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Murder on the Marshes

(Tara Thorpe Mystery #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,554 ratings  ·  132 reviews
The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake.

As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat.

It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case
Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Bookouture
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,554 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Brilliant Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

What a fabulous start to this new series! Really loved everything about it the plot, the characters, and especially the setting.... it was a new refreshing twist on a police procedural. because you also got the investigative journalism insight .... and I really loved the academic setting...

A professor is found murdered in a fountain at the school, without any clues... Tara is an investigative reporter and assigned to write a story about the victims life... DI Burke is assig
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
It wasn't just the exciting premise that I loved, the beautiful cover influenced me too. Yet another thriller writer that seems to have passed me by! Clare Chase has had three other books published from 2014-16 by Choc Lit. You'll enjoy her books including this one if you like Joy Ellis, L. J. Ross, and Faith Martin.

It's dawn and affluent Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a Cambridge courtyard. The only clue left is an antique silver chain that has been wound tight
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Welcome to Cambridge and its elite university colleges, whose foundations will be rocked by the murder of one of their own. Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the fountain of a courtyard. The only clue is a silver chain. How did Samantha get access to this courtyard? Who would want to harm her and why?

The investigation into Samantha’s murder falls into the hands of DI Blake, but he isn’t the only one tracking a killer. Tara Thorpe is a journalist, whose boss wants her to write an article abou
Elaine Tomasso
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Murder on the Marshes, the first novel set in Cambridge to feature investigative journalist Tara Thorpe.

When Professor Samantha Seabrook is found murdered in the fountain of St Bede College's private walled garden DI Garstin Blake and his team are assigned the case. Tara Thorpe is asked to write an in-depth article on Samantha following her death so she crosses paths with DI Blake, especially when the police discover that the
Janet Newport
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley and BookOuture for this arc.

I enjoyed Murder on the Marshes a lot. Fast paced, twisty, and interesting well-developed characters. Oh, and a very interesting setting! I just ripped right through this book. A wonderful balance of what I feel are the essential elements for a crime novel. This appears to be the first in a series... I hope so as I really enjoyed Tara!

4.5 stars rounded up.
After I finished this book I read Clare Chase’s Goodreads author profile where she states that Elly Griffiths is one of her influences. I must say this didn’t surprise me as I had noticed similarities between Murder on the Marshes and the books in Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series. 

The heroine here is reporter Tara Thorpe. Tara is the daughter of an actress and has previously been harassed by a stalker. As such, when she receives a rag doll with a noose around its neck in the mail, she immediatel
Sep 20, 2018 added it
Revenge or evening up the balance? A twisty tale with many red herrings...

"Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes." John Donne

Tara Thorpe is a journalist working for NOT NOW magazine when she is asked to investigate and write a feature about the murder of a charismatic and popular professor, Samantha Seabrook, a fellow of St. Francis's College at Cambridge. Professor Seabrook, young and athletic, somewhat impetuous and adventurous, had apparently been killed in a wal
Julie Lacey
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great ‘who-dunnit’ story.
Tara is a journalist and contacts the Police when she receives a threatening note, along with a strange doll.
A body is then found and it transpires that the victim had received a doll with a noose round it's neck a few weeks ago.
Detective Blake speaks to Tara and takes the threat against her seriously. With her link to the death of the woman she starts investigating her death as a story. Blake asks her to share what she finds and she agrees as she knows he w
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

A woman is found half submerged in a pond on the St. Bede’s College campus. DI Garstin Blake and his team respond to the call. She has been drowned intentionally. She turns out to be Samantha Seabrook, a professor at another college in the Cambridge College system. She is wearing a silver crucifix around her neck.

Tara Thorpe is a reporter for a publication called Not Now. It is sometimes edgy and just skirts the bounds of propriety. Tara is a good journalist who does not appreciate the qu
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘Murder On The Marshes’ is billed as being ideal for fans of L. J. Ross, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis. I love all three authors and the books and so I was looking forward to starting ‘Murder On The Marshes’. I was not to be disappointed as I loved it but more about that in a bit.
I did feel for the character of Tara Thorpe. She’s a journalist and at some point in her past she has had a traumatic experience which still affects her to this day. She lives a distance away from other houses but she is q
Renita D'Silva
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a book! I love this author's writing and with this book she has surpassed all expectations, setting the standard exceptionally high! One of the best mysteries I have read! Loved it from start to finish and couldn't put it down! A masterpiece! Plotting perfection! The writing is brilliant and flows off the page, the characters stay with you. A thoroughly satisfying, absolutely stunning book! I cannot wait to read more by this amazing author! ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Money might not give you everything you crave the most, but it sure helps you finding your way in the world. This does not necessarily mean a happy ending, does it ...

What I love about this kind of books is that you can awaken your inner cop and try and solve the mystery. Little by little, with the help of each interview, the case becomes clearer. I had to conclude,once again, that I would make a lousy DI ...
That means praise to the author for keeping the culprit hidden until the end.

The point
Judy Lesley
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern, british, mystery
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital galley of this novel.

This story, set in the environs of the colleges of the University of Cambridge, started out as a classic locked room mystery with a twist: instead of a room we are dealing with a garden. According to the information recorded with the key card codes nobody entered the locked garden gate after it was closed at 5:30 p.m. So how did a murder occur there after midnight? The police discover that an object was sent to the murder v
I now have another procedural investigative series to follow. MotM was a whip-smart read that had a good many surprises and twists. I won't be spoiling but I found the reveal of the murderer well done and while they were one I had briefly suspected and discarded, it all made sense in the denouement. Oxford is as much a character here as the others and that was also a high point for me. I cared a lot about Tara and her story and given the ending, look forward to what's next for her as it seems he ...more

Visit the locations in the novel

There’s a lot going on at this Cambridgeshire college! Not since Inspector Morse have I read of such goings on. This is going to be a new gripping series of mysteries and subplots I think.Great characters already - I liked Tara from the off. Think she should move from that common though - and parking the car in Garlic Lane was apt when she kicked up a stink afterwards!

