The Oast Theatre in Steeple Martin is hosting a touring production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which is attracting a lot of attention. But very soon it begins to attract attention of an entirely different kind, when a document goes missing along with its owner.
When a body turns up, Libby Sarjeant and Fran Wolfe become involved with the investigation with the help, naturally, of their friends and relatives.
I have a confession to make- although I have three of Lesley’s books on my mountainous ‘TBR’ (to be read) pile, ‘Murder & The Glovemaker’s Son’ is the first of her books that I have read. Judging by how much I enjoyed this one I can guarantee that they won’t be on the pile for much longer. I absolutely loved it but more about that in a bit.
I can honestly say that there was not one character in this book that I took an instant dislike to. I loved Libby, who seems to find herself being involved in several murder investigations despite the fact that she doesn’t deliberately set out to do so. Libby is kind, she is considerate, she is helpful and she brings a calming influence to certain situations. This book sees her involved with a possible staging of a Shakespeare play in the theatre. A letter from Shakespeare has apparently been ‘found’ although it is unclear if it is real or not. Libby hoped that this ‘letter’ would help attract theatre goers to visit the area, see the sights and spend money to help the local economy. Only it’s not as simple as all that. A murder is committed and Libby becomes involved in the investigation which slightly irritates the local Detective Chief Inspector. Will Libby manage to solve the case and find out who the murderer is? Was the alleged letter actually written by Shakespeare himself? Will the play go ahead? Well for the answers to those questions and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out because I am not going to tell you.
‘Murder & The Glovemaker’s Son’ is extremely well written. As soon as I read the first page I just knew that this would be one book that I would find hard to put down and so it proved. I became seriously addicted to reading it and when I had to put the book down, I found myself practically counting down the time until I could pick it up again. I picked this book up only intending to read a couple of chapters but that soon flew out of the window because I was so ‘into’ the story and enjoying it so much that I was still sat there reading three hours later. I love how the author has perfectly captured a village atmosphere and village mentality. Everybody seems to know everybody else and somehow or other the villagers all seem to be related in a way. In that sense it’s a very incestuous scenario. It’s certainly true that the villagers in this village (& in the one where I live) mind everybody else’s business except their own. The villagers are warm and welcoming but love nothing better than a good old gossip and spreading scandal far and wide. One thing I really did love was the fact that the villagers all seemed to look out for each other and they had each other’s back. The village really is a tight knit community.
This book had a bit of everything- there was drama, there was intrigue and there were moments that were so funny, that I actually laughed out loud. In fact now I think about it I was chuckling away all the way through the book because of what certain characters did or said or the situations that they found themselves in. Although this is a book about murder, there were no blood and guts and the scenes weren’t gory, which was refreshing in itself because a lot of the crime fiction genre is extremely gory or bloody or violent. Reading this book was much like being on a gentle rollercoaster ride with several twists and turns and a few surprises along the way.
To conclude I absolutely loved, no make that adored reading ‘Murder & The Glovemaker’s Son’ and I can’t wait to read what Lesley comes up with next. Here’s hoping I don’t have too long to wait. Whilst I wait I will read the other books in the series and there are a fair few of them to buy and read. ‘Murder & The Glovemaker’s Son’ is number 19 in the series but it works perfectly well as a standalone. I would have no hesitation in recommending this author and her books to other readers. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board just has to be 5* out of 5*.