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Eve Mallow Mystery #3

Mystery at Seagrave Hall

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It's Eve Mallow's first visit to the local village fair. But amidst the booths, stalls, tables and tents lurks something darker… A mysterious fall means a new case for amateur detective Eve!

The charity fair at Seagrave Hall is a key date in the Saxford St Peter calendar – a chance for the villagers to nose around the house and grounds and cross paths with the rich and famous.

New resident Eve Mallow is particularly excited by this year's special guest: the explorer Verity Nye, who is engaged to the heir to the Hall. Eve loves Verity's determination, and she can’t wait to meet her.

But when they talk, Verity hints that she has something troubling on her mind. So after the festive mood is tragically interrupted by Verity's fall from a third-floor window, Eve can't be sure that it’s an appalling accident. Especially when one small boy claims he saw someone behind her…

Soon Eve finds herself tasked with writing Verity's obituary. As she dusts off her notebook and begins her interviews alongside her trusted dachshund sidekick Gus she realises she has a fine array of suspects before her. Could it be a corrupt charity manager, the distraught fiancé, or jealous cousin Cora? And can Eve find out before her questions cause the killer to turn on her?

286 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 11, 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 85 reviews
Profile Image for Helga.
887 reviews124 followers
May 11, 2020
Verity Nye, a famous diver who is engaged to Rupert, the heir of Seagrave Hall, falls to her death from a third floor window at a fair.
Was the fall accident or was Verity pushed?

Eve Mallow, an obituary writer/ amateur detective, who is present at the fair, witnesses the fall.
Her curiosity piqued, then and there she decides to write Verity’s obituary and along the way investigate her death.

There are suspects to interview, motives to find, secrets to unearth and a murderer to stop in this engaging and well written cozy mystery.

Thanks to the author, Bookouture and the NetGalley for my copy of the book.
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,780 reviews1,625 followers
June 15, 2020
Mystery at Seagrave Hall is the third instalment in the Eve Mallow series and this time the obituary writer and amateur detective of sorts involves herself in the latest local case. Although it's not essential to have read the first two books before diving into this it is preferable to gain maximum enjoyment as you get to see how Eve, in particular, has evolved and grown into her role over the course of the series even though the main plotline is self-contained. Set in the picture-perfect surroundings of the village of Saxford St Peter we join the inhabitants as they are preparing for the local charity fair which is due to take place in the grounds of stunning Seagrave Hall. Setting out their stalls and busying themselves to ensure they have everything ready to allow them to sell their wares to those attending, they bear witness to the horrific sight of a woman falling from the third-floor window of the countryside mansion. The victim was explorer and renowned cave diver Verity Nye, a supposed special guest at the fair and the fiancee of the heir to the Hall, Rupert Seagrave. Many think this was nothing but an awful and untimely accident but a young boy comes forward to say he saw a figure behind her before she fell. Was she pushed and if so, why?

Eve gets involved as she is intrigued by the whole saga after she is asked to compile Verity’s obituary which involves interviewing her friends, family and even some witnesses. In a bid to understand the complexity of the victim she gathers as much information on her life as possible. There are a few viable suspects who have a motive for killing her but the author managed to keep you guessing for much of the book. This cosy mystery is the perfect lighthearted palate cleanser for those of us who tend to read a lot of violent and gritty thrillers and I absolutely love the fact that this is pretty much Midsomer Murders in book form. It is a delightful and charming addition to the series and has a few good twists, excellent use of misdirection and plenty of drama throughout with a setting described so beautifully that it becomes a character in itself and the wider cast being engaging and mostly likeable. Immersive and engrossing, you are quickly transported away from reality making this the perfect escapist read. Highly recommended to those who enjoy classic cosies or are looking for something a little different. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
Profile Image for Gail C..
348 reviews
June 6, 2020
This is the third book in the Eve Mallow mystery series, and they just keep getting better. It is a classic cozy, complete with a charming English village, an amateur detective, a best friend along with some other recurring secondary characters, and a possible romantic interest. While all those elements are often found in cozy mysteries, there is enough about the actions and area that is interesting to make this an enjoyable series and this book is no exception. Having read the series in order, as each book has been readied for publication, I have had the opportunity to experience the growth of Eve’s relationship with others as well as increase my understanding of who she is and how she got to this point in her life. For new readers, while each book stands alone, I believe they will enjoy it most if they read them in order so they are involved in the progression of Eve’s life in the village.
Eve is a 40-something divorced woman with two grown children who has relocated from London to the small village of Saxford St. Peter in England. She writes in-depth obituaries for a magazine on a free-lance basis, and supplements her income by working for her friend Viv in her bakery/cafe. In all three books to date, Eve has been tasked with writing an obituary for a murder victim. Her quest for information regarding the individual fires her curiosity and she winds up as interested in finding the murderer as she is in completing the obit. This puts her at odds with the detective typically assigned to the cases, DI Palmer.
Eve does receive help from Robin, a man everyone in the village thinks is a gardener although Eve knows different. Eve learned shortly after moving to the village that he used to be a detective inspector with the police but has moved to the area and is keeping his true identity secret. In this book she learns more about why he is living under an assumed name and what drove him away from the police department. The only other people in the area who know Robin’s true identity are the vicar and a police constable who serves as a police contact and occasionally feeds Robin information which he often passes on to Eve.
In this novel, the murder victim is Verity, and adventuress who pursues a career as a diver exploring underwater caves. There are multiple suspects including the family of her fiance, who are the resident gentry and who feels Verity is too common for their son. Other suspects include the estate manager, Tilly; her mother, Ivy; and the medic she dives with Pete. Eve sets about to research Verity’s life in part to write the obituary and in part because she wants to solve the murder. She is warned by the current detective, DI Palmer, to stay out of the murder as he doesn’t appreciate her interference and has threatened to put her in jail if he discovers she is going beyond typical research for the obit.
There are several murders which take place and they all seem logical when the case is finally solved. The pacing is good and it is an easy book to read, while at the same time it can be interrupted for other activities without losing track of what is happening and who is involved. SPOILER ALERT (SLIGHT): My one complaint with the book is that Eve again puts herself in harm's way at the end of the book and has to be rescued. This is a ploy that is somewhat overused in cozy mysteries in my opinion.
My thanks to Bookoutour and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,193 reviews366 followers
June 10, 2020
Eve Mallow’s constant attempts at finding relaxation in the gorgeous village at Saxton St. Peter just never even seems a possibility. Even while attending a village fair. It soon proves true after meeting an famous diver named Verity Nye, a woman Eve has been very excited to meet. the meeting went rather well, although Verity shared some concerns with Eve. With Verity’s shocking fall from a window, not only is Eve tasked with writing the obituary, she soon proves her worth as an amateur sleuth.

