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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 23 reviews
on March 26, 2007
Catherine is a woman who has moved from New York City to a small English village near Oxford where her daughter, son-in-law and grandchild live, in order to get away from her ex husband who has left her for another woman. Her son-in- law, Peter, is slated to win an award and receive a prestigious appointment at Oxford. Everyone is shocked when the position goes to another professor, Edgar Stone, who is not as qualified as Peter, nor as well liked. When Sloan is found dead, Peter is the most likely suspect, since Sloan made a phone call to the police telling them Peter was threatening him with a knife.
In her heart, Catherine knows Peter is innocent and she is determined to prove it. Catherine and her daugher have a shaky relationship, so the daughter turns to her father for help and he hires a solicitor for Peter. Her ex-husband being in the picture adds more stress for Catherine, although she tries to be civil and concentrate on Peter's problem.
This mystery does have a few weaknesses. There are too many digressions, and it takes a while to get into the plot. On the other hand, the descriptions of Oxford and the surrounding area, the nice chapter headings with quotes from English literature, and the appeal of Catherine's character as an independent woman who has made a new life for herself later in life, makes it well worth reading.
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on March 21, 2005
I thought that the first book, Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood Mystery (Harwin, Patricia. Far Wychwood Mystery Series.), was good, but this volume is even better. I was gripped by the story, sitting up until the wee hours with it, and am becoming very fond of the characters. I would recommend that fans of Jeanne Dams' Dorothy Martin series give it a try.

This series features a woman who has moved from New York City to a small English village near Oxford, where her daughter, son-in-law and grandchild live. Catherine's relationship with her daughter is prickly, but thankfully not overwrought into melodrama; I sympathize with both characters. Harwin doesn't try to substitute bickering for plot. This volume has a lot of fun with the difference between England and the US, especially in vocabulary. The chapters are headed with quotes from 15th-16th century works that are exceptionally well-chosen for their beauty.

In this book, Catherine is forced to confront her ex-husband at family affairs. One thing that I like about this series is that it appears that the character is not going to be locked into an unchanging formula, facing the same problems without resolution over and over again. When her likeable son-in-law is accused of murder, and Catherine finds that the police see no reason for further investigation, she goes into action. Although I would like Harwin to find solutions for Catherine other than breaking and entering, I am very happy to say that she is NOT the sort of amateur who, hearing that an axe murder might be in the cellar, goes down to check.

While I don't think that Harwin is necessarily ruling out romance, I like that Catherine is an independent woman who can do just fine by herself. Harwin doesn't follow the rather tired plot device of having the character find Mr. Pluperfect in the first book.

In addition to Jeanne Dam's Dorothy Martin series, I also recommend Monica Ferris' Needlecraft Mysteries featuring Betsy Devonshire and Katherine Hall Page's Body in the ... series, featuring Faith Fairchild.
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on January 26, 2013
Extremely disappointed that there will only be two books in the Far Wychwood series....I loved everything about this middle aged American woman moving to the lovely English village of Far Wychwood..such a delightful setting and I was getting attached to all the characters and was looking forward to getting to know them all...please find another publisher!!!!
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on October 22, 2014
I am enjoying this little "cozy," as I anjoyed the first in the series, and I hope there are more. She has done a teaser to indicate that this may be the case. I am biased, however, since Ms. Harwin is a local writer.
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on June 7, 2015
I loved the book and "Arson and Old Lace", and wish there were more. Not sure why the publisher opted nit to continue publishing! REGRETTABLE!!!
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on September 22, 2014
Loved this second book in the Far Wychwood series and very sad that we will not read more about Catherine's life in the tiny English town.
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on April 19, 2005
Love the Patricia Harwin Far Wychwood Mysteries! Harwin has developed a lovable character with a temper, a too-quick tongue, a stubborn nature, but a soft heart. Love the quirky characters and word pictures of the Oxford area. Can't wait for the next book!
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on April 25, 2013
How relate-able ! I love this author! I was so involved in this lady's life! I want more of her reads!!!
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on March 28, 2005
This is a delightful lite (tea cozy) mystery. Do not forget the first of the Far Wychwood series called "Arson and Old Lace." If you enjoy reading the Aunt Dimity series and the Dorothy Martin series you will love this book.
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on March 25, 2013
I can pick up a Patricia Harwin book and know it's excellent mystery, CLEAN, fun... and enjoy where she is living like your really there! Just wish there were a lot more books!
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