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A Cotswold Killing
Nestled in the fertile hills of the Cotswolds, the village of Duntisbourne Abbots is a well-kept secret: beautiful, timeless and quintessentially English. When Joel Jennison is found slaughtered in the same field where his brother's corpse had lain ten weeks previously, a whole community falls under suspicion. Was it a family feud? An act of revenge? Could Thea's employers, now relaxing in the Bahamas, have anything to do with the murder? In calling on her neighbours to get some answers, Thea uncovers more tragedy and intrigue than she thought possible behind the chocolate- box facade of a peaceful Gloucestershire village. As a forty-something woman with no previous experience of detective work, she knows she shouldn't be getting involved. But as her new friend Harry points out sometimes a fresh eye can see through the superficial tangles to where the truth lies. The first in a new series of thrillers.
A Cotswold Ordeal
Thea Osborne embarks on her second house-sitting commis- sion with very few worries. The Phillipses are obviously a lovely relaxed family, and there is little to do but tend an ailing old pony and feed various furry pets and farmyard birds. But it seems she is jinxed. An appar- ent suicide takes place in one of the barns, and her sister turns up with a shocking story about her own home life...
Death in the Cotswolds
Thea Osbourne is thanking her lucky stars. After two disastrous housesitting incidents in which she unwittingly became embroiled in murder and mayhem, she is only too happy to have a bit of peace and quiet. The only positive thing that came out of her experiences, she thinks, is her blossoming relationship with DI Phil Hollis and she relishes the thought of their spending some quality time together while she helps him clear out his late aunt's cottage in the small village in which he grew up. Even meeting Phil's childhood acquaintance, the eccentric Ariadne with her abrupt manner and queer habits, can not detract from Thea's happiness. But the bad luck that plagues the hapless Thea and her beloved spaniel Hepzipah is never far away. With autumn drawing in, preparations for Samhain, or Halloween, are well underway when Ariadne discovers a very tangible reminder of the season of death on Notgrove Barrow: a body laid out like a sacrificial victim. Unlikely companions, Thea and Ariadne find themselves thrown together as they try to uncover the events that led to the fatality. It soon becomes apparent that the cosy village has more than its share of secrets. But, just how far will some go to keep them hidden... An intriguing mystery set against the captivating backdrop of the Cotswolds, the third in Rebecca Tope's successful series is the perfect book for any crime lover.
A Cotswold Mystery
After three catastrophic housesitting commissions, filled with murder and intrigue, the Montgomery house in Blockley seems like a welcome break for fearless Thea and her trusty spaniel Hephzibah. The opportunity to explore the lost Cotswold villages, with only the minor hindrance of checking up on the client's mother, in the adjoining house, promises to be the perfect get away. But Granny Gladys Gardener, with her conveniently erratic memory and series of ailments that disappear as quickly as they arrive, is a force to be reckoned and is soon arousing Thea's suspicion. After all, why do the Montgomery's lock her connecting door to the house? And why do they set an alarm that goes off every time Granny goes out?
Thea's concerns, however, soon turn to something more sinister when the arrival of her daughter, trainee policewoman Jessica, prompts the discovery of a body. Slowly the secrets of Blockley begin to unravel themselves to the Osborne women, but nothing in the village is quite what it seems. Up against the clock to try and solve another murder, with the added complications of her elderly charge, her daughter's career troubles and her deepening relationship with DI Phil Hollis, Thea is beginning to feel well and truly lost in the Cotswolds.
Blood in the Cotswolds
Thea Osborne and her faithful spaniel, Hepzie, have taken on another house-sitting assignment, this time in the very quiet village of Temple Guiting. Detective Superintendent Phil Hollis is looking forward to visiting for a night or two and celebrating the couple's one year anniversary, but a slipped disk in Phil's back soon puts an end to their romantic weekend.
As it turns out, having a policeman on the scene is not entirely unnecessary in the little village. A few days into their stay, a pile of human bones are discovered in the base of an uprooted tree. There is no concrete evidence as to whom the bones belonged to though the locals all have their theories and rumors abound. Thea and Phil find there is a strong connection to the Knights Templar in the village with most locals claiming to be descendants of some or other lineage.
Temple Guiting turns out to have more than its fair share of secrets and Thea and Phil find their relationship tested to the limits as they try to prevent another murder investigation from threatening the quiet solitude they hold so dear.
Slaughter in the Cotswolds
Thea throws herself into house-sitting for Babs and Cedric Angell in Lower Slaughter following her beloved father's death - anything to keep her busy and away from some of her rather difficult relatives. And while feeling lonely, keeping the house in order and looking after the Angell's menagerie of animals does the trick for a short period of time. But when Thea's prickly elder sister turns up on her doorstep after witnessing a horrific murder, the tentative tranquillity in Lower Slaughter vanishes, replaced by the sinister connotations of the town's name.