This is the third review that I have written for this wonderful cozy mystery series by Clare Chase, and I have not yet mentioned her gorgeous dachshund named Gus. He is always a delight in these stories. Another wonderful character in this book is Robin Yardley, a gardener and former detective inspector, is Eve’s confidante and friend, always there for her to bounce ideas off. The fact that there is a slow romance developing between the pair is an extra bonus.

Of course, writing the obituary should be Eve’s primary purpose, but she cannot help but try and get behind the cause of Verity’s death. from the very beginning, Eve sensed that it was more than an accident, so therefore she also seeks to find a motive. As always when handling one of her “cases”, Eve has no shortage of suspects, including Verity’s fiancé.

As I have enjoyed the series from the beginning I loved watching Eve grow. An American transplant, with undeniable smarts, curiosity and instincts, she is becoming one of my favorite protagonists in these delightful cozy mysteries. In any event, reading the series out of order won’t detract from the actual story contained therein.

The mystery was done quite well, and with Eve’s likable nature, and her love of spreadsheets - mine as well - make this engaging series, one I really look forward to continuing.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Julia.
118 reviews5 followers
June 24, 2020
An American 40 something divorcée sleuth with a people watching skill that makes her question the real person behind that fake smile.

I read this third book in the series of Eve Mallow, an obituary writer and amateur sleuth. This could easily be a stand alone story too.

It's very much written in the feeling of Murder she wrote, a very cozy 'Who done it?''

Thank you to Netgalley for my ARC
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews199 followers
June 9, 2020
Oh my! For an obituary writer, Eve Mallow got into more scrapes than anybody I knew. Author Clare Chase sure knew how to put her into some risky situations. I loved how Eve used her intelligence and talking skills to get everyone to share their secrets.

Verity Nye was engaged to Rupert, heir to the Seagrave Hall. Amateur sleuth Eve quite liked her and was aghast when a body swathed in folds of cloth fell down a window in the third floor. It was Verity who died on impact.

A cozy murder mystery, the story started slow but soon gained speed as Eve's investigation progressed. I loved that the author kept me befuddled with the number of suspects who had an axe to grind with the victim. In the midst of the old fashioned investigation through interrogations and surmises, romance too was hinted at.

I loved seeing Eve blossom with every story. I thought the author couldn't surpass her previous book, but I was wrong. I found myself more immersed in the happenings of the village and its inmates, especially during the village fair.

Skirmishes with the local cop were bound to happen, egos clashed. Yet Eve persevered; her determination was a doggone fun sight to see. Her sleuthing skills had me cheering her on right from the beginning. She did put herself in risk but that was who she was.

Down the pages, I forgot to conduct my own investigation and just went with the flow of the village dynamics. The ending was a revelation. Quite an entertaining read. Perfect before my afternoon siesta.
June 15, 2020
Cup of tea in hand and relaxing on my recliner under the coziness of a blanket, it was time for me to catch up with the latest instalment in this delightful and charming cozy mystery series. It was great to be back in Saxford St Peter, with its beautiful surroundings, Eve, beautiful Gus and its quirky residents.

For the third instalment, Clare takes the reader off to the fair at Seagrave Hall, which promises a day full of fun. But before it even begins, tragedy strikes and the fiancé of the heir to Seagrave Hall, plunges to her death from a third story window, which has amateur sleuth and obituary writer Eve Mallow on the case to help solve this latest murder.

