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Mud, Muck and Dead Things

(Campbell and Carter Mystery #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,007 ratings  ·  89 reviews
The first instalment of the Campbell and Carter mysteries

When the body of a young woman is discovered in the cowshed of Cricket Farm, the tranquility of the British countryside is shattered. Inspector Jess Campbell is on the case, but with few leads, a grumbling partner, and the new Superintendent Ian Carter piling on the pressure, she’s beginning to wonder why she c
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 14th 2018 by Canelo USA (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Ivonne Rovira
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
I absolutely adored Ann Granger’s Mitchell and Markby mysteries; I was heartbroken when she abandoned the series after No. 15, That Way Murder Lies, was released in 2004. So I’ve been in withdrawal ever since. (Don’t judge!)

I hadn’t realized that Granger launched a spinoff series in 2009, featuring Inspector Jess Campbell, who had worked with Detective Superintendent Alan Markby in the Cotswold. Thankfully, Canelo is re-releasing the debut novel in the series (and presumably the rest) in an eboo
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good first book in the series...featuring Jess Campbell and Ian Carter...even though Carter's role is as of this book quite small. I enjoyed the writing, the strong and interesting characters...and the plot. A solid mystery, which is no small feat for the first novel in a series. Will for sure be reading more. ...more
T.R. McKilligan
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those light reads, that satisfy the mystery lover in me without the gore and graphic violence that seem to dominate books a lot these days. Just a good, old-fashioned British mystery - quite enjoyable.
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2⭐️
Picked this to read as a lark. Turns out it was far more interesting, and the characters more intricate, than the silly title would have you believe.
Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
City wheeler-dealer Lucas Burton discovers a dead girl on the spot where he was to conduct some wheeler-dealing. As he scarpers rather quickly, he doesn't stop to ask the important questions like "who is she?" And "how did she get there?"

Having not read a non-fantastical police procedural for a while, I was quite refreshed to discover a cast of reasonably ordinary country-mouse/city-mouse suspects in this cosy police procedural. There’s Lucas Burton himself, a shady, wheeler-
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Looking through the recommendations on my Kindle I found this gem of a book. I started it last evening and finished it this morning. I love a good mystery.

After reading just the first chapter... I was hooked. This book pulled me in and would not let go! The mystery was intriguing... every time you thought you had answers something new popped up. I'm telling you I had no idea 'whodunit' until the killer was revealed.

While the supporting cast and their stories was STELLAR, I will say I was a tad
Sid Nuncius
This was a decent, undemanding cosy crime novel until the ending, which I’m afraid I found very silly indeed.

The plot concerns the death of a young woman in the Cotswolds, investigated by Inspector Jess Campbell and her new boss Superintendent Ian Carter, whose partnership is new and scarcely develops during this first book. The investigation involves an array of local characters who are reasonably well portrayed if a little on the predictable side – the rich and boorish incomer, the horsy, boss
Like a mediocre British mystery book form

Twists and turns, multiple character plots, murder and gore, some action... it's not entirely my cup of tea (thus the 2 star rating), but others might like it more. I found it a bit boring in spots, and not as light-hearted as I was expecting. Not one I'd necessarily recommend, but I got the Kindle set for cheap, so I'll keep reading and see if they get stronger as the series goes on.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent mystery, reasonably good characters and plot, good writing. I knew relatively quickly who the bad guy was, but thought the investigation was carried out fairly well. I had a few quibbles - the officer who fell instantly in love with a witness, the fact that this is labeled a "Campbell and Carter" mystery but Carter is barely heard from, and a couple of the decision that the lead detective made were a bit questionable. ...more
Nancy Wilson
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
New series (well to me) so far so good. The main character Jess Campbell is just starting to take shape.
Somehow I had missed this newer series by Ann Granger, whose Meredith and Markby series I enjoyed so much. What a gift to discover it! Inspector Campbell, who appeared in the previous series, has transferred to a new police station since then and is getting well settled. She is getting a new superintendent, a Mr. Carter, and isn't quite sure how this will work out.
Granger excels at setting a scene and peopling it with interesting characters who often surprise you. Some of them in this book incl
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books-read
I really enjoyed this new-to-me author and the first book in a series. The body of a young woman is found in an rundown cow barn. Who is it? How did it get there? Who murdered her? These are the questions that Inspector Jess Campbell must find answers too. The main suspect seems to be the owner of silver Mercedes who was seen leaving the area by several neighbors, and paint scrapings from the car were near the barn. The owner, Lucas Burton, is a rags-to-riches shady businessman, living in London ...more
This was fairly interesting. I liked the characters very well, the plot not so much.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Mud, Muck and Dead Things is a re-release of the 1st book in the Campbell and Carter mystery series by Ann Granger. Originally published in 2009, this reformatted version was released 14th May 2018 by Canelo and is available in ebook format.

