Get Your Free Audiobook

Murder at Hawthorn Cottage

A Melissa Craig Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Joan Walker
Series: A Melissa Craig Mystery, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.64

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Meet Melissa: cat lover, caring mother… daring detective?

Melissa Craig is absolutely delighted with her new life in an old crumbling cottage, spending her days pruning the primroses and getting to know Binkie, the ginger cat next door. She only wishes she had made the move to the countryside sooner.

But when a knock at the door brings news of a shocking discovery, she suddenly finds herself thrown in to the middle of a baffling mystery: the bones of a young woman have been found in the woods just behind her new home.

Perhaps the little village of Upper Bembury is not as idyllic as it first seemed?

Strange phone calls in the night convince Melissa that the police are barking up completely the wrong tree, so she can’t resist doing a little digging of her own. From the bingo hall to the beauty salon and beyond, her search ruffles a few feathers and uncovers many of the village’s most scandalous secrets, but gets her no closer to finding the culprit.

The discovery of a tatty old photograph in a drawer is the final piece of the puzzle she needs, but as a newcomer in this close-knit community, does Melissa have what it takes to get to the bottom of this extraordinary murder mystery alone?

A joy to read! An absolutely unpausable whodunnit for fans of Agatha Christie, P.D. James and Faith Martin.

This book was previously published as A Little Gentle Sleuthing.

©2018 Betty Rowlands (P)2018 Bookouture

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t get past Chapter 3

I did not enjoy the narration and the flowery detail was too predictable. Returned without finishing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cosy but deadly!

A great relaxing read which keeps the reader's attention but doesn't tax the brain too much! I enjoyed it and came back for more.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sally
  • Sally
  • 27-10-2018

Good clean mystery.

I enjoyed this novel. It is interesting and full of twists. Would recommend to anyone who likes a well written mystery.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 09-09-2018

Without A Doubt,.. The Strangest Narration I Have EVER Heard

Yikes,..!!.. A book can be absolutely stellar... but if you choose the wrong narrator,.. and give her free reign to muddle the accents of everyone in the entire book..(except the heroine) you are sure to have a recipe for disaster.
A quirky , regional inflection, not unlike a peculiar aunt is FINE for one character,.. but she did it for men, women,young,old, good ,bad .. impossible not to be peevish by the time it was blessedly over...

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LM
  • LM
  • 26-03-2019

Grating Narration and Unrealistic Characters

I've read and enjoyed several Betty Rowlands mysteries, but I couldn't even finish listening to this one. Melissa, the main character, is uncharacteristically feeble and a bit slow. Iris the next door neighbor is an irritating mix of bossy bohemian artist ("even the smell of meat will make me puke!") and neurotic, judgmental spinster (strippers who were assaulted "were asking for it" or "had it coming to them," yet she lusted after the married vicar -- goodness knows why). The mystery took many, many chapters to kick in and was so underwhelming that I lost track of it.

The worst part, however, was the narrator, whose reading was affected and overdone. My biggest peeve was that she over-pronounced her "sh" sounds to a jarring degree, so that "measure" sounded like "meaSHure," as though she were channeling Sean Connery. She also, weirdly, used high pitched voices for the men (though the screechiest voice was saved for Iris) and varied the volume so much that she went from almost a whisper to a shriek within the same conversation.

I don't know if the author simply took a few books to find her footing so the weak characters and plot in this one were aberrations, but the narrator is a deal breaker. No more for me.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deborah
  • Deborah
  • 16-06-2019

Narrator’s voice gives entire cast grey hair & wrinkles

Another reviewer did warn about this narrator; she sounds like an intelligent, cultured woman of @65- nothing wrong with that, unless one is asked to voice a character or cast of characters in their 30s-40s. Something in the tone of her voice just ages
everyone. Story was not bad, maybe a bit boring


6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beatrice
  • Beatrice
  • 11-11-2018

4 stars

The story started off slowly, creating the characters and establishing the setting. I almost gave up on it. But, I continued to listen and it was worth it. Murder at Hawthorne Cottage is a realistic story with engaging and believable characters. The supporting cast is also interesting and adds to the feeling of genuineness of the mystery. There are several twists and turns and the villain is a complete surprise. I look forward to the next book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kozz
  • Kozz
  • 15-09-2018

Top-notch

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Audible really brings a book to life. On to Betty's next cozy mystery!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for joan gourley
  • joan gourley
  • 30-12-2018

Great surprise

After reading many mysteries including several cozy ones. This was a great book. I would rate this one of my favorites. The characters were fun so interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nola A. Stewart
  • Nola A. Stewart
  • 25-10-2018

What a waste of my time!