Eve just keeps getting better and better with each story. I really do love her character, which is a such credit to Clare’s writing and development of her. Being the fanatical dog lover I am, it also goes without saying that Gus is also a favourite who has captured my heart (please don’t let anything ever happen to him Clare). As for its secondary and supporting characters, each are written extremely well and are brought to life beautifully.

Clare as always held and kept my attention and had me feeling I was in the story experiencing it all. I really do enjoy Clare’s writing which at times is also as quirky as its characters. Peppered throughout, are humorous lines that just makes for more of an entertaining and enjoyable experience when reading the book and has Clare right up at the top of my list as one of my favourite cozy mystery authors.

I absolutely adore this series and Mystery at Seagrave Hall is a perfect addition it. A cozy mystery series that just keeps going from strength to strength, I hope there will be many books to come. It was my absolute pleasure to be given the opportunity to read and review Mystery at Seagrave Hall which I highly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Clare Chase for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mystery at Seagrave Hall which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Profile Image for LJ (On The Shelf Reviews).
702 reviews30 followers
June 9, 2020
Eve Mallow the obituary writer/ amateur sleuth is back again in her third adventure, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the first two in the series as they can easily be read as stand-alones.

Murder at Seagrave Hall is an interesting twist on the classic country house murder. Famous diver Verity Nye falls from a window at Seagrave hall, it’s classed as an accident until a little boy pipes up and says there was someone behind her. Was she pushed?

Eve can’t leave it alone so with the help of the secretive Robin Yardley and her trusty dachshund Gus she starts digging into the mystery, putting herself in more danger than she’d bargained for.

If you love the British countryside, mysteries that are not too explicit with a hint of romance you really can’t go wrong with this series.

I enjoyed Eve’s growth from the first book to this one, she’s not taking her interfering ex to heart quite as much. Also I’m enjoying the slow burn romance that I feel is building between her and Robin Yardley.

I have to be honest near the sixty percent mark, I felt myself drifting off a little but the satisfying ending made up for it.

Murder at Seagrave Hall is a light hearted mystery which really kept me guessing throughout.
Profile Image for Els .
1,617 reviews29 followers
June 13, 2020
I like Eve Mallow. Her job is to write obituaries, but she always ends up solving the mystery. She just can’t help herself. She has to dig deeper in order to bring justice. By doing so, every time she finds herself eye to eye with the ruthless killer.

I also enjoy her interaction with her dog. The expressions on his face that she describes, I see them often on my dog’s face too. It makes me smile even more.

This story takes place in the summer, while butterflies flutter around from one flower to the other. It seems like Eve does not only see them, but feels them as well. 🙂

The author also allows the veil over the past of a certain villager to be lifted…

Honestly, why do we need the police when sleuths like Eve are around?

This series is getting better and better. Book 3 is my favorite up till now. 5 stars.

Thank you, Clare Chase and Bookouture

Profile Image for Mystica.
1,359 reviews23 followers
June 15, 2020
Eve is a amateur detective and lives in a picturesque village. When a sudden death of a celebrity under rather unusual circumstances happen, despite everyone trying to pass it off as a genuine accident, Eve's suspicions are aroused as she feels that things are not quite right.

There is Rupert who was Verity's fiancée - this should have been a happy time but arguments are overheard, there is dissension within Rupert's family with his mother and adopted sister not happy with his choice of bride. There are too many undercurrents in Verity's own professional life to be ignored and Eve who is an obituary writer (I did not know there was a profession like this before) knows she has to investigate further if she is to get to the truth of Verity's death. When a second and a third death takes place, one deliberate, one seemingly accidental there is no room for coincidences and a full scale investigation is on with Eve putting herself right in the middle of a ruthless murderer.

Nice setting, myriad characters and a good story to boot. What's not to like.
Profile Image for Jude Coleman.
54 reviews7 followers
August 28, 2020
Love Claire Chase, all her books that I have read are a.must for any crime,mystery book shelf please read them you won't be disappointed
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,772 reviews96 followers
June 13, 2020
I am delighted to be catching up with the latest happenings in this delightful and charming cozy mystery series. It was great to be back in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter with Eve, her beloved dachshund Gus, and its quirky residents.

In this third instalment, I am taken the local village fair at Seagrave Hall, which promises a day full of merriment. But before it even begins, tragedy strikes and the fiancée of the heir to Seagrave Hall, Verity Nye, plunges to her death from a third storey window. Can amateur sleuth and obituary writer Eve Mallow help to solve this latest murder?

Eve just keeps getting better and better with each story. I find her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing, which is a credit to Clare Chase's writing skills. Gus is also a favourite who has captured my heart. This type of novel is right up my street and I very much appreciated the author's superb and varied characterisation, even though some of the secondary and supporting characters weren't particularly personable.

