Cherringham 4-6 by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards continues where the first compilation of cozy mystery novellas left off. As part of a series that is released as one story each month, this series features Sarah, a native of Cherringham returned after a messy divorce in London, and Jack, a former NYPD widowed detective who lives on a barge on the Thames.
“Thick as Thieves” features the discovery of a valuable, ancient Roman dish found buried in a farmer’s land. The laws about the ownership of such finds in England are complicated, causing a top archaeologist from nearby Oxford to come the next day to authenticate it before they can start the process to make any money off the dish. But when they all gather to see the plate appraised, the plate can no longer be found in the archeologist’s safe! This requires a lot of tricky research in order to find and capture the criminal!
In “Last Train to London,” Jack is about to show off his baseball pitching skills at the school carnival when the puppeteer falls dead, presumably of a heart attack. When the disorganized principal realizes she never performed the required background check on this man who has volunteered at the school for 30 years, she asks Jack and Sarah to look into whether she has anything to worry about. The pair keep uncovering details to cause further confusion about the puppet master and his past.
“The Curse of Mabb’s Farm” centers around a farm supposedly cursed either by the Celts or the three sisters labeled as witches centuries earlier. Now the farm’s curse seems to be rearing up again, with spontaneous fires and other calamities arising, so the local vicar’s wife asks Sarah to step in with Jack to get to the bottom of this curse.
Neil Dudgeon does the narration of this series of audio performances and has a really comforting voice that well suits the stories.
The series of stories compiled as Cherringham 4-6 is even better than the first set of stories. The creativity exhibited in the plots earns this compilation five stars!
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