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Eve Mallow Mystery #5

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel

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Eve Mallow’s stay at the luxurious Abbey Hotel takes a turn for the suspicious when the owner is murdered – leaving Eve surrounded by suspects!

Saxford St Peter is Eve Mallow’s beloved home, but she can’t resist the chance to spend a weekend in the nearby Abbey Hotel, famed for its glamorous owner Debra Moran and an array of celebrity guests. For a confirmed people-watcher like Eve, it’s perfect: she can observe the rich and famous while sipping tea in the gardens, her faithful dachshund Gus by her side.

But her relaxing break takes a shocking turn when Debra is found lying dead in the shadowy woods around the hotel. One of Eve’s fellow guests didn’t come to the Abbey for fine food and delightful décor – but to kill.

When the investigation gets underway, Eve finds herself trapped with a wide range of suspects. Could it be Debra’s new friend Harper, who inherits everything? Her ex-husband Chester, still seething over their messy divorce? Or her estranged sister Amelia, who came hoping for reconciliation, only for Debra to shut the door in her face?

As Eve roams the hotel, searching for clues and hunting down alibis, she uncovers a whole host of secrets. But can she find the truth before the killer brings her holiday to a deadly end?

272 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 12, 2021

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About the author

Clare Chase

21 books215 followers
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.

Like her heroines, Clare is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in settings as diverse as Littlehey Prison and the University of Cambridge, in her home city. She’s lived everywhere from the house of a lord to a slug-infested flat and finds the mid-terrace she currently occupies a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s novels.

You can find Clare's website and blog at www.clarechase.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,616 followers
April 12, 2021
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is the fifth instalment in the Eve Mallow Mystery series, set in the fictional coastal village of Saxford St Peter, Suffolk, in which Eve has lived for 18 months. Part-time obituary writer, Monty’s teashop employee and amateur sleuth Eve, is taking a much-needed and well-deserved weekend break from her busy life at the grand but elegant Abbey Hotel, with sidekick - daschund Gus, after claiming the winning ticket in a local draw in aid of Cancer Research allowing her to stay half price. The hotel is situated in St James on the Marsh and surrounded by lush foliage, dense woodland and perfectly manicured topiary. It is owned by glamourous, prominent London boutique hotelier Debra Moran, who had only recently acquired it. Presiding over her new venture, she brought her trademark dinners, exclusivity and personal welcome to a countryside setting. It had been rumoured that Debra vetted her guests before allowing them to stay at one of her establishments, so Eve is anticipating well-behaved guests to converse with, not to mention several celebrities. Among the guests are Debra’s ex-husband and fellow hotelier Chester Paxton, owner of The Kingsham in Chelsea, Bianca Gresham who is one of the world’s most famous and high-end fashion designers and her husband, Miles.

Also present is Yash Astor, an international jet-setting financier as well as Debra’s sister Amelia who she has been estranged from for over two decades and who had booked her stay under the pseudonym Amanda Morton. Oh, and not forgetting Debra’s protégée Harper Reece and her husband, Edmund. When Debra goes missing, a search of the Abbey’s vast grounds starts in the darkness of the late evening. She had only been going to get some papers from her car ready for Harper to sign regarding their joint business venture, but she never returned and now everyone was rightly concerned. Then a shout; she had been located. Eve and Harper rush to the area where Ivan Stanford, the hotel’s head of housekeeping and Debra’s right-hand man, was standing over her prone body. There was bruising around her neck, a sign of strangulation, and blood on her forehead. Can Eve identify the killer and their motives before they strike again? This is a superb addition to a brilliant cosy mystery series with likeable protagonist Eve back in action. The quirky characters and stunning settings are what make this a captivating read but the twists, drama and murder also make it compulsive and thoroughly gripping from the moment you pick it up. Escape from the stresses of everyday life into a world inhabited by charming characters and dastardly crimes. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,272 reviews100 followers
April 14, 2021
What a brilliant cosy murder mystery this turned out to be – a real page turner that had me entertained and enthralled throughout.

After winning a weekend in a renowned hotel, with the chance to meet with glamorous and celebrity guests, it is definitely something Eve Mallow eagerly anticipated. However, things never quite go as planned for obituary writer, Eve, and she is right on the scene when a victim of murder is found – much to the chagrin of her arch nemesis, the police officer in charge of the investigation! There are plenty of suspects and it will, once more, need Eve to keep a cool head and piece together the evidence to ensure the true perpetrator is brought to justice, preferably without antagonising the police officer even more – but can she do so before anyone else is killed and keep herself safe, too?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, meeting the celebrities, discovering what Eve uncovered and learning more about her secret relationship that you’ll need to read about for yourself. Gus, her dachshund, is her sounding board, she discusses everything with him and he’s great at distracting folks whilst she’s endeavouring to question them. The story is filled with twists and turns, great characters and a beautiful seaside setting. There are so many possible killers – and potential victims! It is a delightful story to escape into, one which keeps you guessing until everything suddenly falls into place. It is a great investigation with an added hint of romance. I certainly look forward to reading more about the adventures of Eve and Gus in this series in future!

Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for my copy of this book which I have voluntarily read and honestly reviewed.
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,755 reviews96 followers
April 15, 2021
I am delighted to be catching up with the latest happenings in this charming cozy mystery series. It was great to be back with Eve and her beloved dachshund Gus who live in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter.

