A Village Fete Murder (Julia Bird Mysteries #3) by Katie Gayle

Published January 27th 2023 by Bookouture

About the Book: Julia Bird can’t wait to attend the annual village party at the local stately home, with its tea tents, cake stalls, and… dead body in the maze?

The annual village celebration at Berrywick House is underway, complete with over-decorated cake stalls, fiercely contested flower competitions, and even a maze for the disappointed losers to hide in. Julia Bird, now a well-known – even notorious – member of the community, with her trusty Labrador Jake, has thrown herself headlong into the festivities. But her reputation for adding drama to any event stands up yet again when she discovers a dead body in the maze…

It seems Ursula Benjamin, village know-it-all and prickly baking competition participant, has been strangled – and the killer has to be someone at the fete. As Julia grapples with finding yet another murder in Berrywick, she starts to wonder, could one of the competitive cake-bakers have taken the contest to deadly new heights? Or is there something darker in Ursula’s life that led to her untimely demise?

Embroiled once again in a murder enquiry, Julia isn’t about to leave the investigation to the police. Like it or not, she’s involved, and she’s going to help them solve the mystery. But when there’s another death, and it’s clear the murders aren’t isolated incidents, the stakes become even higher. Can Julia figure out the identity of the killer, and prevent any further dastardly deeds, before the wholesome spirit of the village is ruined forever?

If you like utterly gripping English mysteries, then you’ll love A Village Fete Murder. Perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton, Faith Martin and Betty Rowlands.

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Village Fete Murder is the third book in the Julia Bird Mystery series and I enjoyed this one as much as the first two. Julia is a retired Social Worker living in the small village of Berrywick, dating the local doctor/coroner, Sean O’Connor, but she can’t stop getting involved in situations. In this book, she and Sean are attending the Berrywick Spring Fair, and they find a dead body in the middle of the maze. It is suspicious, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that is murder. Julia begins to investigate and finds out that the victim, Ursula Benjamin, is a teacher with a reputation for being a great maths teacher, but she has also been bullying students for years. Did one of those students kill Ursula?

I really like Julia and her place in the village. She is a volunteer at the local charity shop, is in a book club with her best friend who is also the librarian, has a dog that failed service dog training and wreaks havoc on his walks and is dating the local doctor. DI Hayley Gibson is the police officer she works with, much to Hayley’s chagrin. I do like Hayley, she becomes more real with every book. This story has a storyline that deals with mental health issues and it is realistically done. The mystery was well written with some red herrings, some twists and more than a couple of suspects. I had no idea who the murderer was, but as the reveal takes place, it all makes sense. Another enjoyable visit to Berrywick and I recommend this book if you enjoy a good cozy mystery.

Purchase Link: Amazon: https://geni.us/B0BD5Y4QSQsocial

About the Author: Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.



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