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Eve Mallow Mystery #1

Mystery on Hidden Lane

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Meet Eve Mallow: an American far from home, a professional busybody… and an amateur detective?

Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. But it turns out that Bernard’s life was much less interesting than his death. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?

As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?

Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she’s met must be the murderer. She has never done any detective work before… but is there something in her notes that can crack the case?

322 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 30, 2020

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About the author

Clare Chase

25 books220 followers
Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for Novelicious’s Undiscovered Award, as well as an EPIC award post-publication, and was chosen as a Debut of the Month by LoveReading. Murder in the Marshes (Tara Thorpe 1) was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award.

Like her heroines, Clare is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s novels.

You can find Clare's website and blog at www.clarechase.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 178 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,572 followers
January 19, 2020
Mystery on Hidden Lane is the first book in the Eve Mallow Mystery series written by Clare Chase. It was published in January 2020 and I found a copy on NetGalley. I was initially attracted to the book because of the charming cover, great description, and the idea of the amateur sleuth being an obituary writer. What an easy way to find your victims... I mean cases!

I am an avid cozy reader. As I spend more time in this sub-genre, I am more suited to the American ones, but I adore the settings in the British ones. In this caper, Eve Mallow rents a charming home to meet a few people who were close to a newly deceased musician. After she arrives to interview others, Eve learns that the cops have ruled the man's death a murder. Everyone is tight-lipped when she approaches them, but Eve is persistent and finds a way to learn about the guy. She has to write a ~3k word obituary, after all.

As a main character, Eve has potential. She's ~50, divorced, half American/British, and has twin kids around ~25. She's not ready to date. She's unsure where to live. But this job feels right, so she sticks with it... and she methodically researches the deceased man, learning who can provide input on his character and personality. He was a bit of a mystery, and she uncovers more secrets than answers at first. By the time she presses everyone for details, she also solves his murder, and nearly gets killed in the process. She's highly intelligent and clearly follows all the right paths to solve the case.

As a series, this has lots of potential too. I like the amateur sleuth approach. The plot was a little difficult to accept at first, but by 50% in, I was much more interested. Part of the struggle for me was an overly descriptive writing style (which also worked because it was pretty) and the characters were a little on the dull side. I couldn't get invested, and I found myself skimming a few paragraphs. When the story got more interesting half way through, I slowed down and found myself keen to solve the investigation.

Overall, it's a good start. I am curious what others think of it, and I give it 3.5 stars. I'll read more by the author, as her writing style is quite nice... but I like a bit more in my plots and a little more colorful characters. Maybe the second one will be stronger and pull me right in -- the obituary angle is quite intriguing.
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
March 14, 2020
Favorite Quotes:

… she reached down to ruffle Gus’s fur as he looked up at her, no doubt after another treat… ‘No, Gus – no more. Because I love you and I’m taking care of your health.’ For a moment she imagined how it would be if the roles were reversed, and Gus was in a position to ration her cake intake at the teashop. It didn’t bear thinking about.

Can’t blame you for not trusting DI Palmer. You have to chivvy him if you want something in a hurry. When Simon had that horse stolen, he had all the urgency of a dormouse on Valium.

My Review:

I enjoy cozy mysteries for a change of pace between my habitual reads of women’s fiction and thrillers as they are almost medicinal as they generally allow me the novel experience of sustaining a consistent pulse rate and blood pressure at normal levels. This slowly developing tale was rather complex for a cozy and entertained and amused me with the quirkiness of the characters and originality of the plotlines.

So, a Londoner arrives in a small village to write a celebrity obituary for her part-time job. Who knew there was such a thing as a celebrity obituary writer? But the character of Eve was perfect for the task as she was a full-on natural-born snoop who was eaten up with curiosity, oozed diplomacy, and easily put others at ease while she finagled and finessed interesting bits of information out of them. Eve was highly observant and spent endless hours researching everyone, even those on the fringes. She was also apparently in love with my beloved Mr. Google. And yes – I do know that my love is unrequited and that he cheats on me relentlessly, sigh… Regardless, Eve arrived in the small village to interview her subject’s peeps only to learn that her assignment had not only died but had been murdered, which was her first, but I have a feeling it won’t be her last.