In this fifth instalment, Eve is staying at the popular Abbey Hotel in the Suffolk countryside, famed for its celebrity guests who visit. The hotel is situated in St James on the Marsh surrounded by dense woodland and a perfectly manicured topiary. Debra Moran, the prominent London boutique hotelier, is rumoured to vet her guests before allowing them to spend time in her hospitality venues. Expecting a weekend of fine dining and relaxation Eve is joined by a number of other vacationers including Debra's ex-husband and fellow hotelier Chester Paxton, fashion designer Bianca Gresham and her husband Miles, financier Yash Astor and estranged sister Amelia Moran. Debra’s protégée Harper Reece and her husband complete the numbers in this cherry-picked gathering. On the first evening, Debra pops out to fetch some papers from her car but never returns. The guests start searching for her, scattering into the woods, then Ivan Stanford, her right-hand man and head of housekeeping, discovers her body.

Amateur sleuth, tea-shop employee and obituary writer, Eve just keeps getting better and better with each story. I find her ebullience, confidence and intuitiveness very refreshing, which is a credit to Clare Chase's writing skills, and I now feel as though I am meeting up with an old friend when I'm reading a new Eve Mallow mystery. Her dog, Gus is also a favourite who has captured my heart. I very much appreciated the author's superb and varied characterisation, and in this brilliant story, there is certainly no shortage of suspects, as Eve finds out when she starts investigating.

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel has a well-thought-out, compelling plot, and enough twists and surprises to keep the most demanding armchair sleuth satisfied. Clare Chase writes with such flair and an easy style and also admirable were the wonderfully atmospheric depictions of the location. This was a story that held my attention well and I loved my escape into Eve's world of diabolical deeds. Whilst I recommend reading the books in order, you don’t need to be familiar with the characters to fully enjoy these mysteries. I am eagerly anticipating what Clare Chase has in store for Eve Mallow next, in book six, Mystery at the Church.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bookouture via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
324 reviews191 followers
April 15, 2021
“Eve Mallow’s stay at the luxurious Abbey Hotel takes a turn for the suspicious when the owner is murdered”

Wow! I didn’t join this series until book #4, so this is only my second outing with amateur sleuth and obituary writer, Eve Mallow.

However, if my limited experience is any judge of the direction of travel, to me the series just seems to be improving with each new case which comes along, seeing Eve really growing into the role and rapidly making it her own!

The opening pages really set the groundwork and background for the story, which is just as well, because once the action begins, there’s no going back or taking too much time to pause for breath, lest you miss out on one of those vital stealthy clues. The storyline moves along at a steady pace with Eve at the helm, steering the investigation in the direction she wants it to go. There is that satisfying release of a long-held breath when the final page is turned, as Eve always leaves her perpetrator reveals until the very last minute, and usually when she finds herself in mortal danger and in need of help!

For a mystery series, author Clare Chase does like to write a substantial book, which is quite a lengthy read. However the storylines are so replete with good descriptive narrative and dialogue, that every page is full to the brim, with barely a wasted word or punctuation mark. Every scene is so rich in atmosphere and each character has such visual impact, that I can imagine myself sat in ‘Monty’s’ tearooms, eating one of Viv’s delicious cakes and drinking coffee from her mis-matched china – whilst surreptitiously eavesdropping on all the latest gossip of course!

This multi-layered, intense and well structured, traditional murder mystery, is written with consummate ease, total authority and great confidence, by an author who knows exactly how she wants her storyline to pan out and just how her characters should behave. She expertly manages to combine her amateur sleuth’s ‘day job’ as a freelance obituary writer, with her part-time hobby of always seeming to be in the right place at the right time, when murder comes knocking and the police, with whom she has a decidedly love/hate relationship, are nosing around looking for suspects.

Whilst still a relative newcomer to the village, the locals are beginning to close ranks around Eve, when they know she is working on a case, although one or two individuals do have very loose tongues, so she has to be careful who she confides in, as careless talk can often cost lives in such a close knit community. Of course, it also doesn’t help either Eve or myself, when the author of the investigation keeps throwing in red herrings, in such an assured and seamless way, constantly changing the dynamics and sending both she and I off at a complete tangent. Like Eve, my own suspect list started off with the names of just about everybody who was at The Abbey Hotel on that fateful evening and it then became a game of roulette, as names were deleted, then added back in again, only to be crossed off once more, as events unfolded, motives changed and the bodies started stacking up, although Eve eventually had to admit that she maybe should have been focussing her attention a little closer to home.

Clare has built on her existing addictive base of core characters, fleshing them out, affording them more of a voice, control and influence over their input to both the village life in general and more specifically in aiding and abetting Eve’s penchant for collecting bodies and suspects, seemingly wherever she goes. Each new case brings with it an additional cast of multi-faceted ‘extras’, who are all investable and easy enough to connect with for the duration of their stay in this small corner of Suffolk, even though none of them were particularly likeable and had motives a plenty for murder. Eve is really beginning to forge a place for herself in Saxford St Peter and even her romance status might be looking up, with a little encouragement from a few surprising quarters, including her own children, although I’m not sure that Gus the dachshund is going to enjoy sharing Eve too much and Eve herself is really going to have to watch her habit of talking to Gus like he is a real person – which of course he is! 🙂

The ‘classics’ will always be exactly that for me, but move over just a little Miss Marple, to make room for Eve Mallow, who is undoubtedly earning her place beside you!

Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,107 reviews382 followers
July 16, 2021
Eve Mallow is a part-time obituary writer and right now she is badly in need of a break. She intends on relaxing at the Abbey Hotel for a few days. She loves people watching and there is no better place to do that than at the luxurious hotel. However, soon the owner, Debra, is found dead. It is clear that Debra's death was murder, and this leaves the curious Eve with a bevy of suspects. Eve intends on asking as many questions as she can, but, per usual for her, she runs right into Detective Inspecter Palmer and he tells her to keep out of the investigation.

Of course Eve does not listen to Palmer. Instead, with her trusty sidekick Gus, her beloved daschhund, and her blooming relationship with Robin Yardley, Eve is fully prepared to find out who killed Debra. Robin is now a garderner, a former police officer with good reason to now be working as a gardener, and their relationship has to be kept quiet for specific reasons.

One thing that Eve liked about the Abbey Hotel is the fact that it is a dog-friendly establishment. There were other things that drew her to the lovely place, now tainted with murder. With the fact that Eve will be writing Debra's obituary she manages to dig deeper, to talk to as many people as possible and to ask the difficult questions. Not surprisingly Eve soon learns that more than one person would have benefited by Debra's death, and these include Debra's ex-husband Chester and her estranged sister Amelia, among others. So, Eve must deduce who could have benefited the most and bring the truth to light, all while keeping her distance from DI Palmer.

I have been enjoying this series from the first book, Mystery on Hidden Lane. Quite typical of cozy mysteries, this story is set in a small village, yet it is beset by murders that are being solved by an amateur detective. My kind of read. One thing that this book, Mystery at the Abbey Hotel does, however, is to reveal more about Robin and why he and Eve are keeping their relationship under wraps. Although this book could be read as a standalone, just this reveal illustrates the benefit of reading a series from the beginning.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
April 15, 2021
There’s nothing I love more than to snuggle up with my trusty cup of tea and a delicious cozy mystery. I already knew that I was in for a treat, because this story is brought to life by the wonderful and cozy mystery queen Clare Chase!

The storyline really delivers and in trying to work through the mystery in my mind, I was reminded why I have such a soft spot for cozy mystery novels and in particular the Eve Mallow series. Each and every book is just delightful and Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is no exception.

My curiosity and interest in the story was maintained throughout and there were times when the characters came to life so vividly that I could imagine being a guest, experiencing it with them as I was swept up in solving the murder, while my two my golden retrievers played on the sideline with Gus.

With a great cast of characters, that has been perfectly written and is just such a joy to read, you just can’t go wrong with this series. Mystery at the Abbey Hotel can be read as a standalone but you would be missing out on four other wonderful stories, so do yourself a favour get on board. It was my absolute pleasure to read and review Mystery at the Abbey Road Hotel which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Clare Chase, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mystery at the Abbey Hotel, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Profile Image for Renita D'Silva.
Author 11 books322 followers
April 12, 2021
Just wonderful. Thrilling. Mysterious. Addictive. Full of twists. Brilliantly written. Loved. Loved. Loved. Do read this one.
Profile Image for Donna.
40 reviews6 followers
August 19, 2021
Another Eve Mallow mystery (#5) to clear the cobwebs a bit. Clare Chase makes fun and interesting. I am looking forward to reading #6!
100 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2021
It's a good yarn and fun, but being the 5th instalment, it really pushes the boundaries of credibility. Just how many famous people can be killed within a small radius in the Sussex countryside? Just how many relevant conversations can Eve accidentally overhear? Just HOW unlikely can her final rescue be? Did the murderer not hear her "team" approaching, slushing through the reeds? And the explanation how Robin has been contacted is incredibly thin and vague. Not to forget: Can a luxury countryside hotel REALLY be run with a staff of only 3 people? No maids, kitchen helpers, cleaners or bar staff??? And not to mention Eve's chicken pasta sauce, good ingredients but the timing's all wrong. You don't start weighing out your pasta for boiling when your sauce is already finished. But I digress. I did enjoy the first 3 or 4 books, but I think the storyline has run its course.
Profile Image for Bookworm86 .
1,361 reviews102 followers
March 29, 2021

Review for 'Mystery At The Abbey Hotel' by Clare Chase.

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Clare Chase, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous

Publication date 12th April 2020.

This is the second book I have read by this author. It is the fifth book in the 'Eve Mallow Mystery' series but can be read as a standalone. The previous book I have read by Clare is 'Mystery At The Old Mill' which was the fourth book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend anyone reading it.

I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful eye catching cover and its intriguing synopsis. I have also read 'Mystery At The Old Mill' by Clare which I loved and am hoping this is just as good. It also stated in the synopsis that this book is perfect for fans of Faith Martin amongst others. I am a fan of Faith's books so am looking forward to see if it loves up to this. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of a prologue and 44 chapters . The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in a fictional town based in Suffolk, UK 🇬🇧. The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture. I have actually visited Suffolk on several occasions so am looking forward to seeing if I recognise anywhere that Clare has based the book on.

This book is written in third person perspective and the protagonist is Eve Mallow. The benefits of third person perspective are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

This book is very well written making it a lovely smooth read. The atmosphere and vivid descriptions are perfect for the plot and helps give that cosy feeling while reading. The synopsis and cover suited the storyline perfectly. I'm looking forward to reading more of Clare Chase's books including any prior to this one. This book can easily be read as a standalone and anything that has happened prior is described in just the right amount of detail.

