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The Wychford Murders (1986)

by Paula Gosling

Series: Luke Abbott (1)

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632424,677 (3.88)None
Wychford is a quiet & charming west country village. Or rather, it was - until Mrs. Tompkins was found with her throat cut. Detective Chief Inspector Luke Abbott is assigned the case

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Paula Gosling can write at least three very different styles of mysteries. This is a classic British village mystery (though definitely not a "cosy") solved by Chief Inspector Luke Abbott. To some extent it follows the classic romance pattern in which a woman is caught between two men --in this case Jennifer Eames, a woman doctor coming home to in take over part of a general practice long handled by the uncle who raised her, caught between Luke Abbott, with whom she had had a teen romance when they were both poor young people growing up in the town, and Mark Peacock, the "son of the manor" , whose family has lost money as Jennifer and Luke have gained at least solid professional status. Mark also has mental issues for which he is supposed to be medicated,so when a series of three women are murdered, the second being his mother, he is an obvious suspect, though not the only one. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 25, 2017 |
First in what seems to be only a two-book mystery series featuring Inspector Luke Abbott, The Wychford Murders just didn't do it for me.

It seems that a cleaning woman has been found with her throat slashed on a towpath along the Purle River in Wychford. DCI Luke Abbott is called in to investigate this horrible murder. However, while he's busy with this case, there are two more murders that he must turn his attention to, and he a) must decide whether the small town is dealing with a serial killer -- and b )must catch the killer before anyone else dies. But things are not always as they seem, as Abbott quickly learns, making his job incredibly tough.

There is an okay mystery at the heart of this book, but I think that the author threw in way too much on the romance side for this to work well. Abbott is reunited with an old girlfriend, Jennifer and sparks ignite, but I felt that this whole love interest thing cheapened the story a bit and slowed down the crime solving. Also -- some of the characters were so overdrawn as to appear stereotypical and I found this a bit off-putting.

I don't mind a love interest in a crime novel as long as it's kept in the background, but if you like British murder mysteries (and actually, this one is written by an American author) that are a bit heavy on the romance, then you'll probably enjoy this one. I probably won't be coming back to this author myself, because I prefer something a bit edgier, but then again, a lot of people thought this was a very good book. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Nov 4, 2009 |
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Wychford is a quiet & charming west country village. Or rather, it was - until Mrs. Tompkins was found with her throat cut. Detective Chief Inspector Luke Abbott is assigned the case

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