I adored Eve! She talked aloud to her little dog Gus and sought his opinion as well as assigned him thoughts, motivations, and emotions. I reveled in these anthropomorphized bits as I do the same with my fur babies who, of course, are feline geniuses and possible serial killers/ninjas. The storylines were heaving with colorful and amusing descriptions, copiously noted details, and possible suspects. Eve kept track of her carefully curated details on spreadsheets and was quickly befriended by Viv, a gifted baker who conjured divine cakes, whom I loved just as much as Eve because, well, cake, and, she was good fun and had pink hair. I am eager to read the next book in the series, which is locked and loaded on my impatiently idling Kindle.

I picked up two new clever bits and bobs for my Brit List with playing away – being unfaithful to a partner, and chivvy – pushing or nagging someone repeatedly to do something.
Profile Image for Gail C..
348 reviews
December 30, 2019
This is the first in a new series featuring Eve Mallow, a part time obituary writer. In this book, Eve has traveled to Saxford St. Peter to gather information on recently deceased famous cellist, Bernard Fitzpatrick. Before Eve can even begin gathering much information, the news that the death was actually murder begins to circulate through the small village. As Eve begins to gather information for her obituary she becomes increasingly interested in the murder and who could possibly be the murderer.
The book spends much time introducing characters and information about Saxford St. Peter, much as would be expected in creating the backstory for the series. Eve’s pursuit of her career as an obituary writer is regularly criticized by her ex-husband who feels it is his right to tell her how to live her life so that she is being “safe”. This latest adventure on Eve’s part serves to embolden her to tell him to mind his own business as she begins to follow her own path.
There are some interesting characters in the town, including Viv, owner of the cottage Eve has rented and proprietor of the local bakery; Viv’s brother Simon, a charming bachelor a few years younger than Eve; and Robert Yardley, a local gardener who seems to be something more. These three characters particularly are written with enough depth and interest that a reader will most likely hope they continue to be recurring characters in the series.
While the mystery was reasonably good, it didn’t engage me as much as the story involving Eve getting to know the characters and surrounding town. It came as no surprise that circumstances evolved to provide Eve with the possibility of moving from London to Saxford St. Peter and start a new life with her new friends. As Eve asks questions, first to gather information for the obituary and second to solve the mystery of who killed him, her reasons for getting involved seem a little thin. While she possesses a curious mind, she seems to become invested in the murder quickly with little that affects her. Her strained relationship with her ex is referred to, and would have given her stronger motivation if I had attached more tension to that portion of the story.
My thanks to Bookoutour Publishing and NetGally for providing me with an Advance Digital Read copy in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see how it builds on this one.
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,780 reviews1,625 followers
January 30, 2020
Mystery on Hidden Lane is the first book in the Eve Mallow Mystery series, and having thoroughly enjoyed the Tara Thorpe set of books I was eagerly anticipating picking this one up. Where this differs quite a bit is the fact that this is much more of a cosy mystery than a gritty or particularly disturbing one. Renowned cellist Bernard Fitzpatrick has recently passed away and Eve has been sent to Saxford St. Peter, Suffolk, to write a fitting obituary to appear in the local paper. However, the status of the death soon changes from a presumed accident to murder most foul. She continues her tentative probe into Bernard's life and most important information and soon discovers details about him that the police had completely overlooked. Then tragically another body drops and everyone involved realises quite how real the threat is.

This is a very different book to those featuring Tara Thorpe, but those who enjoy Chase’s writing style and cosy mysteries will find this appealing. The descriptions of the chocolate-box villages reminded me of those in Midsomer Murders with gossiping grannies and the usual small-town nosiness. The use of a protagonist with no police training getting in on the investigating of a serious case is nothing new but Eve hopefully will grow into her role as time goes on; she certainly appears to be smart and resourceful initially. It’s an enjoyable throwaway mystery perfect for curling up with on a chilly winter afternoon but is not much more than that. That said, Chase creates a narrative with a plethora of possible suspects who were not particularly fond of Bernard and may have had motive to kill. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,193 reviews366 followers
January 20, 2020
Eve Mallow is an obituary writer with an extended assignment. She is not only going to write an obituary, she is to write musician Bernard Fitzpatrick's life story. Eve figures that spending time in a small village where Bernard was well known will be enable her to come up with enough detail about his life to do a good job.

