about each person, my presumptions were soon tested. It is quite hard to talk about the story without giving any of the plot away, but there are lots of clues to intrigue and tease the reader.
There are definitely echoes of Agatha Christie's great crime novels in the book. Set apart from the mainland, in a Castle, with mysterious happenings and a cast of people who all seem to have something to hide, we pick our way through the story, assessing each person's veracity as we go. There are two mysteries to untangle: the whereabouts of the priceless goblet and also an unexplained death. Both play out at just the right pace and all in all, it is a thoroughly satisfying read.
In short: great characters and an intriguing plot add up to an engrossing 'cosy crime' read.
You can follow Vivian Conroy here: Twitter
Thanks to Vivian Conroy and HQ Digital for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.
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