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Eve Mallow Mystery #4

Mystery at the Old Mill

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When the calm of Saxford St Peter is disrupted by a deadly fire at the Old Mill, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow finds herself investigating a most surprising mystery!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter is desperate to know more about Harry Tennant, the newcomer who owns the Old Mill. He usually keeps himself to himself, but he’s finally invited the villagers round for drinks, and Eve Mallow isn’t the only one looking forward to having some questions answered.

But two days before the party, a terrible fire sweeps through the mill, and Harry is found dead. When Eve passes the burned remains of his beautiful house, she can’t resist the call to investigate. Especially when it turns out quiet, charming Harry was living a double life as the famous advice writer Pippa Longford. Eve has to wonder what revelations were contained in the letters he received… and whether one of them was worth killing for.

Accompanied by her reliable dachshund sidekick Gus, Eve starts digging. She soon realises Harry was at the centre of a web of lives – and lies. There’s an uncle desperate to inherit, two women who thought they were his one and only, not to mention everyone who shared their darkest secrets with him. Was one of those strangers much closer to home than Harry knew? And can Eve untangle the truth before she finds herself face to face with a killer?

319 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 4, 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 66 reviews
331 reviews190 followers
December 9, 2020
“She interviewed the living to understand the dead”

‘Cozy’ mystery, or traditional murder / mystery, or perhaps a mixture of both! No matter how you choose to define this story, there is only one superlative to describe it – Amazing!

This is professional obituary writer and amateur sleuth, Eve Mallow’s, fourth case to solve and she has obviously arrived in Saxford St Peter with a certain amount of personal baggage she is hoping to offload, but which still comes back to haunt her every so often. Even so, this book works fine as a stand alone story, as the details of Eve’s past are revealed slowly on a need to know basis and the picture never feels anything but complete and up to date.

A great opening which drew me right in; a plot which just threw up one surprise after the other; and a rather satisfying ending that left me feeling full of hope, promise, and a job well done!

This multi-layered, suspenseful storyline moved along at a steady pace, with natural peaks and troughs in all the right places, enough to keep the atmosphere tense and me glued to the edge of my seat, wanting to turn the pages ever faster, as the bodies began to mount up and Eve’s suspect list grew in length. This fiendishly twisted plot was well constructed by an author consummate in the art of storytelling and skilled in the imagery of words. Great observational and descriptive dialogue lifted the characters from the page, making them three dimensional as they inspired my imagination, but unfortunately not my powers of deduction, as I failed dismally to spot the perpetrators until it was too late and they had already been unmasked.

The red herrings were spread liberally and seamlessly around the crime scene, and with so many people in this sleepy little village having secrets and personal hidden agendas, suspicion was liable to fall in any direction, sometimes being deflected to all the wrong places, as suspects sought to cover their tracks and draw attention away from themselves and onto others. The crisp narrative and dialogue was fluid, with plenty of gossip, a good deal of heart-searching and a liberal splattering of lighter-hearted moments amongst Eve’s effortlessly conversational questioning style, but nonetheless very concerted and focused investigations.

Author Clare Chase, expertly guides her amateur sleuth through this veritable minefield of lies and deceit, providing her a few close encounters of the scary kind – but is she deterred? – not on your life! Only as the investigation builds to jaw dropping, heart stopping climax, do events rather slew out of control, as we see Eve’s shields really down, exposing her vulnerability and inexperience.

True to the traditions of a well developed cozy mystery, the characters are every bit as important as the plot and the crime, and Clare has researched her small village community structure very thoroughly, before committing pen to paper and beginning to define and flesh out her sprawling cast of characters, in rich detail. This makes them very easy to connect with and become invested in, although there are one or two I probably wouldn’t want living too close me, and a couple of gossips I would try to avoid being alone with. There is some excellent character interaction and some quite strong emotional and family connections for Eve to unravel during the course of her investigations and of course, there are those who are not quite as innocent or nice as they would have me believe, but did I mange to spot them? – not on your life!

Eve is a middle-aged, ex-wife, and loving mother, who would stand up well alongside Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, or any of her more modern day counterparts, of which there are many. She has just the right amount of nosy neighbour tendencies, with the ability to sniff out a juicy murder/mystery, good powers of deduction in first building then whittling down a suspect list, and yet can stand up to serious scrutiny in her own right as a stalwart and trusted member of the community. She seems like a good and loyal friend to have and I look forward to following her new and blossoming friendship with the new man in her life!

