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A Cotswold Mystery (Thea Osborne #4)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  342 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
After three catastrophic house-sitting 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 ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Allison & Busby (first published May 1st 2008)
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Apr 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The setting, the premise, it all sounded promising, but... Too much time spent on the main character's conflicts (feeling old - she's 42!; not connecting with her daughter; not sure about her new relationship), blah, blah, blah! And not just once in the book, but multiple pages devoted to this tripe and not to the murder "mystery". The suspects hardly enter the story, there is no cloak and dagger, no danger to anyone (except the dead guy!). When the mystery is finally wrapped up, it's all a big ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm not sure why I even finished reading this book. The main character, Thea, has to be THE most annoying character I've ever come across in any of the mysteries I've read, and I've read a lot of them. I suppose it was because I kept it in my locker and read it while on dinner break - didn't even bother to take it home to finish it. Thea is 44 years old but acts like a peevish old woman. Her job is supposed to be keeping an eye on an old woman and house sitting. She keeps forgetting to set alarm ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
A Cotswold Mystery is the fourth in Rebecca Tope's series of novels set in Cotswold villages, and to my mind thus far the weakest. Our heroine, 42-year-old house-sitter Thea, is once again staying at the home of a couple while they go off to India; in this instance, the house has an attached cottage in which Gladys, the mother of one of the couple, lives. Gladys is 92 and getting forgetful and perhaps a bit demented - unless that's just an act, of course. Thea is wondering about her relationship ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Book 4 in the Thea Osbourne mystery set. This series is written by my favorite author, Rebecca Tope and again she doesn't disappoint.

I enjoyed the characters, the setting (I love when the author takes us to real places in England and different towns in each book), the humor, the ups-and-downs, the "whodunit", all of it together had a great flavor.

Thea seemed a bit grouchy, absent minded, not herself in this one. She wasn't even as protective of her dog "Hepzie". It seemed everything got
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
In this mystery, we have the sleuth, Thea whom is house-sitting/elder sitting as her part-time occupation. Joining her in the lovely village of Blockley, U.K. is her daughter, Jessica (who is on probation with the police department.) Also, Thea's Dog, Hepzie is along.

The first mystery is why the 'Granny' is almost locked up within her own home. Next comes along a murder of a nearby, and according to Granny, a beloved neighbor. Then is the mystery of Granny herself, is she 92 yrs old and has lost
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to reading this book but was disappointed. I don't find the main characters friendly or interesting, they were quite prickly. The whole murder mystery was not very well written and to my mind frankly a cheat!!!I won't say why as I don't want to spoil it for other readers. I don't think I'll read any more of this series.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending felt a bit rushed and unimaginative.
This is the fourth book in the Thea Osborne series, and it's not one of the better ones so far. We do meet Thea's daughter, who is in the police (just like Thea's brother-in-law, James, and Thea's love interest, Phil), but the mother-daughter relationship is fractious, as is Thea's charge on this house-sitting assignment, a senile but competent old woman who needs a responsible person close by, but does not need constant supervision.

In my opinion, middle-aged white female authors should probably
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read the three Cotswold cozy mysteries that preceded this book, and have to say that the fourth was a letdown. Thea house-sits in various parts of the Cotswolds for a living; this job was to look after not only a house but the surly senior whose home is adjacent. When the neighbour on the other side of Thea's temporary home is murdered, she is drawn into the drama.
There was little suspense and no real climax to the narrative; rather, I was lulled to sleep by numerous dog walks in the count
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
It's been 5 years since I read the first three books in this series, which I had enjoyed, but I was not so keen on this one . The Thea I remembered was not the one in this book . In this she is very grumpy and impatient, and hardly seems to take notice of her dog which has featured quite a bit in her stories, maybe because her daughter is a major character here. I felt the ending was somewhat hurried
I will probably read the next in the series, in the hope that she goes back to being the more lik
Ashley FL
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Liked the mystery itself, but the main character was not one I wanted to spend more time with. I'm not exactly sure why, but she bugged me. I'd rather read a series with her daughter as the main character, honestly.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
The fourth Thea Osborne house-sitting mystery describes another claustrophobically close-knit English village distracted by murder.
Pam Baddeley
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-fiction
Fourth in the series of Thea Osborne 'cosy crime' novels in which she sits houses and ends up involved in a murder mystery due to the propensity of villains to wait until the usual owners are on holiday and a housesitter is on the premises who doesn't know anyone or the area. This time, Thea is 'granny sitting' really, looking after an eccentric 92 year old who seems perfectly lucid and even cunning at times, and very confused/demented at other times. And as the story goes on, Thea starts to rea ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I didn't dislike this but didn't love it either. I did think the narrator did a bang up job and I'm not sure if I would have liked this as much if I'd read it on my own. So kudos for that. And I quite liked the setting and it wasn't a bad mystery either.