Could not even finish this book. Poor plot, even worse story telling. The narrator though her voice beautiful had a difficult time creating characters that were believable. It was a slow build to a not so interesting mystery with unbelievable characters and choppy ending. I skipped to the end of the book to find that out.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Frieda
  • Frieda
  • 20-09-2018

splendid!!

This is going to be a very interesting series. Don't miss it!! I liked narrator.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JeanT
  • JeanT
  • 02-10-2018

Everything’s good about this book.

I had a hard time putting this down. A lot of personal details and mystery/crime clues made this one full of suspense and anticipation. I’m looking forward to her next book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M RICHARDS
  • M RICHARDS
  • 14-10-2018

Another place to be.

I’ve enjoyed this beautifully narrated and highly descriptive story thoroughly both, whilst washing the car and in the gym. The time just flew by with a well paced and beautifully written, twisting tale that took me to another place.
Murder in the morning next!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for fotini
  • fotini
  • 22-11-2018

Sadly disappointing

When I saw that this was the first of a series I was so pleased as I love following sleuths from one book to the next. It was sad for me, as I was totally uncaptivated by the characters and the story. I plodded on for quite some time and in the end had to give up as I simply didn't care what happened next. Obviously there are listeners who enjoy this story line but unfortunately I am not one of them

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr
  • Mr
  • 22-09-2018

A great story

Hi great story line. a star writer
you feel you could be there in the story
on to next book

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for B. M. Curry
  • B. M. Curry
  • 16-01-2019

Good story,

The storyline was good. I didn’t see the end coming. The narrators voice grated. Her normal narration of Melissa was good and a pleasant easy to listen to voice, but the voice she put on for the other characters male and female, young and old, all seemed a bit like a cackling witch.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Truds
  • Truds
  • 23-10-2018

Oh so slow!

Frustratingly slow story line. I found the characters bland. The narrator frequently read in an over enunciated and dramatic manner where I found there to be nothing of suspense or significance in the story line requiring this. For me, this book was a waste of a credit.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for hettyc
  • hettyc
  • 26-12-2018

Disappointed

The book I feel had no real story to it. It just drifted along with odd clues here and there and a disappointing ending.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny
  • Jenny
  • 30-03-2019

Charming story spoiled by the narration.

I liked the story but struggled with the narration. It was touch and go as to whether I sent it back or not.
The narrator seems to want to end most of her sentences on an up note, rather than a normal English voice which ends sentences on a down note. I managed to get over this annoyance by speeding up the narration slightly which somehow reduced my irritation.

Whether I can stand going through this on the next book remains to be seen. Perhaps the narrator will have altered her narration to be less simpering.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katherine Elford
  • Katherine Elford
  • 16-03-2019

Really poor narration and unbelievable story

The narrator was awful, with poor intonation and everyone sounds like a bumpkin. The story was also frustrating as it didn’t hang together well with massive leaps of logic, poorly drawn characters who are unbelievable and cartoonish, and improbable story line. There is nothing ‘cozy’ about this story just annoying, the author swings from poetic imagery that doesn’t fit the style of story but would fit a Magnus opus and makes the story clunky to cliches that are like nails down a blackboard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Diane Walmsley
  • Diane Walmsley
  • 26-02-2019

excellent

thoroughly enjoyed the plot, superb narration which brought the characters to life making the tale even more believable

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-11-2018

Murder at Hawthorn Cottage

Excellent. Really enjoyed it. Kept guessing until the end. Will definitely read other books by this author

1 of 1 people found this review helpful