Oh! And talking of sniffing out a suspect or two, I can’t end this review without mentioning Eve’s canine side-kick, Gus. What he lacks in physical size, he certainly makes up for in stature and wisdom, after all Eve does spend much of her time talking to him like an investigative partner and he is always a ‘go-to prop’ when she needs an excuse to visit a crime scene or chat to a suspect. To be honest, Eve might well have been toast in this particular investigation, if Gus hadn’t been the one to raise the alarm and set the wheels in motion for a rescue!
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,787 reviews1,627 followers
December 7, 2020
Mystery at the Old Mill is the fourth instalment in the Eve Mallow Mystery series, set in the picture-postcard village of Saxford St Peter. Freelance obituary writer and part-time waitress at her friend Viv’s tea shop, Eve is partaking in the local tradition of offering tours around her home—Elizabeth cottage—on the eve of the winter solstice. An annual celebration of the history of the cottage includes fine food and wine and good conversation and most the villagers are invited. Eve knows many of them but newcomer to the area Harry Tennant, a mysterious and flirtatious figure who gives his occupation as a consultant, which is rather vague, piques her interest. Eve understands Harry will be hosting his own party at his home, The Old Mill, in January and they agree to meet once it winds down. But the celebration is not to be as Harry's new home is targeted by an arsonist, destroying much of the property, and the conflagration kills him in the process. Not long after his suspicious death, the villagers learn exactly who Harry was. He authored many advice columns in the local newspaper using the alias Pippa Longford and therefore held many secrets of those villagers who had written in looking for ”her” advice.

Did someone kill to protect their secrets after discovering his identity or is the truth more complicated than it initially appears? It's always a delight to read a new Mallow mystery and it feels very much like meeting up with an old friend. It's just a simply superb, cosy piece of escapism which draws you in with its effortless charm and riveting plot. The small village atmosphere is true to life throughout and I imagine Saxford to be like the hamlets in Midsomer Murders—beautiful but sinister-looking too. We also have the gossips who frequent these locations where everyone knows everyone and secrets don't stay secret for long. There is plenty of action, drama and tension throughout this engrossing tale and the twists and liberal use of misdirection are used to great effect creating an unpredictable storyline that ducks and dives. There are plenty of suspects so it's difficult to pinpoint the culprit and the writing flows seamlessly from page to page. I would go so far as to say this is the best and most gripping so far in the series and I can't recommend this perfect slice of cosy mystery and murder any more highly.
Profile Image for Barbara Sousa.
222 reviews30 followers
April 21, 2021
There is something so “cosy” about Clare Chase’s Eve Mallow Mystery series, and I mean that in the best possible way. Mystery at the Old Mill, the fourth book in the series, is no exception.

Harry Tennant has a secret. Unbeknownst to most of his neighbors in in the village of Saxford St. Peter, he masquerades as an “agony aunt” (think, “Dear Abby”) for a gossip paper. While most of the advice he dispenses is good-natured, some of his counsel is over-the-top. When Harry’s home at the Old Mill is burned down, with him in it, the question arises – has he gone too far? As Eve Mallow, tasked with writing his obituary, begins her research, she discovers that Harry – and other members of the community -- had other sordid secrets of their own. With a wealth of angry suspects, Eve’s investigation is daunting, propelling her to unmask a killer.

Eve Mallow is my kind of heroine. She is smart, detailed, and meticulous. She takes calculated risks, but is fully aware of them. Her murder investigations flow nicely from her profession. It’s never a stretch for her to be investigating the subject of her obituary. And she loves dogs, particularly her dachshund, Gus, who is a great character on his own. The mystery is fresh and exciting, ratcheting up the suspense bit by bit to a nail-biting conclusion. The clues, cues and red herrings are so plentiful that it keeps you guessing right up to the end of the story. But as with most cozy mysteries, the people are the heart of this book. Saxford St. Peter is teeming with charming and quirky characters. Colorful Viv and gossipy Moira each add a spark to the story, while Robin emerges not only as a potential romantic interest for Eve, but also a solid, honest and dependable confidant.

Mystery at the Old Mill is one of those rare novels where everything comes together perfectly. From the riveting prologue to the climactic resolution, Ms. Chase weaves a story that captures both our hearts and our minds.

Note: I received an ARC of Mystery at the Old Mill from NetGalley and Bookouture. The above is my honest review.

Profile Image for Janet.
3,714 reviews30 followers
December 6, 2020
4.5 Stars
Everyone in Saxford St Peter is desperate to know more about Harry Tennant, the newcomer who owns the Old Mill. He usually keeps himself to himself, but he’s finally invited the villagers round for drinks, and Eve Mallow isn’t the only one looking forward to having some questions answered. Just two days before the party, a terrible fire sweeps through the mill, and Harry is found dead. When Eve passes the burned remains of his beautiful house, she can’t resist the call to investigate. Especially when it turns out quiet, charming Harry was living a double life as the famous agony aunt Pippa Longford. Accompanied by her reliable dachshund sidekick Gus, Eve starts digging. She soon realises Harry was at the centre of a web of lives – and lies. There’s an uncle desperate to inherit, two women who thought they were his one and only, not to mention everyone who shared their darkest secrets with him.
This is the fourth book in this riveting entertaining series, it could easily be read on its own but if like me you love series then I’d recommend reading from the start as the relationships between the villagers do develop throughout the books. Eve as ever is eager to investigate & when she gets the call to write Henry’s obituary then she's given the green light to do so. Once again I was engrossed from cover to cover. There were plenty of suspects especially as Eve delved into Henry’s past, there were also red herrings, twists & turns so I was left guessing until near the end. The pace was very good & never lagged, the characters were well portrayed & had depth, I loved Eve who is forging a new life for herself & how she’s quickly become a loved village member, there's also the growing relationship between her & Robin, which I hope continues.
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Profile Image for Nadishka Aloysius.
Author 24 books60 followers
December 8, 2020
The story was well structured. The protagonist Eve Mallow was very astute and thorough. It was quite interesting entering a world of agony aunt columns and obituary writers - not a subject matter that is commonly dealt with. It left me wondering as to how much we really know about the people around us.
Although it was a good mystery it was not a page turner - which was a good thing because I was able to put the book done and deal with real life issues with no guilt!
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,787 reviews98 followers
December 9, 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 fourth instalment, it is the eve of the winter solstice and Eve is offering tours around her home, Elizabeth cottage, in accordance with local tradition. The annual celebration of the history of the cottage includes fine food, wine and chat and most the villagers have been invited. Newcomer and consultant, Harry Tennant piques her interest and he intends to host his own party at his home, The Old Mill, to mark his arrival in the village. However, the celebration doesn't take place as Harry's new home is targeted by an arsonist, the fire destroying much of the property and killing Harry in the process. Not long after his suspicious death, the villagers learn exactly who Harry was; an advice columnist in the local newspaper using the alias Pippa Longford. He may have therefore held many secrets of villagers who had written in looking for some of Pippa's advice...