The storyline itself if a lovely cosy mystery that kept me guessing all the way through. I had no idea who the killer was so a huge congratulations to Clare!!!! It is getting harder and harder to surprise me with the amount of crime books I read but you definitely managed it. I enjoyed that it wasn't really a case of just one mystery but how several linked smoothly and everything was tied up nicely at the end, I hate loose ends!! I really enjoyed going on this adventure with Eve and investigating with her. The book was filled with crime, mystery, murder, red herrings and some suspense. I also believe that Clare portrayed village life perfectly and the community within them.

The characters were all realistic, strong and an eclectic bunch to say the least. It was really fun learning all of their different characteristics, personalities and backgrounds. I love Eve and of course Gus and I really enjoyed meeting them again along with Robin and Viv. Eve felt to me to be slightly eccentric which I enjoyed the most about her. I also enjoyed meeting all the new characters who all has such strong personalities especially Debra who was definitely larger than life.

Congratulations to Clare Chase on another successful and addictive page turning murder mystery. Welcome to my favourite author list and I cannot wait to see what Eve and Gus get up to next!!!

Overall an absolutely compelling and page turning cosy mystery that is perfect to read on front of the fire.

Genres covered in this novel include Mystery, Suspense and Crime Fiction amongst others.

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of cosy mysteries, Faith Martin and Agatha Christie.

318 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 5/5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews

#MysteryAtTheAbbeyHotel #Bookouture #ClareChase #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour
@ClareChase @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86



884 reviews10 followers
March 6, 2021
Eve Mallow, freelance obituary writer and sometime private investigator, loves her new life at Elizabeth's Cottage in Saxford St Peter with her loyal dachshund Gus at her side. When she wins a long weekend at the luxurious Abbey Hotel a little further along the coast Eve jumps at the chance; after all life has been a little hectic since her move, what with her new job at the coffee shop and all those murders she keeps getting involved in!

The hotel is beautiful and it's clear owner Debra Moran has spared no expense when undertaking her renovations. Add in delicious food and the sparkling personality of her host and Eve knows she is in for a wonderfully relaxing break from reality. As the weekend continues however she begins to see cracks beneath the surface. Eve witnesses the difficult relationships between some of the A lister guests and the expertly attentive staff members before, to her horror, Debra goes missing and an awful discovery is made.

Unable to shake the feeling all of the unpleasantness could have been avoided and dismayed that, once again, her nemesis Detective Inspector Nigel Palmer is leading the enquiry Eve knows she has to get involved. With everyone instructed to stay nearby the killer must still be close but can Eve work out what happened and why before she lands herself in danger once again?

This series improves with every book and moving the scene of the crime away from Saxford St Peter was inspired if only to give its inhabitants a bit of a break! That doesn't mean the regular protagonists aren't all present once again but they too are portrayed a little differently with the change of location altering everything.

There is a lot of description in this book but although some of it could be considered superfluous I enjoyed the images the author created not only of the hotel but also the eclectic selection of guests and suspects. There are, of course, secrets being kept by most of them, but all were original and none easily guessed.
I have enjoyed all of Eve Mallow’s outings so far and will definitely be looking for any future books in the series.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is first class cosy crime writing and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Barbara Sousa.
217 reviews30 followers
May 22, 2021
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel, the fifth and latest installment of Clare Chase’s fantastic Eve Mallow mystery series combines old-school charm and clever plotting to create an intelligent, engaging, and delightful cozy mystery with more than a passing nod to Agatha Christie.

Obituary writer Eve Mallow travels to the Suffolk countryside to spend a weekend at the luxurious Abbey Hotel, where famed hotelier Debra Moran extends a warm welcome to all of her guests. Unfortunately, someone apparently doesn’t feel the same about her, and Eve’s weekend getaway is marred by Debra’s murder. What ensues is a classic closed circle investigation where all of the hotel’s guests are sequestered and questioned by the local police force and surreptitiously by Eve, who immediately gets permission from her publisher to write Debra’s obituary. Careful not to step on the police’s toes, Eve casually converses with her fellow guests to garner not only background information on Debra, but also valuable clues as to who could have killed her.

Once again, Ms. Chase has created a compelling mystery involving Eve Mallow. Although she is somewhat out of her element at the hotel, Eve's sleuthing skills remain top notch. As she digs deeper into Debra’s past – as well as that of the various suspects – an intricate and interwoven web of clues – and red herrings -- emerges that propels Eve along the trail of a murderer. Despite the remote location, several regular series characters make an appearance. Most notably, Viv and Robin play important roles in the story, and in particular, Robin’s ongoing storyline takes a major step forward. And not to be outdone is Eve’s wonderful canine companion, Gus. The dachshund accompanies Eve to the Abbey, and his presence is felt strongly throughout the story.

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is the quintessential cozy mystery, with a warn and homey atmosphere, a multi-faceted mystery, and, in Eve Mallow, a sharp, detailed, and utterly charming amateur detective. This is a series that has caught my attention from the beginning and will, no doubt, continue to do so.

Note: I received an ARC of Mystery at the Abbey Hotel from NetGalley and Bookouture. The above is my honest review.
Profile Image for Roz.
349 reviews5 followers
April 9, 2021
This is number 5 in this cozy mystery series by Clare Chase, although I am late to this particular party in that this is the first one that I have read. Despite this being the case it was easy to read and understand as a standalone novel and I would not hesitate to go back and read those prior to this.

