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Murder in the Abbey

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Situated in the rolling hills of England's pastoral Cotswolds, the Abbey is a charming Bed & Breakfast allowing its guests to taste the pleasures of rank and prestige from a bygone era--until murder slams face first onto its welcome mat. When the victim turns out to be someone close to both Maggie and Laurent, they leave their vineyard in France to say goodbye--and to find Situated in the rolling hills of England's pastoral Cotswolds, the Abbey is a charming Bed & Breakfast allowing its guests to taste the pleasures of rank and prestige from a bygone era--until murder slams face first onto its welcome mat. When the victim turns out to be someone close to both Maggie and Laurent, they leave their vineyard in France to say goodbye--and to find out why. Once in England, they discover that the tranquil countryside of Shelley and Wadsworth can be every bit as treacherous as the most sinister souk in the backstreets of Marseilles. What Maggie also discovers is that if she ever hopes to be able to live with herself--or face Laurent with her own guilt--she'll need to find the killer... ... preferably before she ends up face down in one of the Abbey's bucolic fishing ponds.


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Situated in the rolling hills of England's pastoral Cotswolds, the Abbey is a charming Bed & Breakfast allowing its guests to taste the pleasures of rank and prestige from a bygone era--until murder slams face first onto its welcome mat. When the victim turns out to be someone close to both Maggie and Laurent, they leave their vineyard in France to say goodbye--and to find Situated in the rolling hills of England's pastoral Cotswolds, the Abbey is a charming Bed & Breakfast allowing its guests to taste the pleasures of rank and prestige from a bygone era--until murder slams face first onto its welcome mat. When the victim turns out to be someone close to both Maggie and Laurent, they leave their vineyard in France to say goodbye--and to find out why. Once in England, they discover that the tranquil countryside of Shelley and Wadsworth can be every bit as treacherous as the most sinister souk in the backstreets of Marseilles. What Maggie also discovers is that if she ever hopes to be able to live with herself--or face Laurent with her own guilt--she'll need to find the killer... ... preferably before she ends up face down in one of the Abbey's bucolic fishing ponds.

30 review for Murder in the Abbey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I wanted something light and quick to read while on the plane and in airports. Being a who-done-it story I was engaged enough to want to finish reading it once I got home but was disappointed in the ending. It seemed to me that some of the clues given were not accounted for and so instead of feeling "oh, I see now!", it was "well wait a minute, what about ....?". So perhaps this would actually be a good book for a book club that wants a quick and easy read that would definitely lead to some disc I wanted something light and quick to read while on the plane and in airports. Being a who-done-it story I was engaged enough to want to finish reading it once I got home but was disappointed in the ending. It seemed to me that some of the clues given were not accounted for and so instead of feeling "oh, I see now!", it was "well wait a minute, what about ....?". So perhaps this would actually be a good book for a book club that wants a quick and easy read that would definitely lead to some discussion. Perhaps I missed a few things.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard Thomas

    A complicated pastiche The book does get on at a reasonable pace and the descriptions of places and people are interesting but the plot is complicated not to say convoluted. It’s decently written and the two central characters are sympathetic enough but there are too many byways to make it anything more than something to skim through because the byways are not sufficiently developed to create proper red herrings. I have a minor carp that in what I read as a classic British murder, the author doe A complicated pastiche The book does get on at a reasonable pace and the descriptions of places and people are interesting but the plot is complicated not to say convoluted. It’s decently written and the two central characters are sympathetic enough but there are too many byways to make it anything more than something to skim through because the byways are not sufficiently developed to create proper red herrings. I have a minor carp that in what I read as a classic British murder, the author does use americanisms like a cell tower and whiskey when any Brit would say whisky.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    This book had characters that were too perfect and got on my nerves.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Bidstrup

    This is the first of the Maggie Newberry Mysteries I have read, and look forward to reading others. Maggie and her husband, Laurant, own a vineyard in Provence where they live with their two young children. Laurnat gets a call from his best friend's sister and finds that he, Roger, has died. They, of course, go to London for the funeral, where they meet his wife, Anastasia and her son Nigel. Neither Maggie nor Laurant like Anastasia or Nigel from the moment they meet them, and their feelings tow This is the first of the Maggie Newberry Mysteries I have read, and look forward to reading others. Maggie and her husband, Laurant, own a vineyard in Provence where they live with their two young children. Laurnat gets a call from his best friend's sister and finds that he, Roger, has died. They, of course, go to London for the funeral, where they meet his wife, Anastasia and her son Nigel. Neither Maggie nor Laurant like Anastasia or Nigel from the moment they meet them, and their feelings toward both of them worsens each minute they spend with them. They are invited to spend a few days at the Abbey, Roger's fantasy resort, where guests pretend that they are 1920's aristocrats, spending a few days in the country. The Abbey is beautiful, well maintained, and has been updated, except there are no locks on the bedroom doors. After their first inquiries the police declare Roger's death and accident, but later declare he was murdered. Maggie and Laurant become entangled with the entire family and staff, some of whom Laurant knew, as well as Roger's sister, nephew and his wife and his unacknowledged son. All had means, motive, and opportunity to kill Roger, the question is: which one?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    A good cozy, reminded me of A. Christie: house party, murder, etc.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carlin

