Who killed Old Pete? Ronald Rowntree lives a fairly mundane life. Not only does he manage The Jolly Jester Public House, he lives above it too. One morning, he is readying himself for another ordinary day when his assistant, Sam, interrupts his breakfast, ranting about a corpse he’s just found in the saloon bar. A little put out by this unexpected turn of events, Ronald takes a look, but soon finds himself the chief suspect in a particularly gruesome murder. With the police seemingly convinced of his guilt, Ronald is forced to investigate the murder himself, and that is where the problems start. Faced with a crime that no one, apart from him, could have committed, or had reason to, let alone the opportunity, he struggles to make headway. He does, however, find out that all is not what it seems in the Village of Duckley. Certainly not Adam Gosling, the owner of The Jolly Jester, or his wife, Abby. Fred Arkwright of Arkwright’s Chest Emporium is not to be trusted, and nor is Trudy Lane, landlady of The Dog and Duck. Drawn into the murky underworld of drink, drugs and lust-filled affairs, Ronald finds allies where he least expects them as he attempts to clear his name. Can he prove he is innocent of the murder at the Jolly Jester? Enjoy this laugh-out-loud dozy mystery as Ronald blunders from one crisis to the next.
The author describes this as a dozy mystery, rather than a cozy mystery, which right from the start gives you the idea that the book is likely to be quirky and fun. And it is. It’s a very enjoyable, well written and easy read.
Ron, our laid back hero, who only panics now and then such as when it looks like he’s been snugly stitched up as the perpetrator of the crime, leads us through the story. He’s determined to find out who did actually sink a machete into Old Pete’s head, and so he sets about the task, very unably assisted by Sam, his colleague at The Jolly Jester. He encounters various other shady but fascinating characters along the winding way. He discovers, as do we, that there’s a lot more going on in the village of Dockley than meets the eye.
Well worth a read, and many thanks to the author for keeping me thoroughly entertained :-)
Stepanie - Goodreads