Amateur sleuth and obituary writer, 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, and I now feel as though I am meeting up with an old friend when I'm reading a new Eve Mallow mystery. Her dog, Gus is also a favourite who has captured my heart. I very much appreciated the author's superb and varied characterisation, and in this brilliant story there is certainly no shortage of suspects, as Eve finds out when she starts investigating.

Mystery at the Old Mill 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 location. I could picture myself taking in the village atmosphere, sipping tea and eating red velvet sponge cake in Viv's tea shop, Monty's, or exchanging pleasantries and gossiping in Moira's shop. This was a story that held my attention well and I loved that things came together for a great resolution. Whilst I recommend reading the books in order, you don’t need to be familiar with the characters to fully enjoy these mysteries.

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.
December 7, 2020
Eve Mallow, one of my favourite amateur sleuths and obituary writers, is back with her trusty and beloved sidekick Gus, in the fourth instalment in this delightful series.

The town of Saxford St Peter is again hit with tragedy when a fire at the Old Mill claims the life of its new owner Harry Tennant. As Eve writes his obituary, she uncovers that Harry has been living a double life and as his lies are exposed, wonders if there is more to his death than meets the eye…

The mystery plays out well and when it is established that Harry’s death was no accident, the reader is given a number of characters to suspect. Clare Chase never makes the culprit obvious, which always makes for a surprise when revealed and not who you expected at all.

What I love the most about this series is, I always know I am going to read something great and Mystery at the Old Mill is no exception. It has been beautifully written, its plot is fresh, has plenty of red herrings and with its cast of quirky characters, makes for an enjoyable and effortless read.

The Eve Mallow series is one I can not recommend highly enough and is a masterclass in the cozy mystery genre. I get so much enjoyment from reading these books and it is a series that has definitely captured my heart. My only critique, they always end way too soon!

Mystery at the Old Mill is a fun and entertaining cozy mystery and as I always say, can be read as a standalone, but you would be missing out on three other fantastic books. Go on, go get them. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Thank you to Clare Chase, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mystery at the Old Mill, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
603 reviews24 followers
November 3, 2020
Stepping into the pages of a new Eve Mallow mystery is like stepping into your favourite well worn comfy slippers, the setting and characters oh so familiar. Eve now feels to me like a trusted (if fictional!)friend that I can’t wait to catch up with. I experience a real sense of coming home when I embark on another episode in the life of Eve and her friends, reacquainting myself with this loveable obituary writer cum super sleuth extraordinaire and the beautiful setting of Saxford St Peter. All the regulars are on hand to accompany Eve through her latest adventures as amateur detective, from Viv, owner of Monty’s tea shop to local storekeeper and village busybody Moira to mysterious local gardener Robin, not forgetting her most trusted and loyal sidekick Gus the dachshund. In Mystery at The Old Mill, the fourth in this series, you can count on more than one dead body making an appearance as Eve happily snoops into the lives of local residents, satisfying her curiosity and her love of people watching. Nothing escapes Eve’s beady eye in what promises to be another delightful and entertaining read.

On this occasion relative newcomer to the village and owner of the old mill, Harry Tennant will become the first victim in this whodunnit, his assailant setting fire to this beautiful old property. Gossip spreads like wildfire or in this case arson (!) in these parts, thanks to the likes of Moira and Robin’s connection with the local constabulary and so it’s not long before this unwelcome news reaches the ears of Eve. The fact Harry was due to have welcomed his fellow neighbours into his home to celebrate his arrival in the village makes his death all the more timely and suspicious. At Eve’s midwinter open house just days before, he’d divulged he may have some interesting snippets of gossip to reveal which suggests that the subject of this not so secret information is desperate for it to remain private. What kind of secret could be so damaging that our culprit resorts to murder? Rest assured, with Eve and Gus, frequently used as a decoy to justify her nosiness, the case will be solved. The assumption that there will be more collateral damage along the way is one of the reasons you keep turning the pages.