I am just not a big fan of over 40 female characters that seem to think that anything over 30 is "old" however, I also don't like it if the same character behaves like a 20 year old. And in a lot of ways that sums up my opinion of Thea. I liked h
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read, perfect to while away some time and presenting no challenges what so ever. Admittedly I picked it up (charity bookshop find) because the hero is named Osborne and because it is based in the Cotswolds. The references to Solihull as a denizen of crime brought a smile to my face.

Thea Osborne is house sitting for a couple, but with the house comes the granny in the granny flat and a buzzer on granny's front door to alert Thea if she gets out. Seems like a nice easy job until the ne
Petra Beck
A rather bizarre story but well written and entertaining, would probably make a good holiday read. Only I really couldn't warm up to the VERY odd collection of people featuring in this story. Thea, the protagonist, does and says weird things that surely nobody in their right mind would say and do? And she's allegedly only 42 years old but often seems to behave like a much older person. So she has a laptop and is happy to "google" for information, but has no idea that you can stop and rewind digi ...more
Kathleen Hagen
A Cottswold Mystery, by Rebecca Tope, B-plus, narrated by Caroline Lennon, produced by Isis Audio, downloaded from

Thea Osborn takes on various jobs as a house sitter. I think this book is one in a series. Thea takes on this particular house with an added extra suite in which the owner’s mother lives. Thea is told that the grandmother will be no trouble, although she is a little forgetful. The grandmother is in many ways difficult, and Thea has her hands full. Her daughter, Jessica,
Took me a while to get through this one. I've read and enjoyed the previous books but found this one a bit slow with the mystery. Not so much interaction between Thea and her dog Helzibah and the dogged search of the murder. There were alot of storylines dealt with (her relationship with her new boyfriend, her daughter and her troubles as a new police officer and the uncle who is a surragate father to her daughter) There was more time spent on this and the mystery seemed to take second place. No ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the previous three. It seemed a bit plodding, too much focus on Thea...not enough on the murder. Thea is often extremely annoying, small-minded...judgmental. Not the most appealing protagonist I've come across. And yet somehow the books in the series keep me interested enough to keep coming back for more.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This plods along in a pleasant enough fashion most of the time. There are some unconvincing outbursts along the way and far too much of a tendency for info-dumps. The setting is not entirely believable although not impossible. I am unlikely to buy any more books by this author although I would read any that I came across.
Kirsty Darbyshire
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: paperback
Like the rest of Rebecca Tope's books that I've read this is enjoyable, requires some suspension of belief (like most mysteries do) but not too much, and provides a cast of interesting characters in a location that works well. It's gentle and entertaining, though I did think the conclusion was a bit rushed. I'll no doubt pick up more books in the series in time.
This is the second Rebecca Tope novel I've read, and it is nowhere as good as the first one. There are plenty of characters and some possible sub-plots, but these are never really properly developed. Instead, Thea and her daughter Jessica seem to spend most of their time going for walks - which adds to the page count but adds nothing of interest to the story.

Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
She's mixing it up nicely. The last book was told from someone else's point of view, and this mystery is really worked out more by her daughter than herself. I really recommend this series if you like mysteries set in Britain.
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
this gets a 3 and a half. i read it from the library, then bought whatever ones i came across or maybe even bought them from amazon. the others have been waiting for me to get round to them. but this is a very enjoyable light mystery series. being set in the cotswolds doesn't hurt at all.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
FOUL LANGUAGE - None that I remember.
SEX - The main character is in a relationship. No "sex scenes" that I remember.
VIOLENCE - It's a murder mystery.
DID I LIKE IT? Yes. Good for a cozy read.
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads
An OK read but not great. Plot is a bit thin. I am only reading this series because I have got to know the Cotswold area fairly well and like to read about places that I know.
Susan Young
I was really enjoying this book, but thought it ended too abruptly. I thought there would be more explanation. It felt to me that the author ran out of time.
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A bit boring. I have read many better books of this type.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book went at a very slow pace. I was tempted to stop reading but continued as it was recommended by a friend, which made me think that the book would improve. Unfortunately for me it never did.
Another in the easy to read murder mystery series with a good sense of place.
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Rebecca Tope grew up on a farm and has held a wide variety of jobs, such as pre-natal instructor, marriage counselor, and funeral director, all of which have taught her a great deal about human nature. In 1992, she founded Praxis Books, a small British press.
More about Rebecca Tope...

Other Books in the Series

Thea Osborne (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • A Cotswold Killing (Thea Osborne, #1)
  • A Cotswold Ordeal (Thea Osborne, #2)
  • Death in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #3)
  • Blood in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #5)
  • Slaughter in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #6)
  • Fear in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #7)
  • A Grave in the Cotswolds (Drew Slocombe, #5; Thea Osborne, #8)
  • Deception in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #9)
  • Malice in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #10)
  • Shadows in the Cotswolds (Thea Osborne, #11)