Our main character is Eve Mallow, a professional obituary writer and part time sleuth. Eve is at a newly opened hotel as a guest and right in the centre of the action when murders start to occur. I enjoyed her character although the start of the book was a bit slow to get going, but it soon got consuming and I found the book hard to put down. I was willing Eve to put the pieces together of the mystery, which she eventually did, but not before almost being a murder victim herself. I enjoyed the way the author brought in some historical information with the smugglers museum and the potential threat to Eve being in this setting.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Marianne.
200 reviews
March 7, 2021
Eve spends the weekend at a swanky hotel that is renown for it’s charismatic owner/hostess and the exclusive clientele. Eve quickly falls under the spell of Debra Moran, the glamorous hotel proprietor as do most of her quests. Not all the quests hold her in such esteem because Debra is found strangled in the hotel car park. As Eve begins digging for clues she uncovers secrets regarding several of the quests.
Slow to boil, characters well developed and the plot nice and twisty. For traditional cosy fans.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy.
Profile Image for Kerry Britnell.
85 reviews4 followers
April 8, 2021
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the fifth book in the Eve Mallow series and as the series progresses so does the quality of Clare Chase's writing. Well rounded characters, beautifully described location and an interesting and intriguing plot line involving a murder at a new local hotel where Eve is staying on a short weekend break.
The suspects are plentiful and as Eve balances writing her obituary with trying to solve the crime she once again finds herself in danger.
Total escapism and easy reading.
Profile Image for Jane Hunt.
Author 3 books102 followers
April 12, 2021
Eve takes a well-earned break at a luxury hotel in a nearby location in this mystery. The change of location is glamorous and promises to be a feast of delicious food and people watching. An unexpected death makes Eve realise, the veiled animosity she sensed between some of the guests and employees may be clues to solving a murder.

This is an addictive cosy mystery with eccentric characters, clever clues and an atmospheric setting. I have read most of this series, and it continues to engage me.

I received a copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
812 reviews13 followers
March 16, 2021
I enjoy this series. The characters are interesting. I like the English countryside setting. The mystery keeps me guessing, because even if I have an idea of who, I never can figure out the why. The MC moves forward with her life in each book.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.
414 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2021
ahh I wish the author would write more Tara Thorpe books - I feel that character has so much more to say. For this book, the familiar formula is followed - Eve is somewhere and someone dies and the police still don't know the questions to ask So much intrigue and then the final resolution after multiple murders all over a small restaurant made no sense If a new restaurant opened in the area there would likely be more foot traffic to the Smugglers museum. Every person was a suspect for a chapter or 2
Profile Image for Brandi Thompson.
259 reviews7 followers
March 12, 2021
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is one of a series of 'cozy' mysteries featuring an obituary writer with a flair for investigation, named Eve Mallow. Being a 'cozy' mystery, this is one without any obvious sex or violence, it's only alluded to, or talked about in vague terms. Even though this is book five in the series, I think it functions fine as a stand alone novel if you haven't read the others (as I have not).

Eve wins a chance to stay at an exclusive new boutique hotel; The Abbey Hotel. Eve meets a variety of guests with memorable personalities, most of all, her strong willed hostess and hotel owner, Debra. But, Debra is found dead in, naturally, mysterious circumstances, and Eve is tasked with writing her obituary, and while doing that.. she works on solving the mystery. The local police force isn't quite up to snuff! Oh, and for the animal lovers, Eve keeps her darling doggie Gus, close by, and uses him as a confidant as well.

I have to be honest, this book started out very rough for me. I thought this might end up being a DNF at the beginning. It definitely has a high 'cheese' factor, although it doesn't feel intentional, because it feels like it takes itself somewhat seriously. But, I kept reading, and I actually ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would. There were some twists and turns I didn't expect, so I give the author credit for that. Some of the language just felt awkward and stiff to me, which I think is what originally turned me off about it. But, once I got used to it, I was able to follow the story more than being focused on the particular words used. Eve is a very mild mannered heroine, she has neither a particularly strong or passive personality, and the supporting characters read the same.

I would recommend this book as a very 'easy' read, for those who want something they can just completely relax with, and not have to think too much about. As stated above, it's VERY 'clean', so this would be plenty appropriate for just about anybody who's okay with mention of death.

Thanks to NetGalley and the author, Clare Chase, for allowing me to read this eARC for my honest review.
603 reviews24 followers
April 8, 2021
Hang out the bunting, dust off your thinking caps, polish up your powers of perception and fine tune your lie detecting radar because there’s cause for celebration. Eve Mallow is back in town! Get ready to perform another round of mental gymnastics along with Suffolk based Eve as she puts her (and yours!) super sleuthing skills to the test once again in cozy mystery number five. Still considered a relative newcomer to the village of Saxford St Peter, having taken up residence eighteen months ago, Eve has an uncanny knack of turning up in the wrong places at the right time or should that be the other way around?!? Death seems to snap closely at Eve’s heels, (as well as her silent sounding board/ collaborator Gus the dachshund) which is hardly surprising given her official job title. She may be a part time obituary writer, part time local tea shop employee but she’s a full time amateur detective,whose natural curiosity, love of people watching and fascination in the lives of her fellow human beings often leads her into the path of trouble and danger. Eve constantly outshines the boys in blue, namely DI Palmer who is remarkably quick to form incorrect assumptions about the likely culprit, proving to be a thorn in his side every time there’s a murder to solve. Given her 100% success rate so far can Eve make it fifth time lucky without coming a cropper? If you prefer your crime without the carnage, your villains without the visible violence, your baddies without the brutal bloodshed then this is a series worth investigating, if you haven’t done so already.