In this superb story there is certainly no shortage of suspects, as Eve finds out when she starts investigating, including a jealous cousin, a corrupt charity manager and an amorous colleague who might have had the motive to kill. I enjoyed the way in which Eve evaluated the information acquired from her observations and questions. It has a well thought-out, compelling plot, and enough twists and surprises to keep the most demanding armchair sleuth satisfied. Clare Chase writes with such flair and an easy style and also admirable were the wonderful depictions of the setting.

I appreciated the sub-plot snippets that incorporated Eve's personal life (cue gardener Robin Yardley), sprinkled in 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 Mallow next!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bookouture via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Jan.
4,673 reviews49 followers
May 8, 2020
Eve admired the adventuring woman engaged to the local gentry and was beyond stunned as she watched the young woman plunge from an upper story window to the grounds being prepared for a fete. But it was no accident. Eve was there and witnessed the landing but was dismayed when the CID sent the detective who always discounted her. Eve's gig writing is of obituaries for niche market magazines so she was in position to sleuth to find what really happened while performing the usual interviews and due diligence as well as her day job waitressing. She has friends to aid and abet her as well as her dachshund which is a good thing with the multiplicity of suspects! The plot is well executed, the characters engaging, and I loved it!
Although it is in a series background info is clearly present so there is no frustration on that score.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Bookouture via NetGalley. Thank you!
603 reviews24 followers
June 10, 2020
This is the third in the series of the Eve Mallow cosy mysteries and cosy is a very apt description. These mysteries do exactly what it says on the tin and are fast becoming my go to reads when I’m in need of something comforting and familiar. For me they are my current day equivalent of an Enid Blyton book which is a compliment since I devoured all her books with relish thereby beginning my lifelong love of reading.
The setting for these mysteries sounds idyllic. Nestled in the Suffolk countryside is the village of Saxford St Peter and home to our obituary writing,amateur sleuth, Eve Mallow. She is a latter day Miss Marple with a keen nose for sniffing out clues that inevitably lead her to her culprit(s) despite often finding herself in precarious and dangerous situations. When mulling over potential suspects in her latest murder mystery Eve can be found enjoying the local scenery and wildlife whilst walking beloved doggy companion Gus. Her greatest strength is that she is like a dog with a bone when it comes to solving mysteries, to the dismay of the local constabulary and I love her as a character. She’s loyal and hard working a good friend and obviously inquisitive. All in all she’s a people person through and through and exactly fits into the mould of amateur sleuth.
Considering the village is small, an awful lot of misfortune seems to befall residents or their visitors in and around Saxford St Peter. My mind can’t help conjuring up visions of beautiful countryside where one can indulge in long walks and sample gourmet food at the local pub and partake of mouth watering cakes in Monty’s but I’m not sure it’s a safe place to be!! Trouble seems to follow Eve and on this occasion the fair at Seagrave Hall is where the latest mystery takes place. Verity, a renowned deep sea diver, engaged to Rupert Seagrave, is helping to set up stalls for the forthcoming fair when she falls to her death trying to manoeuvre a tent out of a third floor window. An accident or was she pushed??
Under her usual guise of writing the deceased’s obituary Eve is perfectly placed to ascertain vital information from those connected to the poor woman. As per normal there are plenty of individuals with possible motives for murder, none more so than the Seagraves but as you’d come to expect from this cozy mystery series there are plenty of red herrings along the way. There’s something fishy (pardon the pun) about her diving companion Pete and Cora, Rupert’s cousin may have a lot to lose once he inherits the estate, just two examples of possible suspects. It’s like joining the dots and if you can manage that ahead of Eve, then you are a far better detective than I could ever be but I always have immense fun trying. With good friend Viv by Eve’s side, always on hand for her to test out her latest theories, this is yet another hugely enjoyable read, easy to get caught up in. You feel you are in a safe pair of hands with Eve who will get to the bottom of this latest bout of murder and mayhem, trusting that should she need it, the mysterious handsome gardener Robin will no doubt turn into her knight in shining armour. Note to author; please can Eve and Robin embark on a romance as I feel that’s the only thing lacking in her life at the moment.
You could easily read each individual mystery as a stand-alone but to fully appreciate all the familiar characters that are part of this delightful, gentle series I would recommend reading them in order. Undemanding and great fun I adore these whodunnits even though I never seem able to guess the guilty party! Perfect for those who like a mystery all neatly wrapped up without the graphic descriptions of blood and gore and violence.
My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
Profile Image for Lynne Piza.
78 reviews
June 11, 2020
So this is a classic who did it story! I’ve actually never read one like this before, so for me it was refreshing to read something with a different Angle!

After a fatal accident takes place at the set up of the local fete at Seagrave hall, Obituary writer and local resident Eve, manages to get the deal to write Veritys obituary for a magazine! Eve has solved some mystery’s in the past through her work as when she’s been interviewing family she has come across important evidence which, in turn, has helped the police solve cases!

On this occasion a young boy saw someone behind Verity when she had her accident, and although the police are happy to settle it as just that, an accident, Eve feels there could be more to this event and there could be more truth in the young child’s words than people are giving him credit for!

So as Eve starts delving for information from people who knew Verity for her Obituary she has a list of suspects. Could it be?

