“Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.
Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.
A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?
Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.
Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?”
I am absolutely thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Mystery at Maplemead Castle blog tour. This is the second book in the Chapelwick Mysteries series written by author, Kitty French. Now, I’m a self confessed crime fan. I like my crime gritty, with lots of blood spilt and the occasional character’s guts too (if I’m lucky!). The gorier, the better for damppebbles. But I have a secret (not really secret) addiction. And that’s the Chapelwick Mysteries series of cozy crime. I absolutely adored the first book in the series (you can read my review by clicking here but please note, the cover and title of the first book have changed since I wrote my review and it’s now called Skeletons of Scarborough House. AND it’s only 99p at the moment, so what are you waiting for?!).
Oh my gosh, Kitty French has done it again with the second book in the series!
Starting this book felt like meeting old friends again. I absolutely love every single character in this novel. From the converse and jeans wearing, unlucky in love, bad-ass businesswoman Melody to the pimply, awkward young Artie to the slightly psychotic, fan-twins Nikki and Vikki. Melody and the gang are back on the case and that dear reader, makes me feel good!
Melody and her team of unusual suspects are called to assist in the removal of ghosts from Maplemead Castle. Maplemead Castle has recently acquired new owners in the form of Lady Lolo and husband Barty. They purchased the castle over the internet without seeing it, as only eccentric Americans (or the insane) can do! What they didn’t bargain for is the resident spooks who are driving away business. And potential clients, aka Hollywood bigwigs, are refusing to step foot in Maplemead until an exorcism as has taken place. Well, no. That’s not how Melody goes about her ghost-busting. Nor does it involve large ghost hoovers only to then deposit Timothy Claypole in the bank of eternal ghoul, a la Ghostbusters™ (mixing my ghost based programmes there AND showing my age in one fell swoop. If you don’t know who Timothy Claypole is, I suggest you google ‘Rentaghost’).
Melody Bittersweet sees dead people and she uses her unique ability to find out why the ghosts she is investigating are still tethered to the mortal world. Unfortunately Melody’s ex-boyfriend, Leo Dark, has the same gift but he uses it to promote his television career leaving Melody in his dust. The competition between Leo and Melody isn’t so strong in this book and I did miss that constant sparring a little. But Leo has his own problems this time around and it was good to see Melody step up and take charge of the situation.
I should mention Fletcher Gunn. Ace, investigative reporter, naysayer of anything he can’t physically see and the one man who makes our heroine go weak at the knees. Talk of a man’s nether regions would normally make me give up on a book. Normally, that is. Not this time. It’s a pretty recurrent theme as the chemistry between Melody and Fletch is through the roof. I was chuckling away to myself, hoping the husband wasn’t going to ask what I was finding so funny!
Would I recommend this book? I thoroughly enjoyed Mystery at Maplemead Castle. It was so much fun and a complete joy to read. My heart ached at times, the next moment I was laughing out loud. A perfect mix of great storytelling, the very best characters and the perfect setting. Highly recommended.
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of Mystery at Maplemead Castle. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic – songs, music, and most of all, books. Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins.