Dead in the Water by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards.

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About the Book

On the night of the school prom, a young teacher is found dead in the Thames in a drug-related accident. It seems – at first – to be another sign that Cherringham High is spiralling out of control. The new head however is convinced that the teacher’s death is suspicious and quietly calls in Sarah Edwards.

With her one-time detective partner, Jack Brennan, back in America, Sarah is at first reluctant to take on the case. But when she does get involved, it soon becomes clear that the tragic accident might really be a case of murder – and even Sarah herself could be in danger …

“Dead in the Water” is the first full-length novel set in the sleepy English village of Cherringham, featuring the unlikely sleuthing duo Sarah, an English web designer, and Jack, American ex-cop. Thrilling and deadly – but with a spot of tea – it’s like Rosamunde Pilcher meets Inspector Barnaby.

My Review

Dead in the Water is the first full length novel in the Cherringham series. Previously Sarah and Jack’s adventures had taken place in a series of monthly mysteries. I have never read any of these but on the strength of this novel I will be doing so. I really enjoyed it.
On the press release it is likened to Midsomer Murders, the long running very unbelievable detective series on British TV. I preferred this novel. I found the main characters convincing and likeable, Sarah especially. A single parent whose children were reaching the age where everything becomes a battle.
The main theme of the novel must be every parent’s nightmare, that of drugs being found on school premises and then a suspicious death linked to that find. Despite the theme there are no gory details in the novel. It does remain very much in the ‘cosy crime’ genre, showing that it is possible to read and enjoy a story without every grim detail.
There are a few discussions about previous cases, but no spoilers so if like me you want to read the short stories published previously. It’s a very good novel, I have struggled with cosy crime novels previously but this will be a series that I will follow.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

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