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Villainy at the Village Store by Elizabeth Ducie

Have you ever found a series of books that grips you so much that you constantly await the next in the series with pleasure? I first experienced this as a child with the Famous Five mysteries by Enid Blyton. As an adult, I am always happy to see a new John Rebus thriller by Ian Rankin. However, most recently, The Coombesford Chronicles by Elizabeth Ducie are my guilty pleasure.

The Blurb

Stanley Wentworth was no saint.

He’d had his fair share of trouble with the law. He’d upset his former partners in gangs across the Midlands. And he’d abandoned more than one woman in his time. But did he really deserve a cold and lonely death in the Country Park? Charlie Jones, Annie McLeod and Rohan Banerjee are on the track of another murderer.An old friend is under suspicion once more. While a new friend has troubles of her own to contend with. And it looks like she's about to lose her greatest ally.

Can the intrepid trio save their friends and find the true culprit?

The Review

Villainy at the Village Store is only the second book in The Coombesford Chronicles series but I am already hooked. As I opened the pages and joined the cast of characters in this recent mystery, it is like catching up with old friends and meeting new ones as well as villains. I love the intrepid nature of the investigating trio, Charlie Jones, Annie McLeod and Rohan Banerjee. Their interaction delights me.

This new novel is real treat. The trio are investigating another murder and are determined to establish their friend's innocence and discover the true killer.

This is a cleverly crafted plot with finely developed characters and a gripping plot. I always enjoy Elizabeth Ducie’s novels and Villainy at the Village Store is no exception. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy a good story.

The Author

I have been writing since I was very young. When I was a teenager, essays and poetry helped me win my first overseas trip via a newspaper competition. I returned to creative writing in 2006 after 30+ years as a technical writer. Since then, I've had great fun experimenting with different types of writing. I've written articles for content websites and on commission. I've written short stories and poetry for competitions, and have had a couple of wins, several honourable mentions and some short-listing.

I am editor of the Chudleigh Phoenix Community Magazine and we have grown it from a 4-page, bimonthly publication to a monthly 14-20 pages. Together with friend and fellow writer Sharon Cook, I launched the Chudleigh Phoenix Annual Short Story Competition, which ran for five years.

In July 2011, we published a collection of short stories. Life is Not a Trifling Affair received such positive feedback from our readers, we brought out a second collection in November 2012, called Life is Not a Bed of Roses. Both anthologies are available either as paperbacks or as ebooks.

I have since published many books for myself and a few for other people. Gorgito's Ice Rink, my debut novel, is set in Russia and based partly on my travel experiences. It was started in 2006. In 2010, frustrated by the time it was taking to complete, and to provide structure and discipline to the project, I signed up for an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University. I graduated in January 2013. The novel was finally published in October 2014 and the following year, it was Runner-Up in the Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. I have since published three further novels, Counterfeit! Deception! and Corruption!, thrillers based in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. My fifth novel, Murder at Mountjoy Manor, will be out in October 2021. It's the first of my Coombesford Chronicles, a series of cosy mysteries set in an English village.

I also write non-fiction. The Business of Writing series is based on lectures and blog posts aimed at helping writers set up and run their own small businesses. The latest part in the series deals with the topic of Indie Publishing.

I am a member of Chudleigh Writers' Circle, Exeter Writers, and ALLI (The Alliance of Independent Authors). At the beginning of 2020, I took on the role of Director for the Exeter Literary Festival. In 2021 I was a presenter at the Women in Publishing Summit. I spend far too much time on Facebook and Twitter, but have met some great writing buddies that way.


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