American expat Jillian White and her landed husband have moved into an exclusive village in England. Not just anyone can live in Weycombe. It takes a certain type of person, and a certain amount of money to land behind those gates.
Jillian is currently at odds--she was laid off from her job at the BBC, interviewing people to potentially be in true crime reenactments--and her husband is starting to wonder when she'll get another job. Not overly motivated to find something but not really happy being at home all the time either, she's taken to seven-mile walks in the mornings. It on one of these walks that she notices her neighbor and real estate agent Anna lying in the grass near the river, clearly no longer alive.
She immediately calls the police, but there is so little malicious crime in Weycombe that a single policeman answers, sure he's going to put Jillian's mind at ease that her friend is just fine. However, he takes one look at Anna's body and knows that he misjudged the situation. Shortly, a team of officers and crime scene personnel are at hand, collecting all the information they can find.
Jillian is a prime witness, and as a bored housewife with a background in something close to journalism, she wonders if this is her chance to write the book that will change her life. So like any good armchair detective, she starts making the rounds to collect all the information she can. As Jillian's marriage slowly unravels, as she discovers all the dirty gossip of what Anna was into (and who had been into her), as she makes her notes into how the rich live, she finds herself pulled into a mystery that may be more than she bargained for.
There is nothing I like more than a good cozy mystery, except maybe a tale of secrets and lies among friends and family. One of the best things about Weycombe is that I don't have to choose. It's a little bit Agatha Christie (or maybe Agatha Raisin, if you're an M.C. Beaton fan) and a little bit Liane Moriarty. And it is one hundred percent G.M. Malliet, one of my new favorite mystery writers. I haven't read her other novels yet (although I did pick one up recently on my weekly bookstore tour), and I hear that this is a departure from her other, more typical cozies. But I don't care. The quality of her writing means I will follow her just about anywhere she wants to go.
Galleys for Weycombe were provided by Midnight Ink through NetGalley, with many thanks.