It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase! My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
Author : Clare Chase
Title : Murder on the Marshes
Series : Tara Thorpe Mystery #1
Pages : 346
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 31, 2018
As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat.
It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats… rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died.
Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live… or die.
Welcome to Cambridge and its elite university colleges, whose foundations will be rocked by the murder of one of their own. Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the fountain of a courtyard. The only clue is a silver chain. How did Samantha get access to this courtyard? Who would want to harm her and why?
The investigation into Samantha’s murder falls into the hands of DI Blake, but he isn’t the only one tracking a killer. Tara Thorpe is a journalist, whose boss wants her to write an article about the life and death of Samantha Seabrook. But when Tara receives a warning and realises this same warning was sent to Samantha before she was killed, things become personal. Can DI Blake and Tara Thorpe find the culprit before it’s too late?
The gorgeous Cambridge setting is in stark contrast with the backstabbing, rivalry and competitiveness of the professors at the college. Bar maybe one or two, nobody comes across as especially likeable and everyone seems to have something to hide. Throughout, there is the fascinating angle of the privileged versus the ones who come from nothing and had to work extraordinary hard to get where they are now.
The prologue sets the tone for things to come but its relevance isn’t revealed until the end. I do so enjoy that as I keep going over things like that in my head, trying to figure out how that little teaser fits into the story. For the record, I didn’t have a clue. Nor did I have the tiniest inkling about who the murderer was.
One investigation but two different ways of tackling it and both really held my interest. As a journalist, Tara has other resources available to her than DI Blake has, and vice versa. In their own ways they do the same thing with the same goal in mind. Talk to people, find the clues, put together the pieces of the puzzle and ultimately find the truth. And in Tara’s case, stay alive, as that first warning won’t be the last.
This first instalment in the Tara Thorpe Mystery series does exactly what it needs to. It’s gripping and compelling, has a wonderful setting and introduces us to fantastic characters both professionally and personally. There are plenty more things to discover about both DI Blake and Tara Thorpe and the conclusion of this first book sets things up perfectly for the follow-up. A brilliant start that will leave you wanting more!
Murder on the Marshes is available to buy!
Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries and recently signed a three-book deal with Bookouture for a new crime series set in Cambridge. The opening book, Murder on the Marshes, is available for pre-order and will publish in July 2018. The mystery follows investigative journalist Tara Thorpe as she teams up with Detective Garstin Blake to solve the murder of a young female professor at Cambridge University. The case takes them through the dark underbelly of Cambridge and in to the murky fens that surround the centuries-old city. The second and third books in the series are scheduled for publication in late 2018/early 2019.
After graduating from London University with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
Clare’s debut novel, You Think You Know Me, was shortlisted for the Novelicious Undiscovered Award 2012, and an EPIC award in 2015. It was also chosen as a debut of the month by Lovereading.