Even sleuths of Eve’s calibre need a break from time to time and that’s where we find her this time around, arriving at the Abbey Hotel, StJames on the Marsh, recently acquired by the renowned hotelier Debra Moran. Expecting a weekend of fine dining, relaxation and good conversation Eve is joined by a number of other guests keen to sample Debra’s hospitality. Ex husband and fellow hotelier Chester Paxton, fashion designer Bianca Gresham and her husband Miles, financier Yash Astor and estranged sister Amelia Moran have all been invited to witness the hotel’s transformation. Last but by no means least Debra’s protege Harper Reece and her husband complete the numbers in this select and exclusive gathering. Whatever delights chef Nicole has created to satisfy these guests appetites rest assured by the end of the first evening death will be on the menu and Eve’s mini break will turn into a murder investigation. Debra Moran, irreverent, charismatic and the hostess with the mostest will have fallen victim of a killer whose motive is yet unclear. This is one weekend to remember and all for the wrong reasons!

Be prepared to draw up a seemingly never ending checklist of potential suspects in order to answer the million dollar question as to who out of everyone stands to gain the most from Debra’s demise. As well as the resident guests, employees of the hotel and local business people will fall under Eve’s spell, offering up crucial information without even realising they’ve been subjected to a gentle grilling! There’s no escape since Eve’s eyes and ears are everywhere! Give your grey matter a lively workout as you rummage through a jumble of motives and theories, in which jealousy, greed, infidelities, adoration and adulation could all provide the motivation necessary to turn one of these characters into a killer. But is this a killer of a lone victim or will there be more bodies to discover before Eve can expose their true identity?

I’ve read every single book in this super snugly series so by now I know exactly what to expect when I turn over the eye catching cover and begin the first page. For some that may be erring on the ‘too predictable ‘ side but the reverse of that is the warm feeling of familiarity that washes over you the minute you step into Eve’s world. As a creature of habit I love the comfort and security that these storylines offer, cocooning me in a blissful state suspended from reality. I’m more than happy to let the author whisk me off to this imaginary community where friendship, loyalty, camaraderie and good humour exist in abundance until murder darkens another doorstep. The author’s writing with imagery of the woods and deserted marshes as areas that are isolated enough for foul play to occur sets an atmospheric air, whilst also paying justice to the landscape and the history of the surroundings. Once more, all the regulars are hovering in the background ready and willing to lend a friendly ear or in Moira’s case divulge a tidbit of gossip, under the guise of assisting Eve with her enquiries, although I felt on this occasion their appearances were few and far between. My favourite place in this east Anglian rural idyll is Viv’s tea room, Monty’s, but with most of the action taking place in neighbouring St James on the Marsh there was no time to feast my eyes on all the delectable goodies Viv has on her menu. Although a change of scenery is appreciated, I missed the interaction Eve has with her fellow inhabitants of Saxford St Peter so perhaps the next murder can take place amongst the chocolate brownies or failing that amongst the tinned goods in the village shop?! That would set Moira’s tongue wagging nineteen to the dozen! Compared to other fictional amateur sleuths I follow avidly such as Fiona Leitch’s Jodie Parker, Joss Stirling’s Jess Bridges and Katie Gayle’s Epiphany Bloom, Eve as a character is rather more staid, the most sensible and straight laced of the lot. In terms of her personal life this series is a slow burner and if I have one criticism to make is that after five books I’d really love Clare Chase to push Eve’s boundaries, encouraging her to let her hair down and realise her romantic desires towards local gardener cum guardian angel Robin Yardley. This is one potential love interest that has been simmering away behind the scenes for far too long!! I don’t think I’ll be the only one to comment on this state of affairs since Gus gives every indication he is of the same opinion too judging by his behaviour towards the gentleman in question. Regardless of what happens in future investigations I now consider myself a die hard fan of Eve Mallow and as long as Clare Chase keeps writing this series I for one will keep on reading them. I shouldn’t forget to mention that every single investigation can be read as a stand alone, if for some mysterious reason these books have bypassed your attention. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
Profile Image for Mystica.
1,335 reviews22 followers
April 4, 2021
Eve has won a stay at the luxurious and very private Abbey Hotel and she is thrilled to be there. When the owner Debra is found murdered in the gardens, just minutes after being seen by Eve, everyone who was present is suspect.

The suspects include an ex husband, a sister from whom she has been acrimoniously separated for years, a young protege and her husband (whom Debra is sponsoring) and a Manager who appears to be more than just a manager, and several friends. . There are several other characters on the fringes of this story as well and they are all suspect, including Eve.

