Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood Mystery



Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood MysteryYou Re A Librarian, Not A Detective, Catherine Penny S Daughter Reminds Her But Catherine, Suddenly Single In Her Sixties, Finds It Easy To Slip Into Sleuthing Mode When She Leaves Behind New York City And A Failed Marriage For A Lovely 17th Century Cottage In The Idyllic English Village Of Far Wychwood But Behind The Town S Quaint Stone Walls And Lace Curtained Windows Lurk Dark Secrets And Whispers Of Witchcraft And When Her Crusty Neighbor George Crocker Dies In A Tragic Fire, Catherine Alone Suspects Arson Lacking Hard Evidence, The Police Pay Little Attention, And The Villagers Swear She Must Be Mistaken Catherine, However, Is One Feisty Expatriate American Who Leaves No Stone Unturned When Circumstances Point To Murder She May Not Be Miss Marple Yet But Her Ingenious Knack For Uncovering The Truth Is About To Take Far Wychwood By Storm

PATRICIA HARWIN is the author of the national bestseller Arson and Old Lace, the first novel in her acclaimed Far Wychwood mystery series Like her heroine Catherine Penny, she is a librarian She lives with her husband in Rockville, Maryland, where she is hard at work on the next Far Wychwood mystery.

[[ Epub ]] ❧ Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood Mystery Author Patricia Harwin – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood Mystery
  • Patricia Harwin
  • 14 February 2018
  • 1982117222

10 thoughts on “Arson and Old Lace: A Far Wychwood Mystery

  1. Glen says:

    When a librarian s marriage disintegrates, she moves to rural England There s a crusty old man who nearly dies in a fire She helps him out for a while, but he turns up murdered anyway Of course, she starts poking around.Not bad as a first book in a cozy Checks all the boxes, and entertains as well.

  2. Denise says:

    I really liked this but am sad to know there is only one other book and then the publisher put a stop to the series I hate investing time and energy into starting a new author series and then have it come to an end in 2 books Two books does not a series make.

  3. Kristen says:

    I wanted to like this It sounded good, and I liked that the main character was closer to my age than most cozy mysteries Unfortunately, by the 55 page mark, I was already annoyed by virtually every character in the book, so I knew this was not going to be a good read for me.Catherine is whiny Yes, your husband left you for a younger woman and that sucks He sucks But you decided to turf everything and move to England to be closer to your daughter and start a new life good for you Except, I wanted to like this It sounded good, and I liked that the main character was closer to my age than most cozy mysteries Unfortunately, by the 55 page mark, I was already annoyed by virtually every character in the book, so I knew this was not going to be a good read for me.Catherine is whiny Yes, your husband left you for a younger woman and that sucks He sucks But you decided to turf everything and move to England to be closer to your daughter and start a new life good for you Except, you arrive in England and immediately start whingeing about the ex, and being focused on the past rather than the future Call me mean, but I don t want to read about boo hoo, he dumped me and woe is me Maybe some readers enjoy that scenario but it s of no interest to me.Then there is the daughter Yes, you have a degree in psychology and you are working as a therapist That doesn t mean you know everything about everything And even if you did, being smug and self important in telling your mother and from the husband s reactions, everyone else how things should be because you know best is seriously obnoxious.Don t even get me started on Catherine s busybody act with the nasty old man who lives next door to her cottage I mean really, whether your intentions are good or not, tracking down the guy s son and calling him up to lecture him on his responsibilities for his father when you have been there less than 24 hours, when you know nothing about the people or the situation is guaranteed to get exactly the reaction Catherine gets from the son when she calls him.No, there was unfortunately nothing about this book that I liked, and I am not spending anytime with these annoying people Too many books, not enough time to devote to books I dislike