I read pretty much anything and everything, however, if forced at hypothetical gunpoint to choose only one genre, I'd have to say English crime, the more 'golden age' in feel, the better. This series is set
Martin Pilkington
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn’t what I expected from the look of the title and the front cover. The book is a quietly paced police story. It starts with the discovery of a body on a farm and follows the investigation led by Inspector Jess Campbell, who is going to be the main character in a series of books.

There’s nothing flash in the writing or the plot, the story is very much character based. If you don’t like the characters you won’t like the books. Perhaps that’s a dangerous way of writing any book that s
Finally, I get to start a new series by reading book one. DI Jess Campbell is called to investigate the murder of a young woman found in a cowshed on Cricket Farm in a small English village. The farm was the scene of a double murder many years prior and now most of the buildings are abandoned and left to ruin. There are few clues other than the sighting of a silver Mercedes near the farm the day before the body is discovered. Enter the second protagonist, Jess' new boss, Superintendent Ian Carte ...more
Gail Gassen
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A good read for sure!

I decided to try these books that kept popping up in my suggestions. I was very happy I did! They were really an unexpected delight, of course I'm not putting down the author at all, I've just not read to many modern police mysteries that I cared for much. It's actually been a while, except for the series of the "Blue" books I call them. This story was great and I didn't even figure out who had done it till the reveal. I was actually surprised, although I had an idea it was
This is the first in a new series from Ann Granger, & having enjoyed all the Mitchell & Markby books, as well as the Fran Varady series, I was expecting to enjoy this too.
This series features Inspector Jess Campbell & Superintendent Ian Carter, though there seemed little interaction between the two, indeed Carter seldom getting a look in at all. Although it took me a couple of chapters to really get into it, I found it a decent read, nothing spectacular & very similar in style to her other Cots
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. Takes place in the Cotswolds. Inspector Jess Campbell meets her new boss, Carter.

The body of a Czech girl who has been working in a local bar is found on an unworked farm belonging to an elderly misfit, Eli.

Eli's neighbour, Penny Gower is struggling to keep her horse stables afloat. She gets help from two friends, one the wife of a nasty rich man, the other a man who constantly declares his love for her, despite being still married, although he and his travelling wife lead sep
Shayla Markham
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
BOOK ONE: Detectives Campbell and Carter work their first case together!

A hidden body is found at an old farm, bringing Campbell and Carter together as partners for the first time in a murder investigation! The author populates her novel with wonderfully described characters, some on the whimsical side , which adds a bit of humor to the twists and turns that quickly develop in the story. Will they ever figure it all out? Read to find out! You won't be able to put this book down!!
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters, situations, and dialogue have authenticity, and the psychological side of the narrative is interesting and not overwhelming. The denouement was fast-paced; I would not have minded spending more time getting some of the final elements in place - though I did rather appreciate the author’s ability to bring the reader along on the Inspector’s train of thought in a very natural way.

These are billed as “Carter and Campbell” mysteries, but it’s mostly Campbell in this one. I’m curious
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the book was fast-paced and entertaining. There were a couple of situations I felt were unresolved, but because I was listening to, rather than reading the book, it wasn't easy for me to go back and sort it out. For instance, who was in the house the night someone else observed that person in the house?