Cora, the jealous cousin who was brought up by her Aunt and Uncle at Seagrave Hall?

Rupert, Veritys doting fiancé who she was soon to Marry?

Pete, Veritys colleague who is suspected to have been having an affair with her?


Jade, the charity manager that the fete was being run for, who Verity was the ambassador for?

…and can Eve find and stop the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, even possibly herself?

This book definitely kept me guessing the whole way through, I had my suspicion from the beginning and I couldn’t be any more wrong, yet I was sooooo sure!

I did find after the initial event that the story for me, became a little slow with the interviews. I sometimes found bits of the story a little too repetitive, and found it a little hard to stay engaged.

However as the story went on I found myself really wanting to find out who the murderer was!

There are also so many shocking twists in this book, many exciting and dark and devious revelations from a number of the characters and all of these twists keep you guessing as to who it could be!

I really liked Eve as a character, I did feel for her as obviously her children have grown up and left home, so she puts all of her time in to her work but then becomes a little too involved. But she’s extremely determined and very clever at talking to people and getting them to open up! She thinks things through and is thorough with her notes! Who knew she could make obituary writing so exciting!

I don’t want to talk about the other characters too much in fear of giving things away, but I connected with some and couldn’t connect with others!

Over all this is a classically written murder mystery which can and will be enjoyed by many but for me I just felt it was missing something, I cannot quite put my finger on it, but maybe, just maybe mystery just isn’t for me. But that’s nothing to do with the writing as I’m positive fans of similarly written books will thoroughly enjoy this book… but that’s just me 🙂

Anyway I’d like to give this book 3 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ as there were lots of points I enjoyed in this book. The main character is awesome, the twists are surprising and so shocking, the clue keeps you guessing and the ending and result is definitely not what I expected 😀
Profile Image for Kath.
2,415 reviews
May 25, 2020
This is the third in this series featuring Obituary Writer Eve Mallow. It's an excellent series and, although the main story is self-contained and can be read as a stand alone, to get the very best from it with regard to character backstory and development, please do read the first two first.
So, we start with the village preparing for the local charity fair which is being held in the grounds of Seagrave Hall. People are setting up their stalls in preparation for the next day and are shocked when suddenly their attention is stolen by the sight of someone falling from a third-floor window of the Hall. It's the special guess, Verity Nye, an explorer who is also engaged to the heir to the Hall. Everyone thinks it's a tragic accident but doubt is cast when a young boy claims he saw someone else in the window at the time she fell.
Eve inveigles herself into the investigation as she gets the job of writing Verity's obituary, giving her an in to interview friends, family and witnesses. Indeed, her own conversation and interaction with Verity just prior to her death threw up uncertainty as she was clearly acting troubled. Her endeavours start to throw up many suspects but can she whittle them down to find out the truth?
This series started with a bang for me and has continued in the same vein. I really love that the main character is an obituary writer which gives her carte blanche to talk to all and sundry when she has an interesting murder to try and solve. She is surrounded by friends from the village which gives her all the gossip to complement the facts she is trying to unearth. When I started this book I was happy to reconnect with old friends that I had grown to love along the way.
But characters are nothing without a good plot to bring them to life. Something we also definitely have here, as with the previous books. Eve has her work cut out for her as she meets an eclectic mix of suspects and witnesses, all just as well drawn as the continuing cast. The plot thickens as much as it intrigues spinning Eve this way and that, also putting her in danger. And then when all was revealed, we had a finale that both satisfied and exhausted me.
Pacing is perfect and there is no superfluous waffle to distract, so the story gets on with itself very well.
All in all, a great addition to what is shaping up to be an excellent series. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
910 reviews10 followers
May 22, 2020
Eve Mallow and best friend Viv, owner of Monty's Teashop, are setting up their stall for the local village fair held annually at the imposingly grand Seagrave Hall and Eve is delighted to have the chance to chat with the special guest, Verity Nye. Now engaged to the heir to the Seagrave estate, they had met once in Eve's old life in London and she is delighted to feel an empathy with the young, daring, underwater explorer even if she does appear troubled.

The pleasant, relaxed atmosphere changes just a few hours later when Verity inexplicably falls from a third floor window to her death. Having seen the tragedy from a distance and been horrified when a little boy says someone pushed the lady, Eve offers her services to write the explorer's obituary knowing she will be able to do some clandestine investigating alongside her main work. When another body is found and secrets exposed, danger is never far away and once again Eve finds herself front and centre when the killer begins to cover their tracks.

This is book three in a wonderful series and definitely the best yet. Eve is a worthy protagonist, written as a conscientious, friendly woman who wants to see the best in everyone but can't help investigating when the situation arises. Having moved from police procedural novels to this more cosy series of books Clare Chase is quickly becoming one of the best writers of this genre and I can't wait to read more.

I also enjoy the more everyday moments in these books including Eve's dachshund, Gus, the beautiful properties on the front cover and, of course, Eve's friend, Viv. Who can fail to love a woman who dyes her hair the same colour as this season's tablecloths in her teashop? Viv is just great!