She takes her dog Gus along for the trip and she is off. Unfortunately, Eve is not able to turn up much about Bernard's life. Shockingly, Eve learns that his death was actually due to murder and her questions about his life - now death - take on a different turn.

Eve now becomes an amateur sleuth because as she starts interviewing people she learns some unsavory things about Bernard. Things are not adding up. What is more is that another body is found in the idyllic town she is in and Eve now knows that at least one of the people she has been interviewing is indeed a murderer.

I love cozy mysteries and Mystery on Hidden Lane is the first book in a new series that I just know that I will enjoy. Eve's character is perfect, the setting is ideal and the mysteries abound. I look forward to meeting Eve again and seeing what she gets into, because, as is the case with any cozy mystery series, our protagonist will always find murder close at hand. Her job as an obituary writer will most likely be the angle used in future cases. Clare Chase is a new author to me and I am glad to have read this book. I look forward to reading Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage upon its release in March.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
January 24, 2020
The first book in the series by author Clare Chase, it had Eve Mallow, an obituary writer.

Eve was in the Suffolk to write an obituary for cellist Bernard when she came to know that it was a murder. Eve got to investigating when she realized a few truths. A second murder had her scampering to get to the truth.

My first book by this author, the story was slow paced and detailed. The book had a tinge of a cozy mystery to it. It was nice to see Eve using her powers of interviewing people to get to the truth. A lot of theories of murder was thrown in the air.

Detailed description of the locale was fun at times. Eve herself was quite sweet and intelligent. She was characterized apty for the cozy murder mystery. The other characters added to the plot line including the eccentric villagers and unlikable victims. Hence the murders, you see.

Overall, it was a good read.
2,899 reviews55 followers
January 3, 2020
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Mystery on Hidden Lane, the first novel to feature obituary writer Eve Mallow.

Eve is in the Suffolk village of Saxford St Peter to write an obituary for famous cellist Bernard Fitzpatrick when she learns that his death was murder rather than the accident it had been presumed. She continues her interviews and discovers facts unknown to the police. When a second body is found her questions develop more urgency.

I really enjoyed the Tara Thorpe series so I was looking forward to this new direction but, to be honest, I found it rather bland and insipid and not really to my taste. It mostly consists of Eve doing an interview, developing a theory about the interviewee as the murderer and repeat when the previous suspect is eliminated by more information. There is little depth to these theories and it gets boring after a while. The solution, however, is unexpected if not particularly credible.

I do think, nevertheless, that if you like cosies you will enjoy this novel. It has all the requisite ingredients, not least a sublime cake baker, a victim with plenty of people who disliked him for good reason, a variety of motives to chew over and a smart, likeable amateur sleuth with more investigative nous than the lazy police inspector in charge of the case.

Mystery on Hidden Lane is a solid read.
Profile Image for Shauna.
339 reviews
May 31, 2021
I did not enjoy this book, it is, I suspect, aimed at the US cosy market. One of the clues is right there underneath the title, where the word cosy is spelt in the American way. Another clue is the constant use of the word 'gotten' although the writer is British. It jarred. Every single time.
This is escapist, very light, modern crime fiction. It is set in a fantasy, picture perfect Suffolk village where all the villagers are welcoming and chatty to visitors. Hmmm. So chatty are they that they are practically lining up to give interviews to the lead character/amateur detective about their lives and that of the dead man! The police are investigating the murder/s but there is little to be seen of them in the village and the lead detective is useless leaving the way clear for the amateur. Unbelievable. I lost interest midway through but struggled on, after all, I had spend 99p of my cash on this Kindle edition.
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,772 reviews96 followers
February 3, 2020
What a perfect and brilliant start to a great new series! There is a wonderful sense of anticipation about beginning a new series and this one was no exception, though I have have read some of Clare Chase's work before, specifically Death Comes to Call (Tara Thorpe Mystery #3).