The most pertinent question for Eve to answer is what could Harry’s death and Judd Bentley’s questions surrounding the whereabouts of agony aunt Pippa Longford have in common?
Well, it will come as no big surprise that Harry and Pippa are one and the same, this agony aunt/uncle having written for national magazine the Real Story, dispensing often controversial pieces of advice. Under the guise of writing his obituary it’s up to Eve to determine exactly who knew of Harry’s true identity and in unmasking the man beneath the disguise, will evidence of his true, rather unsavoury character point to the killer?

Clare has provided yet again an abundance of colourful, interesting characters to keep her readers guessing as to the killer’s identity. Displaying her usual skill at misdirection your attention constantly lurches from one suspect to another, quickly becoming entangled in a web of suspicion. There’s Harry’s cleaner, Kerry Clifton, a Mrs Tiggywinkle type character who claims she had a good relationship with her employer; Camilla the local florist who has recommended Pippa Longford’s services to more than one village resident; his neighbours the Abbotts; his uncle Tristan and Judd Bentley, a new groom at the local stables who seemed more than keen at Eve’s open house to make contact with the elusive Pippa. Finally there’s a mystery blonde, seen previously at Harry’s residence who could also be in the frame. So many potential suspects but will you identify the killer ahead of our accomplished sleuth Eve? I couldn’t!

Although I’m fairly adept at guessing the identity of culprits in the many psychological thrillers I often read, I have NEVER guessed the guilty party in any of Eve Mallow’s mysteries which makes them all the more engrossing. Coupled with the cozy village atmosphere in which gossip is exchanged and often overheard in Moira’s shop or at the tables in Monty’s tea shop makes this series deliciously moreish. I’d love to wander down the country lanes, meander along the river and indulge in some hearty fare at the Cross Keys pub or share a pot of tea with Viv at Monty’s in this setting that no longer feels fictional to me. Clare has surpassed herself in bringing this location alive so that the more I read of this series the more I think the characters and the setting would translate brilliantly onto the small screen, providing perfect prime time Sunday drama. What I also love is that whilst I highly recommend reading the books in order, you don’t need to be familiar with the characters to wholeheartedly enjoy these crime mysteries. The author punctuates the storyline with salient pieces of background information which can either serve as an introduction for new readers or a recap for erstwhile fans. In her creation of Eve Mallow, Clare Chase allows you to indulge in an inoffensive and sanitised version of death and drama without ever losing a sense of intrigue. With each new mystery, Eve is fast becoming my favourite sleuth and my desire to see a possible romance brewing between Eve and Robin may finally be realised going by the events in this latest book. If you haven’t already discovered this series then what are you waiting for???
My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sue Wallace .
5,900 reviews62 followers
December 26, 2020
Mystery at the old mill by Clare Chase.
Eve Mallow mystery #4.
I really enjoyed this book even though I haven't read the first 3. I loved Eve from the start. I had no clue who the killer was.  I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.  4*.
Profile Image for Danielle Rose-West.
Author 10 books35 followers
January 5, 2021
Love this series so far. The characters are brilliant and leap off the page. The stories are well told, wonderfully thought through and I can't wait for more.
Profile Image for Robert Hill.
Author 3 books2 followers
December 15, 2020
One night in early January, a fire breaks out at the old mill in the village of Saxford St. Peter, with the new owner, Harry Tennant, trapped inside. The mill burns to the ground, and when the police declare the cause of the fire is arson, rumours and gossip begin to fly about who could possibly have wanted Harry dead. As a professional obituary writer, Eve Mallow is familiar with digging around and unearthing the truth about the lives of her subjects and has found herself solving murders in the past with her own investigations (much to the ire of the local constabulary). So, of course, when Eve is asked to write Harry’s obituary, she jumps at the opportunity … especially when she discovers that Harry Tennant is the man behind agony aunt columnist Pippa Longford, notorious for her unusual and, often, reckless advice.

Armed with the knowledge that Harry Tennant had probably made enemies of many readers through his ill-thought through advice, Eve begins to investigate along with her trusty sidekick, Gus the dachshund. As she delves deeper into the secret life that Harry led, Eve starts to uncover a dark web of misdirection and lies. It’s clear that knowing these secrets is worth killing for, but now Eve has to find the killer before she becomes the next in a mounting pile of victims.

This book delivers on what it promises: a cosy mystery set in a quaint English village that you can read without feeling overly taxed. And if you like this type of book, then you’re in luck as this is the fourth in the Eve Mallow series by Clare Chase (plus there are a whole bunch more books by this author in other series of a similar genre, it seems). Unfortunately, I think that the fact that this book was the fourth in its series is precisely what let it down for me. There are a lot of established characters who reappear in this book with little to no introduction – obviously they had been fleshed out and developed fully in previous books (I hope, anyway), and the author didn’t reintroduce them in great detail here. Because of this, I found myself scrambling to place everyone for about the first 20% of the book, and this really threw me off, decreasing my enjoyment of the book.

This being said, though, I have tried to look at the book independently of the fact that it is part of a series, and in many respects, I think that helped. However, I think this book suffered in pacing problems at times, with parts of the book dragging (scenes where Eve and Viv baking a fruit cake were described in great detail, down to the ingredients that were being weighed out and folded into batters), and in other places, the plot zoomed by really quickly (one very clear example I can think of is the final confrontation of the book). I think that if this had been smoothed out and if there had been a wider variety of settings for the book (there are only so many times that action can be propelled along by going for dinner at the pub, or by sitting and staring at an Excel spreadsheet), the pacing issues I picked up on may have been solved.