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review. I would recommend it to lovers of this series or anyone who enjoys a less frenetic approach to the murder mystery genre.
Profile Image for Barbara Sousa.
222 reviews30 followers
June 1, 2020
There is something particularly cozy about Clare Chase’s Eve Mallow mystery series, and Mystery at Seagrave Hall is no exception. In fact, the series is fast becoming one of my favorites.

In this third installment, obituary writer Eve Mallow is helping her friend (and boss), Viv, set up a booth for the village fete on the grounds of Seagrave Hall, when the celebrity guest, Verity Nye, an acclaimed cave diver, falls from a third-floor window of the hall. Although initially ruled accidental, Verity’s death turns suspicious when a local boy insists that he saw someone else in the window before she fell. Eve’s curiosity is aroused when she is assigned the task of writing Verity’s obituary. With each interview, Eve is drawn further into the mystery, revealing more clues, suspects --- and danger --- at every turn.

Eve Mallow is an intriguing character. She is resourceful, intelligent, and naturally curious. And her chosen career as an obituary writer lends itself well to exploring the mysteries of the deceased. Her friend, Viv, who runs the local tea shop, brings color and levity to the story, while Robin, the gardener with a hidden past, proves a great ally. The mystery itself is a good one, with so many interrelated parties, innuendo, and accusations that it will keep the reader guessing until the end. Yet what I enjoy most about this novel – and the other Eve Mallow books – is the atmosphere, the easy familiarity that draws the reader into Eve’s inner circle and invites us along for the ride. Eve is someone you root for and someone you would like to call a friend.

Needless to say, Mystery at Seagrave Hall is another excellent book in this engaging mystery series. It is well-worth the read, as are the first two books. And I look forward to reading the next installment.

Note: I received an ARC of Mystery at Seagrave Hall from NetGalley and Bookouture. The above is my honest review.
Profile Image for Isabelle D.
322 reviews
June 18, 2020
I had been looking forward to following Eve (and her super-cute dog Gus) in this third sleuthing adventure, and now I can confirm it was a real treat again.

Everything I said the first time still applies:
Set in a charming location (the kind of place that makes you wish it wasn't fictional... except for the murders, of course!), this new series of cosy mysteries follows an ordinary woman (divorced, with two children in their twenties and a cute little dog) as her less ordinary job (writing obituaries) suddenly puts her in a definitely-not-ordinary situation - in the best place to investigate a murder.
The plot was suitably intriguing and I really liked the characters - Eve, her dog Gus, and also her new friend Viv (whose cakes contribute to make you wish the place wasn't fictional). One of my favourite things (that I can mention without spoilers) has to be that Eve not only keeps a spreadsheet to organise her thoughts but also talks about the case to her dog.

It doesn't look like a fourth book is planned but, if there was one, I would obviously consider it a must-read too.

Now, what about the people who haven't read Mystery on Hidden Lane and Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage yet? This third book wouldn't spoil the ending of either of the others but would reveal the secret of one suspect from the first, so I still recommend to start with the first book unless you already have this one, can't buy the others immediately and really don't mind partial spoilers.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Lloyd.
579 reviews44 followers
March 13, 2023
The Mystery of Seagrave Hall begins like a scene from Midsummer Murders. In the grounds of the gracious Hall, villagers are busy setting up stalls and moving tables ready for the Charity Fair next day. But unlike the TV programme, the police force in this English village are not very skilful so it is often Eve Mallow, a professional obituary writer and part time assistant to Tea Shop owner Viv, who solves the crimes which occur. Eve is thrilled at the opportunity to talk to explorer and diver, Verity Nye, recently engaged to Rupert Seagrave, heir to the estate. She has heard Verity’s motivational speech in the past and feels a kindred spirit with her. Thus, she is shocked when Verity falls from a third floor window.

Naturally, Eve offers to write Verity’s obituary. She has proved to be an interesting woman, estranged from her devout Christian parents, but driven to succeed in her life of adventure. Her fiancé seems an odd choice. Would he really be satisfied to stay at home while funding Verity’s next expedition? At first the police declare the tragedy an accident but soon Eve’s fears are realised as there is evidence of foul play. She starts a spreadsheet listing all the suspects and discusses the evidence with her secret friend, Robin, a gardener who was formerly a policeman. She is kept busy interviewing all of Verity’s recent friends and colleagues and she worries about her own safety.