Eve who has solved mystery murders before, much to the chagrin of DI Palmer who views Eve with suspicion because death seems to follow her where she goes, works in close tandem with Robin who is working undercover as it were. Eve who found Debra to be charming is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, especially when a second murder takes place in a very similar fashion. Pursuing clues, she is flummoxed by a
third murder and it is only after that the strands are put together to catch a very clever murderer who has covered his tracks so very well.
Profile Image for Beachcomber.
467 reviews9 followers
May 9, 2021
I received a free ARC copy of this via NetGalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review. This was the first in the series I was trying, so credit to the author that I could jump in and quickly get to know the characters, without the author repeating their entire backstory (which would annoy fans who had read the preceding 4 books). I was slightly annoyed by inconsistencies - Eve worries about leaving the cafe where she works (works, not owns), and the owner is super relaxed. Then when Eve turns up for a shift and spends a few minutes talking to someone, the owner is all impatient and “we can’t manage without you”. I didn’t quite buy why Eve and Robin couldn’t be together, that his whole “wit sec” thing means they couldn’t be together. Why not? Why couldn’t she lie about him just being a gardener, the same as he does? It felt like an over egged trick to build up limited tension. Overall an OK book, but I’m not sure I’d be in a rush to read more.
Profile Image for Isabelle D.
314 reviews
March 11, 2021
This is the fifth time I follow Eve (and her super-cute dog Gus) in a sleuthing adventure, and I'm happy to report I enjoyed it just as much as the previous four.

Everything I said the first time still applies:
Set in a charming location (the kind of place that makes you wish it wasn't fictional... except for the murders, of course!), this new series of cosy mysteries follows an ordinary woman (divorced, with two children in their twenties and a cute little dog) as her less ordinary job (writing obituaries) suddenly puts her in a definitely-not-ordinary situation - in the best place to investigate a murder.
The plot was suitably intriguing and I really liked the characters - Eve, her dog Gus, and also her new friend Viv (whose cakes contribute to make you wish the place wasn't fictional). One of my favourite things (that I can mention without spoilers) has to be that Eve not only keeps a spreadsheet to organise her thoughts but also talks about the case to her dog.

Now I'm starting to wonder if Eve's neighbours should worry that she attracts bad luck as several murders were committed in or near their village since her arrival, but of course I still don't want the series to stop. Book 6 will definitely be treated as a must-read too.

For those who haven't read Mystery on Hidden Lane, Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage, Mystery at Seagrave Hall and Mystery at the Old Mill yet, this one wouldn't spoil the ending of either of the others but would reveal the secret of one suspect from the first, so I still recommend to start with the first book unless you already have this one, can't buy the others immediately and really don't mind partial spoilers.

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kath.
2,357 reviews
April 7, 2021
Wow.. book five already and still as fresh as it was with book one, with absolutely no signs of flagging! Obviously it's always best with a series to start from book one and read in order although the main story is self-contained so you don't have to, but you really would get the best from the series characters and their development if you do.
So Eve is having a bit of a break away at the luxurious Abbey Hotel when things go a bit south when the owner is found dead; murdered! Being no stranger to investigations - I refer you to her previous books - Eve, surrounded by suspects, starts to, well, have a chat to them. She gets away with doing this as she has in previous books, by combining it with her day-job - as an obituary writer. But who would have wanted Debra Moran dead? Who stands to gain and, strangely enough, who stands to lose? There's a whole host of eclectic characters, most with reasons to be in attendance, as well as a few outwith the Hotel, in the village nearby. But has Eve bitten off more than she can chew with this one as soon there's another incident and the stakes become all the more higher?
I love this series. I love Eve and her trusty sidekick and assistant, Gus (the dachsund). It's refreshingly different - unique even - to have an obituary writer as the main character but it's so clever too as it gives Eve reasons and pretty much carte blanche to talk to all and sundry. Which she does with complete aplomb.
As with the previous books, the story gets on with itself very well. Description is enough to set the scene or progress the narrative, nothing to distract. We also have a cracking cast of rather, shall we just call them, interesting characters, all of whom are a bit shady and start off as suspects. Secrets, lies and duplicitous behaviour aplenty throughout the plot. But who has the biggest motive, enough to do the deed, and why? Well, you'll just have to read for yourself to find that out. All I'm saying is that the ending, when it came, left me wholly satisfied. Roll on book six...
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
1,989 reviews11 followers
April 13, 2021
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel by Clare Chase is an intriguing cozy mystery featuring retiree Eve Mallow. Eve has won a weekend at the hotel, which she could never have otherwise afforded. The owner, and master hotelier, Debra Moran, had gone to her car to fetch some papers and not returned. It wasn't long before they had found her body in the woods. Now they had to find her murderer. There were so many suspects: her estranged sister who had shown up uninvited; the wife of her manager with whom she may have been having an affair; her ex-husband whom she had beat out in her purchase of the hotel; others?

Eve is a clever amateur detective who isn't always welcome when she arrives to investigate. This enquiry had been an accident. She was here innocently enough, wasn't she? It nearly cost her life. If her friend, Robin hadn't show up? Robin was an interesting guy... in the guise of a gardener; he was hiding from organized crime. As a police officer he had dome some serious damage to their undertaking and had run for his life. He and Eve were slowly developing a relationship and they worked well together. The romance was not filled with the same kind of passion that one between younger people might have been but it was real and welcome. Fun to watch. Eve's life in the village was not exciting on a day-to-day basis, but the murders in which she involved herself provided more than enough excitement for anyone. This is a delightful cozy with fun characters, well-written with interesting plots and good mysteries. I recommend it.

