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The Cost of Living

(Ant & Bea Mysteries #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  171 ratings  ·  39 reviews
When a young woman is attacked walking home from her local supermarket, Bea Jordan, a smart but unfulfilled checkout girl, is determined to investigate. Colleagues and customers become suspects, secrets are uncovered. While fear stalks the town, Bea finds an unlikely ally in Ant, the seemingly gormless new trainee, but risks losing the people she loves most as death comes ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Sandstone Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  171 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Kelly Lacey
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is it about?

Welcome to the town of Kingsleigh, where a whole host of characters work at Costsavers the supermarket. The story revolves around the supermarket staff, in particular, the main characters Bea and Ant. Bea has a heart of gold and she pays particular attention to make sure her customers are okay. She has a positive outlook even if all is not what it seems in her own life.

Ant is the rogue school drop out with a bad attitude, but with the help of Bea can he be a diamond in the roug
Liz Barnsley
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ha ha I really really enjoyed this one – probably that little bit more than most due to my day job – so much here about Bea’s life as a Supermarket checkout girl resonated and made me smile – but even that aside this was a right old trip of a read and I fell madly in love with Bea and Ant – two resoundingly lifelike characters.

I suppose you would call The Cost of Living cosy crime with a dark side – it is fast, often funny when it comes to its tales of Supermarket life – the regulars, the cliche
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Not my usual reading, a light crime story set in contemporary suburban England, with a young supermarket checkout girl as the lead character, Bea, who does some amateur sleuthing. The writer turns out to be a neighbour of mine so I suppose I’m being nosy!
I quite enjoyed it. In some ways it revels in the mundane aspects of everyday life: Bea and her housebound mum’s evening meal and TV viewing habits, the routine of supermarket working life, etc. But it has a charm in the companionship of work, t
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
This was a nice one

A murder mystery set in a small town focusing on a supermarket and the employees.

I enjoyed the supermarket setting a little more than I thought

Ant was a quiet a good character, I liked them both together, Ant and Bea

And I didn’t guess the murderer at all.

Will definitely try and read the next one
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can I give this more than five stars? This book is delightful, from start to finish!

I adored the characters: they are so thoroughly realized, I could swear I've met them. Not just the main characters, Ant and Bea, but all the peripheral characters too. The author describes it as "Cosy Crime," but I felt more tense reading parts of this than I did Girl on the Train or Gone Girl - who cares what happens to those people? Everytime Bea (BAE!) walked home alone my heart was in my mouth and my pulse w
carol thomas
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cost of living

Excellent first novel looking forward to the next one by this author highly recommended if you enjoy light mystery books
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Great characters who were well described. Fresh sounding dialogue. Gripping story. Excellent!
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review

The Cost Of Living is the first book aimed primarily at adults by Rachel Ward. Bea is a 20 something checkout girl, content with her life and keeping an eye on her regulars, but when someone begins stalking the women of her town she finds herself considering all the people in her life and wondering if any of them are capable of stalking and attacking women like her.

I really enjoyed The Cost Of Living, if you’re familia
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

Murder amongst the meat aisle? Read below to find out.

The Cost of Living, The Blurb:

"After a young woman is brutally attacked on her way home from the local supermarket, checkout girl Bea is determined to find out who’s responsible. She enlists the help of Ant, the seemingly gormless new trainee – but can she really trust him? Customers and colleagues become suspects, secrets are uncovered, and while fear stalks the town, Bea risks losing the people she loves most."

To describe the book as a cos
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cost of Living is a gentle mystery featuring unlikely heroes, Ant and Bea, who both work in a supermarket in the small town of Kingsleigh. There is a fear round the town that there is a stalker targeting young women and when someone is attacked, everyone's fears seem to have come true. Bea is a check-out operator at Costsave, a bright young woman who I certainly felt had lots of potential to go far whether in her current occupation or elsewhere. Ant, on the face of things, seems less likely ...more
Melinda Worfolk
3.5 stars. This was solidly enjoyable. I liked the unusual setting--the main characters work at a grocery store in a small English town. Bea is a cashier who has worked at Cost Save Grocery for a few years, ever since she left secondary school. Ant is a young man who has dropped out of school and participated in neighbourhood delinquency, but has now been given one more chance to shape up by working an entry level job at Cost Save. Although they are off to a rocky start, eventually the two becom ...more
Fay Flude
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A funny, easy read full of weirdly likeable characters led by checkout girl Bea and (far from ably) assisted by trainee Ant, who has an uncomfortable secret.
Life at Costsave is hilarious but personally I found there was far too much use of 'f**k" in the dialogue. It is interesting and different that the setting is a supermarket and from Store Manager Gavin, deputy Neville, fellow checkout operative Dot, Bob the butcher and Dean the shifty lad in stores, to all the various regular customers and B
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the writing style of the book alongside the different types of characters introduced in the book, maybe it was because of my past experience working in a supermarket or the realistic feel to the book, I found it was an interesting read even though the book was very slow paced in itself.