Fear in the Cotswolds
Following a string of disastrous house-sitting assignments, and with troubles in her recent personal life, Thea Osborne is understandably apprehensive about her latest commission: a month in an isolated farmhouse with only an assortment of animals, including her loyal spaniel Hepzie, for company. After Thea spends her first few days exploring the area and meeting some of the local characters, the weather turns extreme, and so do events. She finds a man lying dead in a snow-filled field, but by the time the police arrive, the body has gone. Although no one believes her story, amateur detective Thea is convinced that something criminal has happened, and continues the investigations alone. When she finds the man again, still dead but mysteriously returned to his own cottage, the bizarre case takes another sinister twist.
Deception in The Cotswolds
Thea Osbourne is perhaps over-optimistic about the English summertime and her latest assignment in the Cotswolds - house-sitting for reptile breeder Harriet Young. For Thea soon finds a dark side to the characters she encounters there, indeed Harriet's beloved geckoes are not the only cold-blooded creatures at large...
Yet again, the region's bucolic charms prove to be more than deceptive, and Thea is thrust once again into the heart of a Cotswolds mystery. For despite the ease with which Thea's new assignment in the secluded village of Cranham begins, she soon finds a dark side to the characters she encounters there. From the tragic Donny Davis to the enigmatic figure of Edwina, Thea begins to realize that Harriet Young's beloved geckoes are not the only cold-blooded creatures at large in Cranham. Family intrigues, murder, suicide and deception combine to give Thea a decidedly challenging summer in the Heart of England...
Malice in the Cotswolds
Thea Osborne, accompanied by her beloved spaniel Hepzie, has had her fair share of unfortunate occurrences while house-sitting, and her new assignment for the mysterious Yvonne Parker is no exception. The isolated and somewhat unsettling village of Snowshill, has Thea on edge as soon as she arrives, and Hyacinth House - her new, rather cluttered home - does nothing to dispel such feelings. Soon enough, her intuition in this case proves to be right, and once again Thea becomes entangled in another horrifying murder.
Stevie Horsfall, a mischievous child from the village is found brutally strangled outside Hyacinth House, with his eccentric mother Gudrun as the prime suspect. Believing in Gudrun's innocence, Thea, alongside Sonia Gladwin and her friend Drew Slocombe, work together to uncover a sinister plot, where seemingly separate lives are intertwined with secretive and strange relationships. This malicious web of suspects leads Thea through the lives of the villagers and their secrets, to London and beyond.
Shadows in the Cotswolds
When Thea Osborne agrees at the last minute to house-sit for Oliver Meadows as a favor to her mother, she expects a few days of peace with her spaniel, Hepzie. Uncomfortable with the news of her mother's sudden involvement with an old flame, and Thea herself unsure of how to deal with her feelings for Drew Slocombe, she hopes that some time alone in the historic town of Winchcombe will help to clear her head. But, as usual, Thea quickly finds herself at the center of a dark mystery when she discovers a dead body in the gardens of the house.
In the latest installment to the popular Cotswolds series by Rebecca Tope, Thea must work quickly to unravel the secrets which are being kept by Oliver Meadows and his brother, Fraser, and discover exactly what lies beneath the surface of their turbulent relationship. And amidst the chaos caused by the investigation, will Thea find time to decide how she should deal with her own problems too?
Revenge in the Cotswolds
Thea Osborne, Cotswold house-sitter with an infamous reputation for getting mixed up in crime, is determined to avoid trouble this time. Her latest commission in the village of Daglingworth seems straightforward, with most of her time spent looking after an old corgi and a hibernating tortoise. Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby quarry....
Crisis in the Costwolds
The secrets of the dead will not stay buried...
Thea Osborne and Drew Slocombe have been married for a year and are settled in the beautiful Cotswold village of Broad Campden, but Thea is chafing at the domestic routines she is expected to devote herself to, missing the novelty and adventure that house-sitting used to bring.
When a routine burial exposes the secrets of the deceased, Drew finds himself caught in the middle of a family feud in which he feels he is on the wrong side, and Thea's inquisitiveness and penchant for solving crimes draws her in too.
With another crisis at Drew's business leaving him with a profound dilemma and Thea struggling against the charismatic charms of a new man, can their marriage survive this latest Cotswold drama?
'As Rebecca Tope tells it, every rural idyll is blighted by underlying menace. Such is her writing skill, I'm inclined to believe her' Daily Mail
'With beautiful descriptions of the countryside, this excellent thriller marks a compulsive series of rural adventures ... A well-paced mystery with plenty of quirks and plot twists' Good Book Guide
'The classic English village mystery is alive and well and living in Gloucestershire' Sherlock Magazine
'Tope is one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking of today's crime writers' Mystery Women