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The Nidderdale Murders

by J. R. Ellis

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228798,899 (3.77)1

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I received a copy of this book free of charge through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion, and while I had not read the previous books in this series, I was able to easily follow along. Previous cases were mentioned a few times but were explained well and didn't take me out of the story at all.

DCI Jim Oldroyd and his team are called to a small village in Yorkshire by the name of Niddersgill to investigate the murder of retired judge and current grouse moor owner Alexander "Sandy" Fraser. The twist here is that a barmaid clearly saw the face of the murderer (as he weirdly made sure to look right at her and smile before running off), and you would think this would be an open and shut case, but that wouldn't make for a good story, so no, it's more complex than that. Then when a second murder occurs, things get even more complicated.

I really enjoyed this book, probably because I love murder mysteries set in small villages over in England. If you've ever seen Midsomer Murders, I was reminded of this series when I was reading the book. I loved the characters and thought the plot moved along at a smooth pace.

In summary, this was a very enjoyable, easy to read book, and I look forward to going back and reading books 1 through 4 of this newly discovered series.

5/5 stars. ( )
  jwitt33 | Dec 10, 2020 |
This is the 5th book in the series. J. R. Ellis sometimes refers to previous cases worked on by Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd and his team but knows how to give just enough information without bogging the story down.

The pacing of the novel was very leisurely. This mystery has a twist and I was able to figure it out but not determine the who behind it. For some reason I wasn't in any hurry to finish reading to find out. ( )
  astults | Oct 6, 2020 |
Nothing special

This is my first Yorkshire Mystery and based on this one it isn't a series I'm going to rush out and buy. The story is based on a bunch of coincidences that I don't find plausible. The police characters are the usual sorts. The writing is sturdy but not exciting. Given that this is #5 in the series I imagine that at least some are better so I'll give this one an average.

I received a review copy of "The Nidderdale Murders: Yorkshire Murder Mystery Book 5" by J. R. Ellis from Amazon Publishing UK through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Sep 28, 2020 |
The Nidderdale Murders begins with what appears to be an open-and-shut case of murder. A persnickety and unlikeable judge retired and bought a manor house with a hunting moor where he hosted grouse-shooting parties to the dismay of animal rights activists. But such was his tight-fisted parsimony, he managed to make everyone else dislike him. Even his oldest friend had cause to wish him ill. So, being shot would have generated a long list of suspects except the shooting was witnessed. Unfortunately, the suspect is nowhere to be found.

DCI Oldroyd and his team come to help the local investigation and they find far too many reasons to kill the judge and no trace anywhere of the suspect. Something just feels wrong and that becomes even more clear with a second murder with a second witness seeing a second killer. Something strange is afoot.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Nidderdale Murders and look forward to reading more in this series. This was the fifth in the Yorkshire Murders series and I never once felt lost. There were brief references to past murder investigations, but just as a way of noting similarities or differences and not once necessary to follow the investigation. The book is fair and all the clues are there so we reach the same conclusions as or just before our detectives. It was a clever, methodical procedural with a creative solution.

I received an e-galley of The Nidderdale Murders from the publisher through NetGalley

The Nidderdale Murders at Thomas & Mercer | Amazon Publishing
J.R. Ellis at Facebook ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Sep 16, 2020 |
What a charming and refreshing police procedural mystery this was. I was captivated by the Yorkshire Dales setting, the relaxed country vibe, the quirky characters and the small town feel. Our main protagonist, DCI James Oldroyd has completely won me over. He's highly respected and admired by his colleagues for his amazing ability to resolve the most difficult of cases. He is thoroughly committed to his job and can never seem to turn off his analytic brian when it comes to solving a mystery. That's great for the police department but a bit rough on his loved ones. There's a tremendous depth to his character. On one side, he's incredibly good at his police work without any display of arrogance. He is a leader by example. Yet, there is also a touch of humility and introspection to his character. He enjoys stories of Sherlock Holmes as well as the wealth of Shakespearean literature and finds inspiration for resolving mysteries by opening his mind to disciplines outside of police work. There is also a touch of philosophic pondering, which I found absolutely delightful.

The writing in the earlier pages of the book is fairly straight forward police procedural language - not too desciptive. "Just the facts, ma'am." As the solving of the mystery becomes less cut and dry, the language becomes more descriptive, more painterly and rather philosophic. The cast of characters is tremendous and well developed. The pace is steady up until the last quarter of the book at which point the urgency accelerates and one's heartbeat rises, with the story resolving into a satisfactory conclusion when all is said and done.

Although this fifth book of the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series was my first foray into this much admired series, I did not find myself at a loss for having missed the previous four books.There was enough background information provided on each of the long-standing characters to set the tone and provide firm-footing. However, as enjoyable as this one was, I'll definitely be going back to catch the earlier books.

I am grateful to publisher Thomas & Mercer for having provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book through NetGalley. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

Synopsis (from publisher's website):

In a Yorkshire Dales village everyone has a motive for murder—except the killer.

A retired judge is shot dead outside the Dog and Gun inn in the remote Yorkshire village of Niddersgill. There’s a witness who saw everything, and the gunman’s on the run; the case should be open-and-shut for DCI Jim Oldroyd. But the murderer had no motive for wanting Sandy Fraser dead and, what’s more, no trace of him can be found.

As Oldroyd and his team cast the net wider, they discover that Fraser wasn’t without enemies in Niddersgill. As the wealthy owner of a grouse moor, he’d clashed with farmers, debtors, hunt saboteurs and blackmailers. But none of them were at the scene of the murder. And when a local shopkeeper is gunned down in a second senseless attack, it’s clear that these killings are anything but random.

Surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, Oldroyd faces a race against time to connect the crimes and find who’s behind them. But with all the evidence sending him down dead ends, can he get one step aheis ad before someone else is killed? ( )
  KateBaxter | Sep 7, 2020 |
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