Eve is thoroughly likeable, even if she does annoy bumbling DI Palmer. She is well organised and energetic. She loves spending time with her little dog, Gus and talks to him about the case. Despite her independence she is becoming closer to Robin, but he isn’t there when she most needs him. As other bodies mount up, can she solve the case before she becomes the next victim? Another great cozy mystery.
Profile Image for Janet.
3,700 reviews30 followers
June 9, 2020
4.25 Stars
It’s Eve Mallow’s first visit to the local village fair. But amidst the booths, stalls, tables and tents lurks something darker… A mysterious fall means a new case for amateur detective Eve!
The charity fair at Seagrave Hall is a key date in the Saxford St Peter calendar new resident Eve Mallow is particularly excited by this year’s special guest: the explorer Verity Nye, who is engaged to the heir to the Hall. Eve loves Verity’s determination, and she can’t wait to meet her. But when they talk, Verity hints that she has something troubling on her mind. So after the festive mood is tragically interrupted by Verity’s fall from a third-floor window, Eve can’t be sure that it’s an appalling accident. Especially when one small boy claims he saw someone behind her, someone with large black eyes.
Soon Eve finds herself tasked with writing Verity’s obituary. As she dusts off her notebook and begins her interviews alongside her trusted dachshund sidekick Gus she realises she has a fine array of suspects before her.
This is the third in the series & could easily be read on its own, however if like me you love series then I’d recommend reading from book one. I love that Eve always seems to be at the right place at the right time or from some peoples' point of view at the wrong place at the wrong time. This was another well written engrossing read with red herrings in abundance, strong characters with plenty of depth added to my enjoyment. I also love how I’m getting to know quite a few of the villagers. Viv's cakes make my mouth water, I even like gossip Moira & there's Robin who we are gradually getting to know. I look forward to more in the series
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
55 reviews2 followers
June 5, 2020
This book is a great addition to the traditional "cozy mystery". Set in an idyllic English village with all the classic activities at Seagrave Hall, the local manor house, including the village fair. Also in classic style there's a murder. Cave diver Verity Nye is engaged to Rupert Seagrave, the son and heir of the estate. His family have different reactions to her, some like her, some don't. As the village sets up for the fair there's a tragedy, Verity appears to fall from an upper floor window. A small child says he saw someone behind Verity before she fell. Was she pushed?

Her day job may be writing obituaries, but Eve Mallow has a compelling need to solve this mystery. She interviews the family and friends of the victim, trying to understand a complicated woman and what motivated her to risk her life with dangerous cave diving expeditions. As Eve learns more about Verity she discovers the potential motive for murder in several of them. Then there are more murders, Ruperts father and his cousin Cora. How are these all related?

In a satisfying ending Eve solves the case and can return to her quiet life with her beloved Dachshund Gus. If you enjoy Agatha Christie and other great authors from the classic era of cozy mysteries you'll like this book which has a great cast of characters, a few red herrings and descriptions of a quiet life in a country village (but only on the surface).

I offer this honest opinion in exchange for an ARC from NetGalley.
Profile Image for loopyloulaura.
796 reviews10 followers
June 29, 2020
Obituary writer Eve Mallow is setting up for the village fair when a murder happens right in front of her. Verity Nye was a high profile diver, engaged to Rupert Seagrave who is preparing to take over the family estate.
Who could have wanted Verity dead? Someone from her fiance's family trying to protect the property, someone from her charity dive team or a secret from her past...?
Mystery at Seagrave Hall is the third book in the Eve Mallow series: I have previously reviewed Mystery on Hidden Lane and Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage. There are no spoilers about the previous books so this would work well as a standalone novel.
Eve continues to be a down to earth and likeable character. Firmly established in her new home and village, she is enjoying life away from her feckless ex, working in a tea room in between writing magazine articles. Once again her inquisitive skills are put to the test as she determines to write Verity's obituary and solve her murder too.
Like a classic Sunday night murder drama series, there are plenty of suspects, motives, clues and misdirections to keep the plot entertaining. The setting of a traditional English village and country house feels comfortable and familiar, probably from my ill-spent youth reading Agatha Chrisite novels!
The mystery itself is sustained until the very end and I had no idea of the culprit or motive. Clare Chase's style of writing is relaxed and pleasant despite the murderous plot!
Profile Image for Robert Crouch.
Author 13 books15 followers
September 29, 2022
In the third novel of the series, freelance obituary writer, Eve Mallow, attends a charity fair at Seagrave Hall, hoping to meet Verity Nye, a cave diving explorer. When she falls from a third floor window, it appears to be a tragic accident. Only a young boy claims he saw someone behind her before she fell.

Tasked with writing Verity’s obituary, Eve begins another investigation, risking the wrath of the local police. It’s not long before her suspicions are aroused as she uncovers secrets, rivalries and dishonesty, and a growing number of suspects. As she digs deeper, Eve puts her own life in danger as she pieces together what she’s learned.

The gentle pace and village life underpin this cosy mystery, where Eve Mallow has settled into her new home and new role as local sleuth. She’s a convincing and engaging protagonist, surrounded by sharply drawn characters from the village. Lots of coffee and cake are involved in her investigations, leading to plenty of walks with Gus, her long-haired dachshund.

The mystery is well paced and keeps you guessing up to the reveal. There’s conflict, tension and increasing danger to keep you turning the pages. The gentle humour and antics of some of the locals balance the serious moments and provide the perfect backdrop for the stories.
Profile Image for Liv .
26 reviews1 follower
June 1, 2020
Mystery at Seagrave Hall is the third book in the Eve Mallow Mystery series and is utterly delightful !