As far as the mystery goes, I think that this was a relatively good story, and I felt that there was a lot of work put into building up the clues and character traits that led to the big reveal of the book. One criticism I do have is that I felt a bit as if there was too much mystery. Without wanting to give away anything as relates to the plot, I felt that the mystery became too big for a quaint English countryside mystery and felt as if things had been transplanted from a big city into a countryside setting. For example, there were characters who had apparently lived in the village for years, but Eve (who has also been there for a fair while) seemed to be meeting and interacting with them for the first time. This seemed a bit odd and out of place for what sounded like a small community (after all, the book opens with a community Christmas party, where everyone joins Eve at her house for a traditional Christmas do). This made the ending feel slightly unbelievable to me as I couldn’t reconcile that a journalist character who is a key community player in many respects was so oblivious to other residents in the village, especially since there seemed to be emphasis on the village being very small and connected.

On the whole, I think the book was decent, but I wouldn’t rank Clare Chase as one of my favourite authors. I can recognize that this type of book may be right up someone else’s alley, but unfortunately (and, I will admit, surprisingly) it just didn’t quite do it for me. A good cosy mystery is a true treat, and I always love sinking into one, but in future I may be a bit more discerning with Chase’s books as they may be a bit hit-and-miss for me.

Thanks to NetGalley UK and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for a review.
102 reviews
November 17, 2022
I do enjoy this series and recommend it to anyone who likes cozy mysteries. Clare Chase has written into being one of my favorite characters, Eve Mallow. And her companion, Gus, is a dachshund beyond compare. He often steals the scene!
Profile Image for Bookworm86 .
1,412 reviews118 followers
January 24, 2021
Title: Mystery at the Old Mill
Author: Clare Chase
Publication Day: Dec 7th 2020


When the calm of Saxford St Peter is disrupted by a deadly fire at the Old Mill, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow finds herself investigating a most surprising mystery!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter is desperate to know more about Harry Tennant, the newcomer who owns the Old Mill. He usually keeps himself to himself, but he’s finally invited the villagers round for drinks, and Eve Mallow isn’t the only one looking forward to having some questions answered.

But two days before the party, a terrible fire sweeps through the mill, and Harry is found dead. When Eve passes the burned remains of his beautiful house, she can’t resist the call to investigate. Especially when it turns out quiet, charming Harry was living a double life as the famous advice writer Pippa Longford. Eve has to wonder what revelations were contained in the letters he received… and whether one of them was worth killing for.

Accompanied by her reliable dachshund sidekick Gus, Eve starts digging. She soon realises Harry was at the centre of a web of lives – and lies. There’s an uncle desperate to inherit, two women who thought they were his one and only, not to mention everyone who shared their darkest secrets with him. Was one of those strangers much closer to home than Harry knew? And can Eve untangle the truth before she finds herself face to face with a killer?

A completely charming page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.


Review for 'Mystery At The Old Mill' by Clare Chase.

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous

Publication date 7th December 2020

This is the first book I have read by this author. It is also the fourth book in her 'Eve Mallow Mystery' series but can be read as a standalone.

I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful eye catching cover and its intriguing synopsis. It also stated in the synopsis that this book is perfect for fans of Faith Martin amongst others. I am a fan of Faith's books so am looking forward to see if it loves up to this. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a prologue and 44 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in a fictional town based in Suffolk, UK 🇬🇧. The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture. I have actually visited Suffolk on several occasions so am looking forward to seeing if I recognise anywhere that Clare has based the book on.

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonist is Eve Mallow. The benefits of third person perspective are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out on anything.

This book is very well written making it a lovely smooth read. The atmosphere and vivid descriptions are perfect for the plot and helps give that cosy feeling while reading. The synopsis and cover suited the storyline perfectly. I'm looking forward to reading more of Clare Chase's books including any prior to this one. This book can easily be read as a standalone and anything that has happened prior is described in just the right amount of detail.

THE storyline itself if a lovely cosy mystery that kept me guessing all the way through. I had no idea who the killer was so a huge congratulations to Clare. It is getting harder and harder to surprise me with the amount of crime books I read but you definitely managed it. I enjoyed that it wasn't really a case of just one mystery but how several linked smoothly and everything was tied up nicely at the end, hate loose ends!! I really enjoyed going on this adventure with Eve and investigating with her. The book was filled with crime, mystery, murder, red herrings and some suspense. I als believe that Clare portrayed village life perfectly and the community within them.

THE characters were all realistic, strong and an eclectic bunch to say the least. It was really fun learning all of their different characteristics, personalities and backgrounds. I love Eve and of course Gus. Eve felt to me to be slightly eccentric which I enjoyed the most about her. I also enjoyed meeting all the other villagers and Viv as well. I'm hoping something will come from Eve and Robin's friendship banishing the cringe worthy Ian for good.

Overall an absolutely compelling and page turning cosy mystery that is perfect to read on front of the fire.

Genres covered in this novel include Mystery, Suspense and Crime Fiction amongst others.