This is the debut novel, and Carter plays an almost insignificant role. I will hang around for the next installation to see how his character develops, and perhaps I'll read it rather tha
Lovely to read Ann Granger again - a new-to-me new series (10 yrs old!! dammit)
But nicely done; evocative of the English countryside (yes, the Cotswolds are lovely); quiet, unexpected murder, and Jess Campbell investigating (only vaguely remember her from the Markby mysteries).

Nicely played out: local characters well drawn; a con-man who doesn't win; a charming, conniving villain; and an intriguing new superintendent in Ian Carter (who no doubt we will learn a little more about in the following
Kelly Callaghan
This is the first in the Campbell Carter series of murder mysteries, when Carter arrives at the station whee Jess Campbell is an Inspector. An engaging book, easy to read (when you want a break), with no gory details.

A man goes to an abandoned farm for a meeting. When he gets there he finds a dead body. He panics are drives off. Unfortunately the car is see and before long the police identify it and the driver, found dead in his garage. Naming the victim takes a bit longer. Inspector is too clos
Cynthia Grove
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book fair purchase that has provided a very enjoyable story after a somewhat unpromising first chapter.
The first in a spin-off series from the Mitchell &Markby stories. A female police officer who had worked with Markby is now an Inspector with another force.
The story has it bucolic moments as well as a city side. The plot is good, characters well-drawn though not fully nuanced yet. Good and mostly credible interactions between characters. It should be noted though that one of the characters
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had very much enjoyed Ann Granger's previous series, but somehow was not aware that she had written another after it. I was thrilled to learn that she had.

This is a solid British village murder mystery, perfect for fans of Midsomer Murders. The characters were likable and the plot sufficiently complex to keep me interested. There were a few encounters with ghosts I could have lived without, but they did not overwhelm the story. It will be interesting to see if the characters and relationships
Alisha Henri
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, Creepy, and Rewarding

Ms. Granger has written a complex mystery with fascinating odd characters, interesting turns and twists of plotlines, and satisfying resolutions. I felt myself an observer involved in the book, liked the forward movement that didn't rush but steadily moved, and didn't know the murderer until Inspector Campbell discovered the identity unpleasantly. Kudos. I'm off to read the next in the series.
Morgan Silver
I liked the story overall, but missed some depth in the main characters and the writing bothered me.


And so many "she said crisply" (I found two of those within three paragraphs, nevermind a chapter) or "he said angrily". It was so annoying and felt childish to read.
I don't know if this will improve in the next novel but until I find out I will not read it.
Martha Bratton
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it well enough to immediately get the next book! It has everything I love in a mystery—colorful and beautifully described setting, interesting people, and a complex but not too contrived plot. The bonus in this first story is the foreshadowing of romance among two principal characters. Now I’ve made it sound dull. But I really didn’t want to put it down.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much enjoyed this cozy. Likable Brit Inspector, new boss coming immediately after the murder was discovered, a cast of interesting and varied characters. I had no idea whodunnit, and I usually pick up the clues before the end. Clues to the villain er subtle, although in retrospect, I see them.

I'm pretty sure I'll be buying the whole series.
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Ann Granger (born 1939) has worked in British embassies in various parts of the world. She met her husband, who was also working for the British Embassy, in Prague and together they received postings to places as far apart as Munich and Lusaka. They are now permanently based in Oxfordshire.

Her first novels were historical romances published under the nom de plume Ann Hulme.

Other books in the series

Campbell and Carter Mystery (7 books)
  • Rack, Ruin and Murder (Campbell and Carter Mystery #2)
  • Bricks and Mortality (Campbell and Carter Mystery, #3)
  • Dead in the Water (Campbell and Carter Mystery #4)
  • Rooted in Evil (Campbell and Carter Mystery, #5)
  • An Unfinished Murder (Campbell and Carter Mystery Book 6)
  • A Matter of Murder (Campbell and Carter Mystery, #7)

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