  4. Jamie says:

    Catherine Penny, fresh from her divorce, moves from Manhattan to a small English village to be closer to her daughter and granddaughter In the bustle of settling in to a new home and culture, and still stinging from her husband s abandonment, she accidently adopts a neighbor in need of someone to take care of him But as she discovers the reason behind his self exile, a plot unfolds to keep his mouth shut and her nose out of long buried business.The plot moves quickly and is easy to follow The Catherine Penny, fresh from her divorce, moves from Manhattan to a small English village to be closer to her daughter and granddaughter In the bustle of settling in to a new home and culture, and still stinging from her husband s abandonment, she accidently adopts a neighbor in need of someone to take care of him But as she discovers the reason behind his self exile, a plot unfolds to keep his mouth shut and her nose out of long buried business.The plot moves quickly and is easy to follow The solution makes sense and it s a strong motive, and while the killer escapes justice it doesn t go the abrupt mental breakdown route I ve been seeing so much of lately Really, is it so hard to come up with a motive that authors have to make their up to then perfectly rational killer completely insane for the final confrontation Catherine s constant reflecting on her ex husband actually isn t as annoying as it usually is Possibly because she doesn t mope a little then never mention it again the wound is still fresh, and she s moved to a place where she has memories of happier times with her family seems rather perverse, but to each their own There s forced introspection early on where her neighbor gives her a nightmare about the abandonment of her father to a care home, and it only serves to tie in to the strained father child relationship theme going on in the book, but the neighbor is the Murder Victim du Jour so she can t harp on it as much as she might.It didn t really hit me at first why I disliked the main character so much or why she seemed so enamoured with neighbors who, at first meeting them, are being rude to another lady She sees the house next door catch fire and runs over to put it out, and ends up taking charge of making this old man supper and trying to tidy his house a bit She calls up his son to try and get him to take some action in helping the old man And every time she talks to her daughter she makes a show of swallowing the child rearing advice she wants so desperately to give The book plays her up as the sweet old lady who s used to being spoken over and who just wants to be important and helpful to someone But it wasn t until I closed the book and started writing this review that it struck me how bossy and demeaning Catherine is.She shoves her nose into the old man s business, barging into his house night after night and getting offended when the man, who s mentally impaired, lashes out at her each time She berates herself later for not just calling Social Services, especially after the man s son rightly chews her out, but I don t think she ever had any real intention of doing that She acted as though helping this man was a project she needed to see through She butts her nose into the son s business later, destroying his life and the mental well being of another victim of her dramatics.And her behavior around her daughter is obnoxiously rude As I said, she makes a show out of swallowing her advice, but that by no means makes her polite She roasts her therapist daughter s patients as being in need of nothingthan pulling up their own damn bootstraps she d be that person telling people with depression to just think happy thoughts , and frequently insinuates how the profession is just modern nonsense Much like the child psychology books her daughter is raising her toddler by and making the rules by rules which Catherine says nothing against but constantly ignores to the point where her daughter is pleading by the end for her mother to just do as she s asked.The daughter she moves to be near is better portrayed She s a therapist with one parent who s dumped the other for a younger woman, another mother who s dismissive and disrespectful of every aspect of her life her child, her life s work, her rules, her time, etc , a toddler who s putting her through her paces, and a job that s pressuring her to take onandresponsibilities But she does make the realization at the end that she d been treating her mother less like a grandmother andlike a free babysitter, and she does her best to loosen up a little about what her mother does with the baby not that Catherine wasn t doing whatever she pleased anyway, including nearly getting him murdered.The identity of the murderer in this plot was discovered by his presence in an old photograph, which is a perfectly acceptable reveal were it not for how the photographs presence had been dismissed earlier Catherine found the photo and immediately identified it as a completely different person whom she d met before and knew the face of How, then, did it turn out to actually be another man of no relation to the first There was a situation between the families that could have resulted in by blows which might explain the dramatic resemblance, but this was never hinted as having been an issue in the past And the actual man in the photograph also had a portrait of himself in the family home where anyone in town could have seen it, and the gentleman Catherine had mistake him for also lived and worked in town If the resemblance had been that pronounced it seemed ratherlikely for the second man to have been bought off and sent away to prevent unwanted rumours, especially since this exact scenario actually does happen in the book to someone else But lacking any other explanation for the resemblance, Catherine s confidant misidentification just felt like lazy storytelling.Minor bit that confused methan anything, Catherine calls herself a Yank Do people actually call themselves Yanks I ve only ever heard it used in reference to other people, and usually dismissively And she s from Manhattan, New York, whom I ve ever only heard refer to themselves as New Yorkers and Manhattanites and the like Do New Yorkers actually call themselves Yanks, or should I be taking it as a lame joke Catherine is making to herself about being an American in England THE VERDICT The plot was interesting but the red herring suspect is clearly that and the main character tries too hard to stir up sympathy without doing anything to deserve it The series was cancelled after the second book so don t waste your time starting it

  5. Shannon says:

    Patricia Harwin is the American Hazel Holt for sure Her heroine, Catherine Penny, is like Holt s heroine, Sheila Malory, in many ways They are both inveterate gossip mongers, pet lovers and fond of cross country walks in all weathers Catherine Penny has pulled up roots from New York City in order to live close to her daughter, Emily and grandson, Archie, who live in Oxford, England Catherine s husband of 30 some years, has divorced her and married a younger woman Catherine is still smarting Patricia Harwin is the American Hazel Holt for sure Her heroine, Catherine Penny, is like Holt s heroine, Sheila Malory, in many ways They are both inveterate gossip mongers, pet lovers and fond of cross country walks in all weathers Catherine Penny has pulled up roots from New York City in order to live close to her daughter, Emily and grandson, Archie, who live in Oxford, England Catherine s husband of 30 some years, has divorced her and married a younger woman Catherine is still smarting over the rejection However, she quickly finds friendship and strange puzzles galore on her doorstep in the quaint village of Far Wychwood Her extremely elderly and gaga neighbor, George, dies gruesomely just days after her arrival On top of that, was the discovery of an older burial of an unknown body found the very first day of Catherine s appearance in the village As the plot progresses, it is all to do with mistaken identities, false trails and a skittish black cat called Muzzle Unlike so many of the cozy type of mystery, this one actually improves as it goes along and doesn t try to bring in too many elements To be sure, I fingered the murderer, but it was still satisfying to be proved right

  6. Deb says:

    Catherine Penny is divorced and a retired librarian from NYC She moves to Far Wychwood to be near her married daughter and grandson who live in Oxford Catherine tried to help a 93 year old man that lives across the street from her, and soon her life becomes involved in murder and upsetting local residents.

  7. Stephanie Thompson says:

    First in series OK, not great Would read .

  8. Priya says:

    Conclusion was satisfactory And a decent mystery as well in spite of the protagonist appearing too nosy at times.

  9. Jenny says:

    Registered on Bookcrossing read It reminds me of Jessica Fletcher Cozy mysteries are wonderful Registered on Bookcrossing read It reminds me of Jessica Fletcher Cozy mysteries are wonderful

  10. Johnna Hill says:

    Lovely series I m excited to read the second book.

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