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of cosy mysteries, Faith Martin and Agatha Christie.

319 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 5/5 (I loved it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

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@ClareChase @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86




Author Bio:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries. After graduating from London University with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She's fascinated by the city's contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She's worked in diverse settings - from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons - and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.

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

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

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareChase_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareChaseAu...


Profile Image for Kath.
2,416 reviews
November 23, 2020
We are now on book four of this series and every one has been a winner! So... do yourself a favour and start from book one and read in order. You can thank me later!
So, Eve Mallow, my favourite fictional obituary writer - OK only, but it gives the crime fiction genre a unique spin - is once again embroiled in a murder mystery. The victim is mostly unknown to Eve apart from a short meeting at her open house but she is still shocked when his house - The Old Mill - burns down, his dead body found in the ashes, she finds out that he was the resident newspaper Agony Aunt! Even before being tasked with writing his obit, she decides to investigate - she's got the bug by now, well, we are on book 4! Along with trusty sidekick - of the canine variety - and ably assisted by her village friends and gossips, can she solve it before the police - again!?
This series does have it all - it ticks all the boxes I need for a great read. Cracking characters - series and episode extras - main and supporting - are all well drawn and wholly believable. But characters, even good ones, would be a little redundant if they didn't have a tale to tell. A mystery to act out. And again here we have that too. With secrets, lies and duplicitous behaviour, along with a fair few suspects all with motives, it definitely kept me on my toes throughout. Pacing is good and matches the narrative throughout. The story gets on with itself very well, aided by the fact that there is no superfluous waffle or padding. And the ending, when it eventually came, was perfect, and not something I saw coming either. As I said, ticked every box!
All in all, a cracking addition to one of my now favourite series. Can't wait for next time. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Profile Image for Isabelle D.
322 reviews
December 10, 2020
Once again, I had been looking forward to following Eve (and her super-cute dog Gus) in this fourth 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.

The fifth book, Mystery at the Abbey Hotel, is already on my to-read list for next year.

Now, what about the people who haven't read Mystery on Hidden Lane, Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage and Mystery at Seagrave Hall yet? This fourth 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 BrummieGirl.
285 reviews
November 27, 2020
I loved ‘Mystery at the Old Mill’. It absolutely oozed charm and then along came a murder of course. The location descriptions were calming and quaint, and if it wasn’t for the danger element, I’d love to live in Saxford St Peter.

I’d like to highly praise amateur detective, Eve Mallow’s sounding board and confidante, Gus the dog. I really enjoyed their conversations and walks as the mystery unfolded. Don’t worry, Gus the dog doesn’t talk back but he is the perfect little short legged partner and I found the descriptions of him adorable.

The opening was intriguing and as gripping as an opening could be. Soon, I was introduced to the main characters of the village through a house tour setting and it really made me feel Christmassy. The scene was well and truly set when the Old Mill, another local residence, is burnt to cinders. That’s when the mystery begins. There is so much more cosy excitement to come after this. This was a real, armchair read. Perfect for this time of the year and definitely one I’d recommend. It’s fun, and surprising at every turn.

The obituary writer day job for Eve was a master stroke, she had the perfect way to enter everyone’s world and investigate the murder. This book is well plotted and the interviews were great to read. There’s plenty of danger and mystery, definitely enough to have kept me reading into the early hours of the morning. Really enjoyable read and the setting - perfect!
913 reviews10 followers
November 29, 2020
Following a local tradition Eve Mallow opens her beautiful home to the villagers of Saxford St Peters on the winter solstice sharing both her hospitality and the history of Elizabeth's Cottage. Chatting with newcomer Harry Tennant that evening is a pleasure and she is looking forward to his own get-together in early January.

The party was never to be as fire guts Harry's home and when Eve is asked to write the obituary his secrets begin to emerge. Not as popular as she'd first thought he was, her discoveries leave Eve with an interesting and varied list of suspects as she finds herself facing a danger she isn’t sure she can escape.

This has become one one of my favourite series of cozy crimes. Clare Chase has written a relatable protagonist whose only difference to those around her is her occupation as an obituary writer and the ability to work out links others don't. Eve likes people and wants to do her best for anyone who needs it, has friends who are interesting, a lifestyle which is realistic and a very cute dog!

The murders she investigates are always complex with twists aplenty and more suspects than you can shake a stick at! The writing is free flowing and both easy to read and get lost in. I wait with high expectations for each book and they never disappoint.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for loopyloulaura.
796 reviews10 followers
December 22, 2020
Eve Mallow makes a new friend at her winter party and is looking forward to his hosting the next party in the new year. But the second party never happens as the old mill is burned down with Harry inside. Eve discovers that Harry was actually an agony aunt with a forceful style that led to legions of fans but also enemies: could he have given the wrong advice and revenge is the motive? She is called upon to write his obituary and begins to investigate his murder...
Mystery at the Old Mill is the fourth book to feature Eve and the village of Saxford. However, it works perfectly well as a stand alone novel as there are no spoilers about previous books.
The style of writing is easy to read and there are no gruesome forensic details so I would definitely describe this as a cosy murder mystery. The focus is on the investigation by amateur Eve assisted by former police officer Robin and her dachshund Gus. There are plenty of suspects for Eve to question so the mystery is sustained well over the course of the book.
Eve remains a very likeable character and comes across as determined rather than nosey. Her ex continues to stir up her dismay and I felt a little sad that we didn't meet her children at Christmas. She has good friends in the village and, as I've said before, this would make a perfect Sunday night TV drama series.
Mystery at the Old Mill is a classic and enjoyable murder mystery novel with a strong lead character and entertaining plot.
Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,198 reviews377 followers
January 9, 2021
Eve Mallow doesn't just write amazing obituaries, her job goes further than that. In fact, she is pretty much a detective, because before she can even begin writing about the deceased she wants to get to know them in order to form a full picture of their life. By so doing, she digs deep. In the case of the current death, Harry Tennant, he happens to be a man Eve recently met. She found him to be quite a likeable guy and was rather shocked when she found out he was dead.

