Title: The Mystery At Maplemead Castle
A laugh-till-you-cry cosy mystery
Author: Kitty French
Series: The Chapelwick Series
Release Date: 17th March, 2017
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?
An utterly hilarious, gripping, spooktastic read for fans of HY Hanna, MC Beaton, Gina LaManna and Jana DeLeon.
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★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Rachel & Sharon Thérèse
Last summer we read The Skeletons of Scarborough House which not only had us laughing out loud, but also left us with a sweet taste in our mouths! We wanted more where this had come from, so when our fairy godmother granted our wish with this follow-up in the Chapelwick series, we sighed. For those of you who are prepared to take on Ms French’s highly creative storytelling, we can’t recommend her latest ghostly tale narrated in mystical surrounding enough. It’s pure entertainment and titillated our imagination in such a way we wondered whether the author has a sixth sense or even in cahoots with her characters! Her Brit humour borders on the ridiculous but at the same time, verges on reality. Peculiarities in the vocabulary had us grabbing for our dictionaries after asking each other whether we knew the definitions. Suffice it to say, neither of us could suss out a word or two and had to resolve our quandaries by consulting the internet!
“You want me to out-fembot the fembots?”
Weird and wonderful; we were hooked lock, stock and barrel in the depths of haunting scenarios. It is difficult to describe in a review where many so-called characters are either ‘drop-dead’ gorgeous, or scare the living daylights out of the two spiritually prepared experts and have them running for cover! More importantly, what was brought to our attention from the beginning of the story and needs be mentioned is how Ms French has cannily written a standalone without making it repetitive for those who have read the first book. She’s gone to a lot of trouble to recap on the goings on for the new reader; names. . . there are a few bizarre ones, and places are easily put into context and not the slightest bit confusing! That being said, we do recommend reading The Skeletons of Scarborough House to get the whole phantasmal experience.
“Can’t offer you a cup of tea, I’m afraid, young lady, on account of the fact that we’re dead and the ruddy servants can’t hear a word we say.”
Melody is special in more ways than one. If she won our hearts in book one, in book two she could do no wrong. Alas, our heroine doesn’t consider herself to be exceptionally worldly in the running of her personal or professional life since her gift seems to be more of a hindrance than a help. Relying on her motley crew to guide her through thick and thin; they’re adorable, all superbly described—eccentricities included, and all have their jobs cut out for them. And if her gran isn’t knocking back a glass or three of bubbly or her mum isn’t tempting Melody with sweet delicacies, they’re giving her advise at Blithe Spirits.
“To love a Bittersweet woman is to love her. It’s our gift and our curse, Melody.”
How Melody’s dodges Fletcher, a reporter who’s been assigned to her latest case, had us in fits. She has no filter around him, targets herself for his amusement and has trouble controlling her libido. And then she’s got to deal with her foe, Leo Dark. Besides rubbing her up the wrong way, she also has to put up with his entourage of hangers-on. Being down-to-earth in a business like hers is nigh on impossible, but that doesn’t stop her being ambitious and totally lovable.
“You’re the queen of mixed messages.”
“And you’re the king of bad intentions.”
“Only where you’re concerned.”
There were a couple of moments in the story where we felt it lost its momentum. Because of this, our reading pace slowed down a tad; however, our impatience was probably due to the fact that we couldn’t wait to see if Melody and Fletcher would get their acts together. Do they? Don’t they? Not telling, but we will say in the hot department, these two guys’ chemistry sizzled off the pages. Told in first person in present is our fave storytelling technique and seeing as we’re suckers for banter, we couldn’t have asked for more. It’s abso-freakin’-lutely brilliant! Fast comebacks hilariously expressed and humour hovering on the brink of sarcasm overflow between all the well-developed characters. Ooh, and Lastat, pug extraordinaire, most certainly deserves pride of place on the cover! We’re itching to get our hands on book three Ms French! Bravo!
“Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or gin and tonic. I prefer the gin myself.”
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USA Today bestselling author Kitty French writes sexy, escapist reads hot enough to burn your fingers…
The Knight Trilogy has been a best seller around the globe, and is now available as individual books or as a complete trilogy box-set.
Her sizzling new erotic romance, Genie, is available now.
SIGN UP FOR KITTY’S NEWSLETTER for all the gossip and release information by emailing on firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitty is also the disreputable alter-ego of a romantic comedy writer Kat French.
As Kat, her debut romantic comedy Undertaking Love is available now.
She writes full time, and lives in England with her husband and two little boys.