Once again we are transported to the village of Saxford st Peter and reunited with our favourite characters as well as being introduced to some new ones.

During the preparations for the village fete a tragic event happens, Verity Nye falls to her death from an upstairs window. Was it simply an accident or was she pushed ?!?

The story was a wonderful read with secrets being uncovered, multiple twists, a very cute Dachshund and a wealthy family that seem to be dying off faster than the police could imagine.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was the perfect cosy murder mystery to become immersed in. It had a multi layered plot that keeps you on your toes! Trying to guess who the murderer was, was much harder than I thought it would be !

I highly recommend this series to the armchair detectives of the world !

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
All opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by the nature in which I received this book.
838 reviews7 followers
June 20, 2020
Eve Mallow is settling in to life in the small village of Saxford St Peter after moving from London and changing careers. She is looking forward to seeing Seagrave Hall up close as she and Viv set up their stall to sell cakes at the mansion's annual fundraiser for charity event. But the activity of setting up for the fete comes to a halt as a young woman falls to her death from a third story window. Verity Nye was a well known deep sea diver who risked her life to do underwater explorations. But she was also engaged to be married to Rupert Seagrave the man who would soon inherit this beautiful spralling estate. A little boy in the crowd announces that he saw someone inside the house push Verity. Bruises on her body indicate he was right. Verity's death is ruled a homicide. Eve will be the one who writes Verity's obituary for Icon magazine so she gets to interview the woman's friends, coworkers and family.
This is the third book in the series. They just keep getting better. I did not guess who the murderer was until Eve figured it out. Love the setting and characters. Looking forward to more.
Profile Image for Desiree.
431 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2020
Mystery at Seagrave Hall is set in a small village in the south of England. The main character, Eve Mallow, is an obituary writer and sort of an amateur detective. When she is putting up her stall in preparation for the annual village fete she watches the village celebrity and fiancé of the son of the manor owners, Verity Nye, tumble to her death from one of the hall's windows.
Eve starts interviewing people for the Verity's obituary and in the progress gathers some information that eventually will lead her to Verity's killer, but not before there some more deaths.

I enjoyed reading the book which has a rather cosy, laid-back feeling. The genre is a kind of cross-over between miss Marple and Midsomer murder. So, if you like either or both of those, this book and indeed the entire series is definitely for you.

Thanks to the author, Bookouture and Netgalley for the Arc I received in exchange for my honest review.
3,5 stars, well, the benefit of the doubt, I'll round it to 4 stars
Profile Image for Anja.
45 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2020
Eve Mallow is an obituary writer and amateur sleuth, so naturally she cannot help herself and starts investigating after a woman falls out of a window and something doesn't seem right.
This is the third installment in a series and to get most out of it it's probably best to read the other two first, which I didn't. I got the main plot but was occasionally confused about the recurring secondary characters.
This is a classic cosy mystery and ticks off a lot of boxes: British countryside, a big country manor, a dog, lots of cake, hints of a romance.
The plot was a bit slow for my taste, it only ever picks up pace after the first half of the novel, until then the same suspicions are repeated over and over again without serving the narration. But the second half makes up for it.
For a cosy I found the number of characters that had nothing to do with the mystery a bit too much but that may be because of the first two volumes which I didn't read.
So the mystery was alright, but unfortunately the main character was a bit bland and I didn't much care for her.
Profile Image for dnsyl57.
272 reviews4 followers
June 4, 2021
"Mystery at Seagrave Hall" is book #3 in the Eve Mallow Mystery series by Clare Chase. Eve is looking forward to the annual fete at Seagrave Hall and to meeting the special guest - Verity Nye, an adventurer who happens to be engaged to the Hall's heir Rupert. While the locals and other vendors are preparing the stalls for the event, a tragic fall results in the death of Verity. Was it an accident or a murder? As an obituary writer, Eve is hired to write the tribute but soon finds herself with more questions than answers.

I've really been enjoying this series. Eve's profession is unusual but it also gives her unique insight and access to solve murders. The villagers are a diverse lot but also fairly typical of small communities. Eve has only been in the area for a bit over a year at this point, but she has quite a good lay of the land and who she can call on for gossip or support or insider information. Monty's teashop treats sound delish and an evening at the Cross Keys Pub would be a lovely way to end the day in this charming village.
287 reviews6 followers
May 18, 2020
Eve Mallow, an obituary writer and amateur sleuth, is thrilled to learn that the adventurer Verity Nye is the special guest at the local village fair. However, when her idol falls out of an upper story window Eve has her suspicions that it may not have been an accident, so of course she must investigate.

This is my first introduction to the Eve Mallow series and I can’t wait to go back and read the the previous books. I loved that it is an updated twist on the classic British cozy with a modern day Miss Marple. Her occupation as an obituary writer is so clever. It solves the implausible amateur detective problem of constantly running across murders. It makes total sense! And as a dachshund lover, the addition of Gus made my day. The mystery itself was solid and all of the characters were well written. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Seagrave Hall. I can’t wait to order it for my library and think it will appeal to all of my cozy loving patrons.
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