Just like several times before while Eve begins asking questions, she quickly learns that Harry was indeed murdered. What is more is that she discovered that he was living a double life as Pippa Longford, a famous writer. Something Harry was up to was enough to get him murdered, and Eve is determined to find out what exactly that was.

Eve will go to any lengths possible to find the answers, and relies on communication with former policeman Robin for assistance. All the while she has her adorable dachshund Gus by her side. Also, Eve has to deal with some personal matters along the way.

In this terrific addition to a delightful series, I enjoyed watching Eve successfully maneuver her way through, even though she found danger along the way. I am loving this series and am looking forward to the next installment.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Annarella.
11k reviews105 followers
December 7, 2020
This is an excellent addition to an excellent cosy series and I think each novel is better than the previous.
It’s a highly entertaining and gripping story, a complex whodunnit that kept me hooked till the end.
There are murders, there are a lot of secrets and there’s a lovely village where things could not be what they seem.
Henry Tennant is the victim but he’s also an intriguing character, full of secrets and with a double life. He’s complex character and you cannot help loving and hating him at the same time.
Eve is a great character: she’s curious and she wants justice for the victims. I love her discussions with Gus (one of the most lovely dog in the cosy world) and I love how she feels empathy toward the victims and the people involved.
The character development is excellent and the recurring characters are likeable and well thought. The new ones are well fleshed out and intriguing. My favorite is Robin and I would be curious to read about his previous life.
The mystery is solid, full of twists and turns, and the solution came as a surprise.
I can’t wait to read the next instalment, this one is highly recommended.
Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Profile Image for Robert Crouch.
Author 13 books15 followers
January 15, 2023
In the fourth book of the series, obituary writer Eve Mallow throws open the doors of her house at Christmas and meets Harry Tenant, the new occupier of the Old Mill. While charming on the outside, Harry closely guards his social life. After he’s killed in a fire that destroys his home, his double life comes to life, suggesting he’s the victim of murder.

There are also strong hints that people in the village consulted him in his role as an Agony Aunt. When Eve’s asked to write his obituary, she has the opportunity to look into his murder and a list of suspects that keeps growing as she digs deeper.

Like the previous novels, there’s plenty of village life, intrigue and secrets to entertain readers alongside the murder investigation. Eve’s already demonstrated her prowess as a sleuth in the previous novels, and she continues to use her obituary writer cover to good effect, ferreting out details ahead of the police at times.

It all adds up to an enjoyable and entertaining cosy mystery, supported by a continuing village backstory and Gus, her delightful dachshund. Due to the growing list of suspects and gentle pace, I struggled to recall who was who in places, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.
Profile Image for Mystica.
1,360 reviews23 followers
December 21, 2020
Eve lives in a quaint, rather old fashioned village. She has an unusual occupation too. She is an obituary writer for the rich and famous and supplements her income with working for the local cafe, a job she enjoys and the camaraderie amongst locals.

When Mark the mill owner meets with a gruesome end, a top magazine approaches her to write his obituary. The write up becomes more interesting when it is revealed that Mark was murdered and that there are several strands to Mark's life and story which were well hidden until now. Mark has been the face of an agony aunt, well known but giving out at times controversial and ascerbic advice. Advice which it seems has lead many people into paths of despair rather than uplifting them from their present downward spirals. This brings up many suspects who could have done away with him gladly.

Eve along with her friend retired Detective Robin slowly unravel the mystery and when a second victim is found, the pace hots up to solve the crime before more victims succumb.

The setting alone was very interesting, the story was good and since I had never heard of an obituary writer before, I was intrigued.
Profile Image for Desiree.
431 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2020
After reading mystery at Seagrave Hall I was looking forward to the next book in this series and hoping that it would be as enjoyable a read as the previous one.
I didn't get disappointed: mystery at the old mill combines the same cosy feeling as mystery at Seagrave Hall and is full of suspense. Eve's relationship with police detective turned gardener Robin is slowly developing in something more. The conversations at the teashop and the village grocery add some couleur locale and I love the interaction with her quirky dachshund Sam.

