Book reviews

Murder in the Orchard by Betty Rowlands – Book Review

Publishers blurb 

A beautiful house nestles in an orchard, where a blackbird sings at dawn each morning from a branch laden with rosy fruit… but underneath the trees a body lies too still to be asleep.

Melissa Craig is struggling with her new novel, so when the invitation arrives to visit a nearby country house for some writing time, she decides a bit of peace and quiet is just what she needs. The house is everything she could have hoped for, even if the staff do seem rather unsettled…

She has barely unpacked when the owner of the house persuades Melissa to investigate some threatening notes he has received. But before she can do any digging, he is found murdered in his own orchard.

As she starts to probe further, Melissa realises that the dead man was universally disliked. Controlling, tight with money and nasty, he certainly made some enemies. But who could have hated him enough to resort to murder? His seemingly timid wife, the secretary with whom he previously had an affair or perhaps the gardener with an old secret?

With the police looking for an outsider, Melissa is sure the murderer is close at hand. But can she prove it? And can she unmask the killer before they strike again?

A completely unputdownable mystery for fans of Faith Martin, Joy Ellis and P.D. James that will have you totally hooked.

This book was previously published as Malice Poetic.




First published in May 1996 as Malice Poetic.

This is book 6 in the Melissa Craig Series and this series continues to go from strength to strength.  

In this tale, Melissa again finds herself in the middle of another mystery, this time while she is at a writers retreat. As usual, for Melissa, her writing is put on the back burner, while she investigates. There’s a few suspects and we have the return of the marvellous Gloria, the cleaner, Melissa’s next door neighbour Iris, an artist and vegetarian, and of course, Ken, the Police Officer boyfriend.

As always Betty Rowlands creative writing brings the mystery to life and it works well in this thoroughly enjoyable cosy mystery. There are the usual surprises and I’m already looking forward to the next in the series…

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ebook for free in exchange for a fair and honest review