REVIEWED BY JAMES PHILLIPS
(Pan Macmillan: 2024) by C. L. Miller
We all know that Suffolk is a sleeper, valuable to those who recognise it; a county where its treasures are hard to find or easy to miss for the uninformed. But, what if that was the perfect setting for the scene of a murder? C. L. Miller has worked wonders in this her debut novel. This book is perfect for fans of ‘cosy crime’ and of good humour – think of Richard Osman’s stories but set right here on our doorstep.
Stuffed full of antiquarian knowledge, we follow Freya and her aunt Carole after a dear friend dies in unexpected circumstances, leaving behind a cryptic letter setting them off on a hunt not only for a killer, but for answers to a haunting story. The reader traverses narrow country lanes, cottages, chocolate box villages and tucked away manors of the kind that we all vividly recognise as touchstones of our landscape. Danger gets ever closer. As characters are slowly revealed and the plot unravels, there’s a palpable and gripping sense of crescendo.
There is so much that can be said for this novel which is full of excellent research, with lifelike and likeable characters that leap from the page. This novel is a delight that we are all sure to enjoy, and, perhaps somewhat ironically given its subject matter, so new it’s not yet been officially released. It will be released on 29th February 2024.
We will be graced with the author’s presence on 16th May at the Suffolk Book League, so what better reason to pick up an easy but masterful read and treat yourself to some murder set in the subdued and secretive parts of our county.
We will welcome C. L. Miller on 16th May: https://www.suffolkbookleague.org/events-1/c-l-miller