Murder at Barclay Meadow
Review: Rosalie Hart, a wife and mother, has just been dealt a disheartening blow. Her husband has informed her he is in love with someone else and wants a divorce. Their only child has just left for college. Alone now, and not knowing exactly what to do, she leaves her upscale home in a suburb of Washington DC to move into an old house on a farm that was left to her by her aunt located in Cardigan, a very small town on Maryland's Eastern Shore, to start a new life, in Murder at Barclay Meadow, the first in a new series by Wendy Sand Eckel.
Rosalie decides to enlist the help of a neighbor to restart the farm, to cultivate the land anew. One evening while walking down to the edge of her property by the river, she discovers a young girl's body lying face down in the marshes. Her initial thought is that the girl has been murdered. But the very next day when she inquires about it, the sheriff tells her the girl had committed suicide. She asks if there was a note left be the girl, or at least will there be an autopsy to show the cause of death. But, she is told by the unfriendly sheriff it is none of her business and the case is closed. This doesn't set too well with Rosalie, so she decides to ask questions and see if she can find the truth. To fill some of her lonely time, she has decided to take a class in creative writing where she meets a small group of interesting people who immediately become friends … and soon to be fellow detectives. They call themselves the What-Ifs. Although most know nothing about Facebook or other forms of social media, they teach themselves what to do and start their own friends group sharing information and ideas. As is true in most small towns, someone knows someone that knew someone and information is gathered, enough to realize that the police have not been completely honest in their handling of the case. Nor as the college the dead girl attended. And not even into her own family.
Rosalie Hart is an appealing and engaging amateur sleuth, resourceful and determined, even in the face of adversity. The friendships she forms with her fellow What-Ifs, and that with her neighbor Tyler, the farmer next door, are warm ones, and make for a terrific story all on its own. But add a complex, page-turning murder mystery, and the result is a strong debut to this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Murder at Barclay Meadow.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Murder at Barclay Meadow for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Murder at Barclay Meadow: Maryland
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Murder at Barclay Meadow by Wendy Sand Eckel — A Rosalie Hart Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 2015
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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