I was invited to read a free ARC of Mystery at the Abbey Hotel by Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my won. #netgalley #mysteryattheabbeyhotel
Profile Image for loopyloulaura.
748 reviews9 followers
April 27, 2021
Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow wins a raffle prize for a hotel stay at the exclusive Abbey Hotel. Tensions and relationships between the staff, owner and guests are fraught and a murder ensues. Eve is called upon to write the obituary, but will she also catch the killer?
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is the fifth book to feature Eve Mallow. It works as a stand alone novel as there are no spoilers about the murders in previous books. Her relationships with other village characters are easy to understand. However, if you like to trace character development then I would suggest reading the books in order.
The Abbey Hotel is an exclusive hospitality venue and Eve is lucky enough to win a half price visit. This presents her with a wealth of new characters to interact with and later suspect as potential killers. Motives are crucial to the unravelling of the murder. Eve needs to investigate personal and business reasons that may have contributed to the crime.
There are no forensic details or graphic descriptions and this set of books fall firmly in the cosy murder mystery category. The style of writing is quite natural and easy to read.
Eve needs to use her inquisitive nature and journalistic skills to find the killer. She is ably assisted by her dachshund Gus and has made firm friendships in the vilage. Her simmering romance with ex police officer Robin develops over the course of the book which gives a warm happy feeling by the final chapter.
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is an enjoyable cosy murder mystery novel with a classical feel.
636 reviews
September 1, 2021
This was fun, but not great.

Out protagonist is Eve Mallow. She writes obituaries among other things. When invited to a hotel opening, she meets an eclectic group the owner has gathered together. Debra is charismatic and self-assured. She knows what she wants and goes for it with no restraints.

But amongst the guests there is some tension, Eve notices. And when Debra is found dead, Eve can't help but want to research Debra's life and wrote the obituary for her magazine. In the process, she wonders which of the people at the hotel might be the murderer.

I can't say exactly what it was that made me not love this book. Perhaps it is that I could never quite get an image in my mind of Eve. At first I thought she was young - mid 20's or 30's. The other characters were just as hard to determine. Then I began to see her as much older based on her interaction with another character. It was only in the obituary that anyone's age was given - Debra's.

Eve spent a lot of time speculating about what the motives were for each person. As she interviewed them for the obituary, information came to light that made her rethink each suspect. A lot of time was spent in this speculation and I became weary of it all.

This book is apparently the fifth in a series. I hadn't read any before and seriously doubt that I will read any more. There are too many authors that I love, series that bring me joy, to spend more time with Eve Mallow.
Profile Image for Caroline|Page~Turners.
330 reviews3 followers
April 12, 2021
Who doesn’t love a great cozy mystery, a who dunnit, and a few twists and turns along the way? That’s exactly what you get from this fantastic read.

Eve Mallow is an obituary writer and wins a stay at a luxury hotel. She is in much need of a weekend away and there’s no better place to unwind and people watch, then at the very private Abbey Hotel. But Eve’s relaxing weekend is quickly interrupted when Diane’s body, the owner of the hotel, is found in the hotel gardens. A murder has taken place and Eve finds herself among the suspects. Eve is tasked with writing Diane’s obituary and at the same time she has to prove that she is innocent. Eve is a super sleuth and she is in her element of interviewing the other guests and trying to figure out whodunnit. The guests are such an interesting and eclectic group of people, and their interactions with each other are very entertaining. I really enjoyed the introduction of Gus, he and Eve make quite the pair.

This is book five of a six book series and it is every bit as good as the rest of them. You can read it as part of the series or as a stand alone. I look forward to reading the final book in this series but will be sad when this wonderful series comes to an end. I highly recommend this book, series and author. Thank you Clare Chase for such a wonderful story.
Profile Image for Janet.
3,580 reviews29 followers
April 9, 2021
4.5 Stars
Eve Mallow obituary writer has won a luxurious long weekend at the luxurious Abbey Hotel & she can even take Gus her beloved dachshund. Abbey Hotel, famed for its glamorous owner Debra Moran and an array of celebrity guests. For a confirmed people-watcher like Eve, it’s perfect: she can observe the rich and famous while sipping tea in the gardens. But her relaxing break takes a shocking turn when Debra is found lying dead in the shadowy woods around the hotel. When the investigation gets underway, Eve finds herself trapped with a wide range of suspects. As Eve begins her research for her article she uncovers a whole host of secrets.
This is the fifth book in the series & it could easily be read on its own. There are threads which have developed throughout the series, one of which takes a step forward in this book, that said coming cold to this book won’t spoil your enjoyment. I love Eve who is like a terrier once she starts researching. There are plenty of suspects as well as twists, turns & red herrings. Also the body count starts to rise so can Eve find the murderer before more die? I really, really enjoy this series & love the often quirky inhabitants of Saxford St Peter so I look forward to more books
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Profile Image for Julia.
321 reviews12 followers
June 18, 2021
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel is a well-plotted cosy murder mystery, with a traditional feel but a modern style. And a beautiful cover!

The story gets going straight away, the set-up is clear and the closed circle of suspects and motives are easy to follow. Eve is a warm and likeable protagonist and the rest of the characters are clearly drawn and distinct, their personalities and foibles all well-written and cleverly sprinkled throughout the book. Clare Chase describes the Abbey itself in stunning detail and I would now like to stay there please!

Although this is the first book of this series that I have read (and in fact my first book by Clare Chase), it was very easy to pick up Eve’s story, and that of the regular characters. I liked getting to know them, and particularly Gus, Eve’s smart canine companion. (Cute pet = a win for me 🙂 ) Overall it gave me a Midsomer Murders vibe: quirky and enjoyable.

This is a great cosy mystery and a fab new author find. I will definitely be reading more from Clare Chase. Thank you to Bookouture for my copy of the book and my spot on the tour.
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