I'm a great fan of mysteries so when I saw Mystery on Hidden Lane featuring Eve Mallow being launched, I knew I had to read it.

In this cozy-style mystery, American born obituary writer Eve Mallow is in the sweet little Suffolk village of Saxford St Peter to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret? And is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer or murderer?

In the opening chapter, we are introduced to enthusiastic Eve Mallow who has never done any detective work before. Her natural curiosity gets the better of her so she decides to play amateur detective. I immediately warmed to Eve, finding her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing.

This type of novel is right up my street; the plot was well thought-out and I very much appreciated Clare Chase's superb and varied characterisation, even though some of the characters weren't particularly personable. Clare Chase writes with such flair and an easy style. Also admirable were the wonderful depictions of the setting. There was a plethora of suspects to choose from who were not particularly fond of Bernard and might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Eve evaluated the information acquired from her interviews.

I appreciated the sub-plot that incorporated Eve's personal life, running parallel with the murder investigation. All in all, this was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a great resolution, wrapping things up very neatly. I am eagerly anticipating what Clare Chase has in store for Eve next!

Reading Mystery on Hidden Lane has motivated me to catch up with the first two books in this talented author's excellent Tara Thorpe Series, Murder on the Marshes and Death on the River.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Bookouture via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Denise.
1,983 reviews84 followers
February 6, 2020
A cozy mystery set in the Suffolk village of Saxford St Peter presents obituary writer Eve Mallow with a complicated set of circumstances that has led to the murder of the famous man she was meant to write about. As she interviews the people in the small town to get some background information for her piece, Eve discovers that there are quite a few people who may have wanted famed cellist, Bernard Fitzpatrick, dead. NO SPOILERS.

This is a slower paced and character driven story with many different characters. The setting provides much inspiration for description and detail and it all sounded quite charming. The novel sets up Eve and puts her in place to continue what appears to be a new series. If you like books featuring amateur detectives who solve crimes, live in a picturesque village, and have a pet dog, then this is one you will want to check out.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Karren Hodgkins.
275 reviews15 followers
December 26, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters, in particular the lead, had depth and it was refreshing that she is a writer rather than a detective or member of the police force. This perspective helped explain why the villagers were prepared to open up to her.

There were some lovely twists and turns in the plot and a satisfying end. I think there is potential for a most enjoyable series, going forward. Its not a pacy read, but rather an easy read.

With thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher, Bookcouture for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Lis Carey.
2,164 reviews94 followers
July 27, 2022
Eve Mallow is in the little village of Saxton St. Peter, on her latest assignment, to write a feature obituary of the famed cellist, Bernard Fitzpatrick. Her wirehaired dachshund, Gus, is with her, and she has rented a picturesque cottage with a picturesque history for her stay. The villagers are friendly, and the subject is interesting.

The subject gets more interesting when it's revealed that Bernard Ftizpatrick didn't die due to a fall. He was killed with a blow to the back of his head with a blunt instrument.

Eve isn't willing to leave the investigation to the police, especially after meeting the detective in charge. She also quickly realizes that Fitzpatrick's genial reputation isn't supported by the people who actually knew him well.

His secretary, Adam Cox, clearly resented his bullying management style, and the was he blocked Cox's efforts to move on to another position--and now that Fitzpatrick is dead and his estate passing to a local art trust, Cox will be director of it. His former publicity manager, Fiona Goddard, quit a while ago, and has been strangely unable to land a new position, despite a seemingly impressive resumé. Her husband, Andrew, has his own reasons to loathe the cellist. A promising younger cellist, Colin Wentworth, who hasn't made much progress professionally yet, is revealed by Fitzpatrick's will to be his illegitimate son--and inherits only a cello Fitzpatrick used early in his career, before he could afford a finer instrument. Several members of the board of the arts trust have their own grudges against him.

Who else might have hated Bernard Fitzpatrick? Can Eve trust her new friends?

When another murder happens, new questions arise, and Gus starts warning her of strange activities in the little lane outside the cottage, Eve starts to get really worried, and has to trust an odd collection of new friends--Viv, the local baker, her brother Simon, who runs the local stable and has a reputation of being a ladies' man, and the oddly uncommunicative, and oddly always around at unlikely times, gardener, Robin Yardley, who seems to have no past at all prior to his arrival in the village just a few years ago. Who is he really?

