Monday, May 09, 2022



Julia Bird retires and relocates from London to Cotswold village.  The beautiful town with its amazing English charm, is exactly the new beginning Julia needs in her life.  She loves working in her cozy cottage garden.  When she decides to tear down an old shed to replace it with a chicken coop, she uncovers the body of a young woman.  It’s evident that the remains have been buried there for decades.  But in the small village, there is only one policeman assigned to the case.  So, Julia decides she must find out the truth about what happened.  As she uncovers clues and discovers that everyone in the village has something to hide, she thinks she knows who the killer is.  But, while out on a hike with her Labrador, Jake, he finds the main suspect drowned in the local lake.  Julia can’t stop now, she is bound and determined to find the killer before they kill again.  

This story was so adorable and I was completely hooked from the very beginning.  I found this book to be unputdownable. Julia was a fabulous character, and I thoroughly enjoyed the role that Jake the Labrador played in helping Julia.  I absolutely love Katie Gayle cozy mystery stories.  They are among the absolute best.  I really enjoyed this book, and I am so happy to know that it is the start of a new series.  I truly enjoyed the detailed description of Cotswolds village, I could almost smell the flowers in the gardens.  I positively loved this story and I hope you add this to the top of your to be read pile, definitely don’t pass up this one.

Thank you Katie Gayle for such a wonderful whodunnit cozy mystery.  I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series.  I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend this book.



Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Author:  Katie Gayle 
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date:  May 5, 2022 
Pages: 262
Buy on Amazon 

Meet Julia Bird: recently single, reluctantly retired, and… an amateur sleuth?

Julia Bird has left London for a fresh start in a picturesque Cotswolds village, and the rustic charm and cosy fireplaces of her little cottage are everything she’d hoped for. But when she tears down the old garden shed to make way for a chicken coop, she unearths much more than she’d bargained for… the body of a young woman, apparently buried for decades, thrusting Julia into a baffling mystery.

With only one copper on the case in Berrywick, Julia decides to solve the who and whodunnit herself, taking her wayward puppy 
along for the ride. And so begins a whirlwind tour of the village – from the dotty 90-year-old to the delightful doctor and the village gardener, it seems everyone has something to hide.

Soon, Julia is convinced she has discovered the killer’s identity, until Jake, a true Labrador, finds a new love of the local lake’s waterfowl and instead ends up catching her chief suspect… drowned. Back at square one, with potential culprits galore, Julia – newly nicknamed the Grim Reaper – despairs at ever solving the murders.

But as Julia ruffles feathers village-wide, the clock is ticking. There is someone in the village who has killed twice already. Will they be prepared to make it third time lucky to keep their secret safe?


Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet. 

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