Although, there are lots of characters and interactions between these characters and small events that happen, it also feels as if nothing is happening at the same time. This is especially so in t
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up at the library not expecting to like it so much (quite often I take cosy crime back after not reading more than a couple of chapters). This is quite different from the typical crime novel, the main character, Bea, doesn't fall over dead bodies and insert herself into investigations, and Ant seems like a hopeless loser in the beginning. The characters are all well-drawn, and Bea is very sympathetically portrayed. She works as a check-out operator in the local supermarket, and cop ...more
Victoria Ellis
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
The Cost of Living is the first book in Rachel Ward’s Ant & Bea Mysteries, a cosy murder mystery series set in a supermarket. After reading the third one earlier this month I was able to get the first from my local library, thanks to BorrowBox. When when seems to be a stalker escalates to assault, and eventually to murder checkout assistant Bea decided to get to the bottom of it, with the assistance of her new colleague Ant. This is a nice contemporary mystery series that revolves around working ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. In a small town there's someone stalking women and a murder is committed.

Ant and Bea both work in the grocery store and decide to play Detective if only for their safety and others in the store.

I'd say this borderlines on the edges of being a cosy mystery as the main focus isn't the crime but the lives and relationships of the characters.

Oddly enough I really liked the grocery store setting and found the parts in it to be the most enjoyable.

If this book had a flaw it w
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! Bea is a cashier at the local supermarket and decides to solve the spate of attacks on women in the area. She is assisted by Ant and Dot who also work at the store. There are lots of lovely cockney characters in this story, like Smelly Reg, one of the customers whose presence often arrives before he does. There’s some gentle humour and the story is satisfyingly full of subplots and red herrings. 🎧 Charlie Sanderson does a fantastic job of the voices, including the nasal twang of Ne ...more
Pat Walsh
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read, wonderful characters - especially feisty, warm hearted Bea and likeable Ant. The two friends team up and become amateur sleuths after an assault and a murder take place much too close to home. Very enjoyable start to what will hopefully become a series of adventures for Ant and Bea. Highly recommended.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great cozy mystery. The Cost of Living tells the story of Bea and her buddies, Ant and Dot, workers at the local supermarket in a small English town, who are drawn to investigate the murder of a fellow coworker. Bea’s personality is fantastic, and the author shows again and again why she would be driven to get involved. I hope this is the start of a series.
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The mystery takes a back seat to the vivid, lifelike setting and people. Anyone who ever operated a cash register in a retail business will be able to relate. The story develops slowly and realistically—no macho heroics or super-sleuth antics. Wonderful, empathetic, everyday working class characters. I read the British edition—hopefully the American edition won’t dumb-down the British slang.
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery: it's engrossing and highly entertaining.
I liked the unusual setting, the fleshed out characters and the solid mystery that kept me guessing.
I can't wait to read the other books in this series.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Wilde Sky
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A supermarket worker investigates a murder.

The story and characters were reasonable, but the writing could have been sharper.

My overall rating of 3.5 is because the story featured 'marginal / poor / forgotten' people - which is where I came from.
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. Not quite a cozy - I think because of the 3rd person narration and it felt more like an ensemble cast. I waffled on my guess as to "who-done-it" and doubted myself up until the very end. Will read more in the series. ...more
Tracy Hager
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cozy crime isn't my favourite genre but I know Rachel and her book made me smile and feel good - despite the murders! ...more
I loved this book! The characters were such “characters”. It involved me from the start. Can’t wait for the next in the series!
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Felt like a Maeve Binchy murder mystery - almost too light hearted for a murder mystery but held my attention and I enjoyed the characters.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An unusual setting for a mystery. But, the story is engaging enough! More
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Bit slow, some loose ends, but fun. Love the setting. This is my first supermarket murder mystery.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Used the audio book version. Lighthearted mystery, set in a small town with some realistic characters.
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