There's some really likeable, enjoyable characters here. Eve, despite dismissing the police, is actually fairly careful and doesn't willfully rush into dangerous situations. This is clearly going to be another British village with an improbable murder rate, but it is a very enjoyable community.

A very enjoyable, light read or listen.

I bought this audiobook.
Profile Image for Jacqueline sharp.
811 reviews13 followers
February 2, 2020
This is the first book I have read by this author, as well as being the first book in the Eve Mallow Mystery series. If you like a cozy mystery book then this could be a book you enjoy. Eve Mallow is a part time obituary writer. Which is certainly something different, and interesting, giving her a good reason to be asking people questions about someone who has passed away.

She has gone to Saxford St. Peter a village in Suffolk, to gather information on the recently departed famous Cellist, Bernard Fitzpatrick. However, before she can glean much information from the people who knew him, a rumour is being spread around the village that the death was the result of murder, not natural causes.

This piques Eve’s interest, as she finds herself getting caught up in looking into the murder and wanting to know who the murderer is. Continuing to interview people, discovering facts not yet known by the police. But when a second body turns up, her questions become more of an urgent nature. The reader is given a lot of information on characters and Saxford St. Peter, setting the scenes for more books in the series.

There are some interesting characters introduce, which some will hopefully be in future books, the scene was also set for Eve to move to Saxford St.Peter from London.

Whilst I enjoyed reading some of the characters, I didn’t really feel strongly about Eve as a character, she is intelligent, I just didn’t connect with her as I had hoped, maybe because this is the first book. Possibly book two will endear her to me more. I felt a little more depth was needed, my mind started to wander, the pace was also a little slow which could also have been my problem.

If you are a lover of a good cozy mystery then I am sure this will be one for you, not everyone wants a fast paced read, this has some good settings, some good characters, some not so good obviously.

I would like to thank #netgalley and #Bookouture for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Els .
1,617 reviews29 followers
January 31, 2020
This is a new series in the category cozy mysteries. The ones I usually read have owners of B&B's or shops or chefs in the main role, but kudos to the author for giving her amateur sleuth a rather unusual job. :)

When you read this kind of books, you often wonder why there are still police forces around because the amateur sleuth always beats them to it by far. But that's just the nice characteristic of these stories.

Eve starts her job the way she always does, but then things change. She probably did not know she had it in her, but when the person she has to write about did not die they way her subjects normally do, she starts digging deeper and deeper. Maybe even too deep ... She goes from writer to detective and that can turn against her.

Maybe a bit too many details about the surroundings in the beginning, but the pace picks up afterwards.

A nice start to a new series. Looking forward to more adventures. 4 stars.

Thank you, Clare Chase and Bookouture.

Profile Image for Kerry Britnell.
89 reviews4 followers
January 3, 2020
Eve Mallow is a part time obituary writer who has been asked to write about the life of a recently passed renowned musician. Just after arriving in the quaint seaside town of Saxford St Peter she finds out that the dead is being treated as murder.
Eve continues her interviews for the obituary but is drawn more and more into the mystery of the murder.

The book describes village life and the archetypal village people very well however I found the story lacked a bit of depth.
The local village characters were almost caricatures rather than having any real detailed character building which was a little disappointing.

Overall it was an ok easy read but it didn't wow me.

Thank you to Netgallley and the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review,
Profile Image for Jillian.
650 reviews7 followers
February 16, 2021
I enjoyed this and wanted to keep reading. Nevertheless, I’m pleased I began this series a couple of books in from this first one. I had some difficulty keeping the various village inhabitants clear in my mind and also felt some of Eve’s thought processes were described rather too much detail, flaws which appear to me to have been corrected over time.

