M.B. Shaw

Murder at the Mill

"Murder at the Mill’ started off well, but seemed to hit the buffers after a while."


Iris Grey arrives at Mill Cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighbouring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.

At the Wetherby's Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow - but so too are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?

With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets and murder.

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After her stint writing under the Sidney Sheldon umbrella, Tilly Bagshawe reinvents herself as M.B. Shaw with the first of the Iris Grey mysteries. 'Murder at the Mill' started off well, but seemed to hit the buffers after a while. Although I enjoy 'meeting' the cast of actors in the drama, Shaw seems to have got herself lost in her characters rather than moving on the plot. At times, there did seem to me quite a bit of repetition. I like Iris and feel over several books she will be a woman you can root for in the same vein as Agatha Raisin (although Iris in no way has Agatha's un-PC personality). What annoyed me about Iris was her spinelessness about her husband who really is the most shocking snob ever. I'd have dumped him at the altar, let alone twenty years later! Having spent two hundred pages flip-flopping whether she wanted to stay married or not, a murder finally happens. I think by now I felt a little numb with not much really happening. I guessed the killer some time before the 'reveal'. 'Murder at the Mill' is enjoyable, but far too long. The one good thing is that Iris does discover her backbone by the end of the story. I would read Iris' next adventure, as long as it isn't as long and meandering as this one. This book was a little like a Christmas cracker; gorgeous on the outside but lacking any substance inside.

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