This episode features Harry Tennant, the new owner of the old mill, who perishes when his mill is set alight. Of course Eve can't wait to investigate his death under the guise of writing his obituary. A couple of deaths later and some suspects less, Eve discovers the real culprit and almost pays with her own live but gets rescued by an unusual hero.
4* for mystery at the old mill. I want to thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
641 reviews
September 4, 2021
Eve Mallow left her life in London to settle in a small cottage in the village of Saxford St Peter. As a freelance obituary writer, she can be based anywhere. As one would expect, the quiet village provides lots of opportunities for Eve to find subjects for her obituaries and for her murder investigations.

The premise of this series is unique, but somehow it has lost its charm. The descriptive settings are the best part of the books. The characterizations are well drawn, the baking scenes are inviting, and the gardens are very detailed. The author surely must be a gardener and a baker.

But that just isn't enough to keep me reading any more books in this series. There were too many characters in this story and Eve suspected most of them. The murderer wasn't obvious to me but I did settle on the person a few chapters before the denouement.

This story just wasn't that interesting. The author finally begins to write a love interest story line for Eve which seemed likely from the first book. But this isn't enough to save the series.

2.5 stars
840 reviews7 followers
December 20, 2020
Saxford St. Peter's newest resident lives in an old mill that he remodeled. But Harry Tennant doesn't go out much, so his neighbors are curious to learn more about him. Eve Mallow hosts her annual holiday open house to raise money for charity (an event that is expected of owners of historical properties in the village). Harry attends and openly invites everyone to a party on January 2nd during which he will show off the inside of the mill. He also promises to give interesting revelations about some villagers. Before that can happen, the mill burns to the ground with Harry inside.
To their great surprise, Harry's identity as a popular but controversial advice columnist is made known after his death. Eve gets the job of writing his obituary for Icon magazine. Of course she will also try to discover who killed him now that they have learned the fire was arson. Surprisingly enough, lots of people could have wanted him dead for a variety of reasons. Another great book in this series.
Profile Image for Anne Wright.
351 reviews5 followers
June 22, 2021
Mystery at the old Mill (Eve Marllow Mystery #4
by Clare Chase

A cottage with a history and a tradition that Eve Mallow upholds to invite the neighbours in to tour the cottage and toast the owner the cottage is named after.

Eve is an obituary writer and occasionally works with a police office solving mysteries.

Just after the new year a fire breaks out in one of the mills that have been converted into a home and when they can get in to investigate there is a body.

Eve is asked by a magazine to do the obituary and consequently ask questions.

I have to admit to finding the story slow - well written but slow. Eve is the main protagonist and whilst she solves the mystery well i was sort of left wanting more - more action so I am going to try Murder on the marshes another chance for the action and movement in a story i crave.
136 reviews1 follower
October 25, 2021
I love this series of books

Well defined plot . Excellent story telling. Interesting cast of characters. A likeable protagonist with a Dachshund named Gus. All add up to a smart and cozy read. I read this book cuddled up with my Dachshund, Albert. And we both finished it in two lazy, rainy afternoons.I have nothing but kind words for this Author as I am enoyingy this entire series. These Covid times really have brought so much stress and anxiety into our lives and this escape for me into Eve Mallow's delicious slice of heaven is a place I very much treasure. I'm looking forward to the next in the series. I am trying to pace myself as there are just three books left. I do intend to read the other books by this talented writer. I highly recommend these sparkly jewels to anyone who appreciates a lovely, cozy, British Crime story. And some wonderful tea shop color.
Profile Image for Jan.
4,688 reviews50 followers
November 12, 2020
The man seemed like an ordinary man who enjoyed chatting folks up sometimes until his murdered body was found after the fire that destroyed the Old Mill where he lived. It turned out that he ran an advice column and a bit more. Eve Mallow (and her trusty dachshund) was drawn to the investigation even before getting a call from one of her employers asking for her to write a signature obituary on the man. The more she learns about him, the more suspects come out of the woodwork. Lots of red herrings, suspense, and plot twists as well as the usual interesting characters. Of course I stayed up way too late just to finish it!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Bookouture via NetGalley. Thank you!
Profile Image for Karren Hodgkins.
278 reviews15 followers
November 28, 2020
I have read all four of the Eve Mallow Mystery series. This very likeable character and her unusual career certainly help her to did deep once again to work through and find out “who dunnit”. The friendships and village life, once again, complement and balance out the drama that unfolds. I enjoyed the plot twists in this one. Its another good one for those of us who enjoy that cozy, murder mystery.

I am thoroughly enjoying seeing how Eve's character develops with each book and am encouraged to see a key relationship develop just a little more. Its almost a mystery in itself.

With thanks to #NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture and the author, Clare Chase, for my free advanced reader copy to review in exchange for an honest opinion.
Profile Image for Caroline Venables.
625 reviews8 followers
January 10, 2021
I always love reading these books, the Eve Mallow series has become a favourite of mine.

As a cosy crime fan, it is reminiscent of Agatha Raisin and Barnaby stories where murders are committed in idyllic country settings.

Again Eve finds herself in the middle of a mystery when Harry Tennant is found dead when his house is set on fire.

It soon becomes clear that Harry Tennant wasn’t all he seemed to be, he was an agony aunt, obviously working under an assumed name.

The column he wrote was successful and many people wrote in with their problems, did he discover something he shouldn��t?

Another great addition to the series, with lots of twists as Eve delves into Harry’s world. I can not wait until the next book.
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