Killer at the Cult: A Reverend Annabelle Cozy Mystery (A Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mystery) Paperback – January 21, 2019
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- Publisher : Mesa Verde Publishing (January 21, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 268 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0988795515
- ISBN-13 : 978-0988795518
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.67 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #375,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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But something odd is going on in her little village. New people have appeared in the village, living in a large house that's been empty for years, and selling flowers, produce, and crafts. And they keep trying to talk to people about their beliefs--veganism, and the rituals of St. Petrie and Lord Darthamort. Her flock is very disturbed, fearing they may be a dangerous cult. Annabelle isn't at all convinced of that, but figures she should check them out. She drops by for a visit, is invited to stay for dinner--and afterwards is persuaded to stay for their bonfire and ritual. The ritual involves the men donning animal costumes and chasing the women, and she is soon running through the woods around the house--where she trips over a dead body.
Of course there is no chance that Annabelle won't conduct her own investigation. This is especially true after Chief Inspector Ainslie, handling the case himself in the absence of Inspector Nicholls, quickly settles on a suspect Annabelle finds unlikely. As she becomes convinced the man is being railroaded, she has to keep poking around--as the situation gets stranger and stranger.
At the same time, the children of the village are turning up with an unlikely number of injuries, all seemingly related to ponies, animals the villagers generally know very well and don't make so many mistakes with.
Chief Inspector Ainslie is set on his suspect and not interested in contrary facts Annabelle finds, Philippa her church secretary and housekeeper is being judgy about her lack of judginess about the cult members, her cat needs her annual trip to the vet which she always resists, and the children are a challenge to keep on track with preparations for the play.
And then Mike makes a surprise visit, ducking out of a couple of his conference sessions to lure her into a walk with their dogs. Their relationship might not be quite that stalled after all!
The tone here is light and friendly, with gentle humor. At no point is anyone ever stupid for the sake of the plot. It's just a lot of fun.
I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and bought it as soon as available. I'm reviewing it voluntarily.
A group – some in the village call it a cult – has moved into one of the outlying properties. It calls itself the Brotherhood of St. Petrie (puzzled, Annabelle wonders out loud if he could be a minor saint). Members of the small group make various things or provide services like blacksmithing, and they do seem relatively harmless. Their leader is charming and rather charismatic, as Annabelle finds when she visits.
One visit becomes rather extended; she’s invited to participate in something that resembles a cross between howling at the moon and a frolic in the forest. It’s odd behavior but appears rather harmless fun. When she’s had enough, Annabelle leaves to walk to her car – and stumbles over the body of the group’s leader. He’s been shot with a bolt gun.
Detective Inspector Mike Nicholls would usually be the officer in charge, but he’s at a training session. DI Nicholls is also Annabelle’s romantic interest, but she’s wondering if the relationship is going anywhere; at best, she thinks, it’s stalled. The officer in charge is rather pompous and lights almost immediately upon a suspect. And the assisting officer is a woman who has a definite love interest in DI Nicholls, and she has little if any use for Annabelle.
What Annabelle comes to learn is that almost every member of the group had a possible motive for killing their leader. And he turns out not to be the kind, charming man everyone thinks he is.
“Killer at the Cult” by Alison Golden is the latest installment in the Annabelle Dixon series. Officially, it’s classified as a “cozy” mystery, which means the violence is limited and generally off-stage and there’s little or no graphic content (in other words, you’d recommend it to your mother or grandmother without question).
Golden has three mystery and suspense series involving signature detectives. The Diana Hunter series is set in Vancouver; the series includes “Hunted,” “Snatched,” “Stolen,” “Chopped,” and “Exposed.” The Rev. Annabelle Dixon series is set in Cornwall. And the Inspector David Graham series is set on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. Golden also includes recipes mentioned in the books at the end of the Anabelle Dixon stories. Raised in Bedfordshire, England, Golden now lives in the San Francisco area.
The Annabelle Dixon mysteries are light, fun reads, and “Killer at the Cult” faithfully follows its predecessors. Aside from identifying the murderer, the additional question the story asks is, will DI Nicholls do something and reignite the romance with the good reverend?