A fun read and useful background, but you can follow the later ones without reading this one.
Profile Image for Annie.
448 reviews10 followers
December 15, 2019
I cannot say that I disliked this book but I didn't love it either.
The book started off OK, yes Eve had an unusual profession as obituary writer and I liked the descriptions of the village . As the book went on, I found Eve's research about the victim and conjectures about the murderers irritating. I may be wrong, but I cannot imagine that an obituary writer would go so far ?!
In my opinion, the friendships with villagers seemed to be made extremely quickly and Eve was talking far too much about the murder case with people she had just met . I didn'tparticularly like the ending ... the book seemed to just stop. I may read another one of the series, but not yet

I received an advanced copy of this book from Net galley in exchange for an impartial review
773 reviews7 followers
January 5, 2020
How does an obituary writer solve two murders in a small village in a few days?Eve Mallow who just arrived in town to write the obit for the recently deceased renowned musician manages to do this effortlessly. Besides doing this she bakes scones for a bus load of tourists , interviews a variety of people , asks herself hundreds of questions and take her dog on endless walk. The book started off fairly interesting but just become long winded with Eve becoming a full fledged detective. The mystery component became a little complicated as Eve eliminated suspects with her endless ramblings and rhetoric questions.

135 reviews
February 29, 2020
When this book was described to me as a cosy mystery I was a little reluctant. I had visions of Angela Landsbury in Cabbot Cove with a murdered cousin however it was still a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The narrator kept me listening and I enjoyed the protagonists "investigation". It is a cosy mystery and it was a lovely change from the usual helter skelter anxiety inducing thrillers I usually listen to.
February 2, 2020
The first installment in the Eve Mallow series, Mystery on Hidden Lane is a fun read to lose yourself in, while curled up in bed with a nice cuppa and some digestive biscuits. This Aussie girl is fast becoming a Brit and that suits me just fine! I was lost in the moment, caught up in the goings-on in the village of Saxford St Peter and felt that I was there alongside Eve and her beautiful dachshund Gus and read this in one sitting.

Clare has crafted a plot that sees obituary writer Eve Mallow head to the village of Saxford St Peter to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick after his death. It appears to be straightforward, but when she arrives, the town is abuzz with the news that the cause of death of Bernard Fitzpatrick was not of natural causes but was indeed murder! As Eve learns more about Bernard and the villager’s dislike of him, it soon becomes apparent that one of the townsfolk may have something to do with his murder.

I really enjoyed the character of Eve Mallow. It was nice to read a story where the main protagonist did not have anything to do with the police. Don’t get me wrong, I love police procedurals, but this was a refreshing change. I look forward to reading more of her in future books. Being the fanatical dog lover that I am, it goes without saying that Gus stole my heart and was the perfect companion for Eve. The secondary characters that are made up of the villagers were all extremely well written and brought the town to life beautifully.

I love the ease of Clare’s writing style. I found it to be engaging, emotive and descriptive which for me was perfect as Clare laid the foundation for this new series. Mystery on Hidden Lane is a great cozy mystery with some fantastic twists that are all wrapped up in a satisfying conclusion.

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to read and review Mystery on Hidden Lane which I highly recommend and is definitely a contender for my best books of 2020 (If all you authors keep delivering such amazing material this year, my top 20 is going to look a lot more like a top 100!).

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Clare Chase for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mystery on Hidden Lane, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

If you like this review please visit my blog for more https://onceuponatimebookblog.com
Profile Image for Anjana.
1,857 reviews41 followers
January 17, 2020
This is the first of a new cozy mystery series, and once again I had to check and see if this would be one that I could follow for a few more books ensuring a happy reading future for me.

This tale begins well, and I had high hopes for it. It ended on a good enough note, and I will be picking up the next book in the series (if given a chance), but I would have liked this book more if things had been slightly different. We have Eve who has a part-time job writing obituaries and insists on doing a thorough job. This leads her to rent a house for a time in the town where a famous musician recently passed away. When she gets there and starts to settle in, the news that foul play was involved and this has her mind racing. Since she is already set to interview everyone concerned, she sets up an excel sheet to cover the corroborating details to try and map out the culprit. All of this, as well as some of the main side characters, was well written. I was enjoying the time spent and te meticulous manner that Eve conducted her research. Till the point that it got too fastidious. I read at a pretty good pace until I hit the multiple layers of analysis that Eve was doing.