It goes to show that what happens in our pasts can have serious repercussions and come back to h
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and the main characters. It was a good start to a new series. And I always like strong female characters.
I did figure out the killer about three quarters through. But I didn't guess all the details so it made for a nice ending. Got my heart thumping a bit!
Solid four stars for me.
Christopher Roden
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well plotted, and a darned good read.
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

Murder on the Marshes is a fast read that pulled me in right from the beginning. The action is written so there's plenty of it to move the story forward, but not so much to be over the top ridiculous. In general I enjoyed the writing style. The color descriptions and imagery are wonderful. They paint quite a picture.

I also really liked the setting. Many of the main characters are college
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cozy, and clearly the beginning of a good series.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I began reading Murder on the Marshes yesterday and literally couldn't put it down!! This was an excellent thriller with well developed characters and great twists!! From the first page until the end, Murder on the Marshes is a great ride of mystery, suspense and murder.

First, I'd like to thank Netgalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase (the author) for allowing me to have this ARC.


Tara Thorpe is a journalist who has a history of being stalked from when she was a teenager. 20 years later
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
What a great start to a new upcoming series that I looking forward to reading! Hello DI Garstin and hello Tara. Tara takes her career very seriously but with her life at risk will she be able to cope and keep going?

Cleverly written, fast paced and easy to read! Murder on the Marshes kicks off this series brilliantly introducing the characters and setting. A real who dunnit with plenty of twists and turns for the reader to endure.

I enjoy reading this one and I look forward to book two already! A
Julie Morris
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always been intrigued by books set in the exclusive university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, especially detective books, and especially ones that provide a glimpse into the exclusive and archaic world of the elite universities that most of us never get to see. My love was initially sparked by the brilliant novel Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers and prevailed through my abiding devotion to the great Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter. I think I have found another fabulous series to a ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Murder on the Marshes introduces us to journalist Tara Thorpe and DI Garstin Blake. Tara arrives home to find that she has been sent a package that contains a small doll with a noose round its neck and a note stating “This is a warning”. With her past history the first thing she does is contact the police. When a Cambridge professor is found strangled, initial investigations uncover that she too was sent a similar doll. When the professors assistant is also murdered the race is on to find the ki ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Professor Samantha Seabrook —intelligent, gifted, and wealthy—is found murdered behind the locked gate of a small garden with a fountain. Detective Inspector Garstin Blake is assigned the case as well as the case of finding the individual who is threatening investigative reporter Tara Thorpe, who has received threats very much like the ones she received several years earlier which the police was unable to find the perpetrator. At the same time, she is given the assignment of writing the story ab ...more
Shell Baker
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was super excited to hear that Clare Chase is back with a new murder mystery series.... having been a fan of her writing for the last couple of years and reading Clare's previous books I couldn't wait to get stuck into Murder on The Marshes and meet Tara Thorpe. I am pleased to say that the author doesn't disappoint this is without a doubt her best book to date....I was hooked from start to finish.

Clare does a brilliant job of setting the scene in Cambridge where we follow Tara and Detective
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Description builds reader up for a disappointment

Interestingly the description was far more intriguing than the actual writing, which turned out to be a let-down after the first line of the description saying how the book is: "unputabledown" - what kind of word is that anyway?

The writing is slow and at times includes a lot of miscellaneous unnecessary filler... It's one of those books where you pick it up read for little bit, then put it down to later pick it up for little, only to put it down
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed this author's first three books published by ChocLit, I was quite intrigued to see what she could deliver next, now she has signed with Bookouture for this, her new series. Well, the verdict is in and, yup loved this one too!
In this book, set in Cambridge, we follow an investigation from two very different sides. On one we have DI Garstin (great name) Blake, the other journalist Tara Thorpe. I found this to be quite novel in delivery and very well executed. Wo
Lillian Cummings
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Children can be so cruel. Tara can't believe that someone is stalking her again, she went through so much before and she is prepared but still very scared. And now her boss wants her to write a piece on the professor that was found murdered and find out about her life. DI Blake knows there is more to this case but they don't have much to go on as yet and so when he meets Tara he decides that they should share information. Can they really work together to find the killer? What Tara learns about t ...more
Rachel (Rae)
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was really interesting to see the story play out especially from both a journalist and detective's perspective. It gave this story an added edge as people reacted differently to the two people asking the questions. Although to be honest this could be down to Tara and her ability to put people at ease. Both Blake and Tara were intriguing characters especially Tara who has a few secrets of her own from her past. You could feel Tara's fears and worries over the threats she receives, something th ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I quite liked this first entry in the Tara Thorpe mystery series set in Cambridge. During this first book, Tara is working as a journalist for a sleezy publication. When a professor at Cambridge is murdered, Tara is given the assignment to write a feature about the professor. As Tara begins interviewing everyone involved with the professor's life, she meets local Detective Inspector Garstin Blake. Tara is being followed and threatened, with a clear link to the murder, complicating her relationsh ...more
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Clare Chase writes classic mysteries. Her aim is to take readers away from it all via some armchair sleuthing in atmospheric locations.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for Novelicious’s Undiscovered Award, as well as an EPIC award post-publication, and was chosen as a Debut of the Month by LoveReading. Murder in the Marshes (Tara Thorpe 1) was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award

Other books in the series

Tara Thorpe Mystery (4 books)
  • Death on the River (Tara Thorpe Mystery #2)
  • Death Comes to Call (Tara Thorpe Mystery #3)
  • Murder in the Fens (A Tara Thorpe Mystery #4)

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