Helena Dixon – Murder in the Belltower Blog Tour

Murder in the Belltower: An utterly gripping historical cozy mystery (A Miss Underhay Mystery Book 5) by [Helena Dixon]

Kitty Underhay’s hymn book is open… at murder.

Winter, 1933. Kitty Underhay is enjoying a restorative break from sleuthing on a visit to her family at Enderley Hall. The only thing marring her peace – aside from the uncomfortable sensation she has of being watched – is the obvious history between her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant and another guest, the beautiful Juliet Vanderstafen. So, when the parish clerk is found dead on her front doorstep, Kitty leaps at the chance of distraction.

The police are happy to conclude that Miss Plenderleith met her unfortunate end on a patch of ice, but Kitty isn’t convinced this was a case of bad weather and worse luck. And when the Reverend Crabtree fails to show for tea the next day, she heads to the church to speak to him. But she arrives to find the clergyman hanging from the bell rope, dead.

With Matt seemingly wrapped up with his alluring Austrian, Kitty must solve the case on her own. But as she snoops into parish affairs, she makes some less-than-saintly discoveries. Just who has broken the sixth commandment? Meanwhile the killer is preparing a churchyard grave for Kitty, and she’ll have to use all her wits to avoid falling in…

An addictive, absorbing and completely unputdownable Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

I absolutely love finding new writers from genres I enjoy, and I was really looking forward to publishing his historical murder mystery. I’m delighted to be able to share my review of this classic crime read that drew me in from the very first paragraph and kept me entertained and amused by its setting and characters until its very final page.

A crime novel that features stately homes, a missing Reverend and an alluring Austrian to boot – I mean, what’s not to love? These were some of the many reasons that I was drawn to Murder in the Belltower and why I’m so grateful to Noelle Holton & Bookouture for inviting me to participate in this blog tour – although this is thefifth Miss Underhay novel, you can absolutely read it as a stand-alone and I’m sure you’ll be off to look for the back catalogue once you’ve finished

I love immersing myself in a setting and feeling like I’ve actually travelled back in time whilst I’m reading and this book really achieves this as you feel like you are there witnessing the events at Enderley Hall right there alongside Kitty & her family – I know it’s already been said plenty of times – But it really made me hopeful that this quaint and addictive read will be part of a series of books that I can enjoy on the screen shortly- I am already casting Kitty in my mind’s eye and think it would be a fab Sunday night series

Because you’re definitely in a safe pair of hands, with a writer who clearly knows and loves her subject matter and can craft a perfect cosy crime tale,  you feel like you can totally surrender to this reading experience and spend a few days in the company of this eclectic and memorable cast of characters. I really felt like I could imagine the House and I absolutely loved the 1030s setting, which was wonderfully recreated on the pages.

It was lovely to lose myself in this cosy crime read after a few months where I’ve been mostly reading contemporary writing and non-fiction.  It’s funny that I get into reading zones and I’m now on a real Crime Fiction mission and have received a stunning edition of Death On The Nile for my birthday and am looking forward to losing myself in another of my favourite era’s crime stories. I am trying not to give any spoilers at all as I do not want you to be able to guess what’s about to unfold for you once you open the covers of this wonderful take on cosy crime, but you should prepare to be absorbed, entertained and charmed by the idiosyncrasies of these characters and take note that sometimes the most surprising clues can turn out to be pivotal…

The host of engaging characters and their complementary character quirks in this  charming and entertaining read allowed me to escape from everything COVID and just focus on the twists and turns of the mystery. The way that we get to see the ensuing complications of the more Kitty unfolds as she attempts to solve these mysteries was one of my favourite things about this book and it certainly does a fine job of not allowing you to put it down as it gives you a solid case of ‘one more chapter’ as you wonder whatever is going to happen next and how her unorthodox crime-busting techniques will win the day.

This was the perfect second-Lockdown read for me – and if you’re growing absolutely fed up with this never ending series of restrictions and feel like everything is too much for you and you just want an escape from it all –  then this would be a perfect book to lose yourself in.  Fans of the cosy crime genre will have hours of entertainment trying to solve the mystery for themselves whilst managing to raise a smile and a theory or two themselves as they go.

If you love an humorous and intelligent read with memorable characters and a setting that you’ll absolutely fall for then this is the read for you. I definitely enjoyed this book just as much as I’d been expecting to and I’m sure that it would appeal to lots of my Book club readers too.  Treat yourself to a copy this weekend and enjoy this trip into the world of 1930s cosy crime for yourself

Read the praise for this wonderfully enjyable read for yourself

Unputdownable… wonderful… a totally engrossing story… I found myself reading the book through dinner and staying up way too late to finish the story.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Devious plot twists and red herrings combined with exceptional characters make this a must read. Loved it!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Delightful… fast-paced and enjoyable. I loved the characters and the storyline. Lots of twists and turns and a few red herrings. Loved it.’ My Fiction Book Review5 stars

‘An absolute joy to read.’ The Book Jotter5 stars

Absolutely wonderful book… a charming cozy mystery with delightful twists and turns and kept me guessing throughout.’ Blue Pink Books

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