The research and the delay in getting to the end was the only reason that I am giving this three instead of four stars out of five. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, I would still read more about Eve because she seems to be a level-headed character who would be interesting to see further pursuits of. The most realistic but relatively unique behaviour was that of her Ex-husband. I have seen the Ex behave erratically and a little heavy-handed in other series' but this guy took the cake for the most random behaviour given the fact that he was the one who left.

I look forward to seeing how Eve deals with that, too, going forward. The mystery of the dead musician was compelling only because of the process of elimination and the back and forth with the information Eve had on hand. I only wish it was done more crisply. Someone with more patience than me would enjoy this far more than I did and I would recommend this to other readers of the genre.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
Profile Image for Claire Huston.
Author 3 books142 followers
March 3, 2020
An entertaining whodunnit.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

This is a very classic mystery in the style of Marple or Midsomer. A beautiful rural setting, small village gossip, a "genteel" murder (and by that I mean the death doesn't involve gallons of blood and serial killers) ... you know what to expect! So if you usually enjoy this sort of classic whodunnit, I highly recommend this book.

Eve is a likeable protagonist and the idea of her being an obituary writer is ingenious. Her profession means she has a legitimate reason to poke around asking everyone questions about their relationship with the deceased. This means her interactions with the other characters feel natural and logical rather than contrived and forced.

The mystery is handled well and left to unfold gradually. The essential ground work is laid subtly in the early chapters meaning I was able to figure out the murderer's identity just before Eve did. I always think this is exactly how the best murder mysteries are structured: they're written in such a way to allow the reader to keep up with the fictional sleuth and so share the satisfaction of their big "a-ha!" moment. There's nothing worse than getting to the reveal and thinking, "What the heck?!". If the writer has done a good job, it should all make sense, and it truly does here.

And if you need further encouragement to read this book, it also features a lovely village setting and a cute dog!

You can see lots of foundations being laid in this book to support future installments, including the introduction of secondary characters with their own mysterious pasts, possible hints at future romantic attachments, and drama with Eve's family.

Overall: If you like classic murder mysteries you should definitely seek out Mystery on Hidden Lane. The Eve Mallow murders promises to be a very entertaining series.
Profile Image for Jane Hunt.
Author 3 books103 followers
February 24, 2020

The essence of a good British murder mystery is an intelligent amateur sleuth. Good observational skills, an unassuming manner, which encourages confidences and an unbridled fearlessness, to confront, potentially dangerous people, and situations head-on. Writer Eve Mallow has these qualities.

Eve Mallow writes obituaries. An American, living in London, she is divorced, and her twins are now grown-up. She takes a job writing an obituary for a famous cellist and visits the Suffolk village where he lives to find out more about him.

Observant, she soon realises that this is not a straightforward death. Finding out her subject was murdered, draws her further into his previous life, to find the truth. She quickly endears herself to the villagers and begins to uncover some surprising revelations.

The setting is perfect for a murder mystery, unspoilt, picturesque, remote, with many unobserved places, perfect for committing murder. The cast of characters is complex, eccentric, and flawed. They are the sort you may find in any English village, which makes them relatable. The plot has twists and misinformation. and many suspects. The first victim had many unpalatable traits and so there is a veritable queue of people who may want him out of the way.

Eve is relentless in her investigation and willing to put herself at risk, unsurprisingly she solves the case. There is lots of scope in this series, both in terms of the protagonist and the setting, and I look forward to reading the next book.

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Janet.
3,700 reviews30 followers
January 30, 2020
4.25 Stars
Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet Suffolk village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was murdered. As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him. Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. When a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she’s met must be the murderer.
This is the first in a new series & the first I’ve read by the author. If you love cosy mysteries & murders then this will be right up your street. A well written very well paced book that gripped me from the start & which I read in two sittings. I really liked the author’s style of writing. I warmed to Eve immediately & loved that she was moving on with her life even if Ian was trying to undermine her confidence. There were plenty of suspects to choose from & I enjoyed how Eve sifted through the evidence gleaned from her interviews. I hope there are plenty more in the series.
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Profile Image for John Lee.
645 reviews8 followers
April 10, 2021
I cant remember where I came across this author but I had the first book of both series on my shelf. This one was described as "gripping" and as it was a cozy village set mystery, it attracted me first.

Maybe "gripping" was a slight exaggeration, no, it was a great exaggeration. Apart from a short piece about the final confrontation, I thought it was easily 'putdownable' and around the 2/3rds mark I just wanted it over. Don't get me wrong. I didn't say it was bad. It was OK . Unfortunately from its cover blurb, I was expecting more.

Maybe I should have kept one of my character maps to keep track of everyone and who had been having affairs with whom, (surely that sort of thing doesn't go on in an English village ! ) it might have given me some interest to try and solve it for myself. But I didn't and the story became one of English village life where a famous cellist had lived and just died.

The main character Eve with her dog Gus are OK but I wonder if they will sustain a series. She is recently divorced (oh no, not another) and has moved from a London life (again) to follow up a commission she has, to write an obituary on the Cellist.

I can see that Ms Chase develops the series within the village and probably builds on the characters that briefly featured in this story. However, at this stage , I don't know if I have the motivation to read more of the series or, indeed, the other, when there are so many other books out there waiting.
3,286 reviews48 followers
July 22, 2020
3 1/2 stars. A decent mystery which did send some cold shivers down my spine at times. It was a nice introduction to a village that will be the setting for the series without it feeling like an info dump.

I love the career choice for the main character. It actually is a really good explanation why Eve would be asking a lot of questions of people who know the murder victim and it is bound to garner better responses from the interviewee than a normal reporter. Even the police might be more likely to be tolerant of her asking questions and not viewing her as an impediment to the investigation. I like to read cozies but sometimes it really annoys me why the main character feels like they have a right to investigate the murders they come across and they even feel they are entitled to the information the police have gathered or the medical examiner's report.
Profile Image for Kerrie.
993 reviews
February 5, 2021
The first time I have encountered a sleuth who is an obituary writer. Eve Mallow is keen to find out what people thought of the deceased, cellist Bernard Fitzpatrick. On the day she arrived in the village to begin work on the obituary Eve discovers that the police have announced that he was murdered. She feels a little uncomfortable that she might put herself in danger by actually interviewing the murderer, and, even worse, that she might realise this is the person the police are looking for.

She realises also that there are many candidates - the fact that Peter was charismatic doesn't mean that he was popular or well-liked. In fact he was very self-centred and even manipulative.

A nice start to what looks like it will be an interesting series worth following.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
649 reviews6 followers
January 31, 2020
Mystery on Hidden Lane: An utterly gripping cozy mystery novel (An Eve Mallow Mystery Book 1) by [Chase, Clare]Eve has been sent to write the obituary of Bernard Fitzpatrick, a cellist. When she arrive in the village she begins to hear talk that his death may have been a murder. Using her journalist nosiness, she begins on the trail to find the true story.
Eve was a character that was easy to relate to, and who can resist a quaint, little village. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who enjoy light murder mysteries.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Sandra Leivesley.
678 reviews11 followers
February 27, 2020
Mystery on Hidden Lane is a charming cosy mystery, set in a quaint English village with a half American/British amateur sleuth, Eve Mallows. Eve is a part time obituary writer, and when she discovers her latest subject was murdered she starts to investigate.

The story moves along fairly slowly, giving the reader time to get to know a whole host of interesting village characters including Viv, the owner of the local bakery, and her brother, Simon, who I feel may become a love interest for Eve in future books. Eve, herself, is a very likeable character. And who can resist an adorable dachshund character like Gus 

Mystery on Hidden Lane is an easy listen, with a likeable narrator, and if you enjoy cosy mysteries then you will enjoy this.
Profile Image for Sandy  McKenna.
672 reviews16 followers
March 13, 2020
An excellent who dunnit.

Clare Chase is another new author to me, but I will definitely be reading more of her thoroughly enjoyable cozy mysteries.
Eve, a writer of obituaries, goes to Suffolk to write an article on a famous cellist who has recently passed away, only to discover that he was actually murdered.
The temptation to do some sleuthing is hard to resist for Eve; however, there are so many suspects, and all with valid reasons to end the life of this enigmatic musician.
A real page turner for me, and a book I would highly recommend.
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