    Love, love, love Susan Kiernan Lewis. Just the right kind of cozy mysteries, her Maggie Newberry series especially appeals to my wanderlust in that most of them are set in France my new favorite country! This book was set in the Cotswold area in England (another favorite place!) in an old country mansion set up as a period hotel known as the Abbey where all the guests dress in Edwardian clothes and act as the upper crust while the servants also play their below-stairs counterparts. It begins on Love, love, love Susan Kiernan Lewis. Just the right kind of cozy mysteries, her Maggie Newberry series especially appeals to my wanderlust in that most of them are set in France my new favorite country! This book was set in the Cotswold area in England (another favorite place!) in an old country mansion set up as a period hotel known as the Abbey where all the guests dress in Edwardian clothes and act as the upper crust while the servants also play their below-stairs counterparts. It begins on a sad note as Laurent's oldest friend (and former con man buddy) Roger has died under mysterious circumstances. He was a half owner of the Abbey. Maggie agrees to go with Laurent to the memorial service which involves their staying at the Abbey and learning that Roger's death was murder (of course) .... he'd been stuffed in a laundry chute on an upper floor and fallen to his death in the cellar. What transpires is a classic tale of too many suspects all with motive to do away with Roger. Maggie is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery for Laurent's sake and because she felt guilty for discouraging his relationship with Roger (read the early books in the series for an understanding of her rationale!). As usual Maggie bumbles around suspecting different characters and putting herself in harms way. A great read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Although this book is #8 in the series, it was my first venture into a Maggie Newberry mystery, which worked out fine. The references to past events didn’t leave me confused or thinking that I’d missed out too much. Set in both the English Cotswolds in England and the Village of St.-Buvard in Provence, France, both rural settings are nicely contrasted and described. Maggie and her husband Laurent Dernier are interesting characters as are most of the secondary characters, though a few were too ste Although this book is #8 in the series, it was my first venture into a Maggie Newberry mystery, which worked out fine. The references to past events didn’t leave me confused or thinking that I’d missed out too much. Set in both the English Cotswolds in England and the Village of St.-Buvard in Provence, France, both rural settings are nicely contrasted and described. Maggie and her husband Laurent Dernier are interesting characters as are most of the secondary characters, though a few were too stereotypical. The plot is a typical English whodunit with unsavory family members eager to get their hands on the patriarch’s fortune. For equestrian fans, there are plenty of references to horse jumping and hunting, which makes the story a little more unique and adds another level to the danger Maggie faces. This is an enjoyable whodunit that cozy and amateur sleuth mystery fans will likely enjoy. It would also be suitable for teenage readers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Fast

    Characters not bad; a bit if character development. Plot reasonably interesting tho we are never told specifics of Laurent's past. Maggie's sense of entitlement to investigate murder seems unrealistic. Dialogue sometimes stilted. Several editing issues. Would not seek out another book in this series. Characters not bad; a bit if character development. Plot reasonably interesting tho we are never told specifics of Laurent's past. Maggie's sense of entitlement to investigate murder seems unrealistic. Dialogue sometimes stilted. Several editing issues. Would not seek out another book in this series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    I did not breeze through this "cozy mystery" as fast as the others. It felt heavier, and I'm not sure why. I've been trying to read a bunch of these to try to catch up on my Goodreads challenge because I am super far behind, and when I saw this one I didn't realize it was book eight. I just saw that it was taking place at an abbey and so naturally I snagged it because it was also free. I probably would have liked it much better had I read the previous seven. At the same time there were a lot of I did not breeze through this "cozy mystery" as fast as the others. It felt heavier, and I'm not sure why. I've been trying to read a bunch of these to try to catch up on my Goodreads challenge because I am super far behind, and when I saw this one I didn't realize it was book eight. I just saw that it was taking place at an abbey and so naturally I snagged it because it was also free. I probably would have liked it much better had I read the previous seven. At the same time there were a lot of characters to keep track of and it's not nearly as light as most "cozy mysteries" have been thus far.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harry Lane

    Amateur sleuth mystery. Suspects galore, but no clear evidence. Looks insoluble til additional mayhem occurs. Pretty good stand alone book, but would no doubt have been better if the previous books in the series were read first; there was clearly a lot of backstory implied.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Noel Charchuk

    I found the book to be rather contrived and Maggie, the main character to be annoying. Not sure if it was the Kobo publication but grammar, punctuation and French phrase errors bothered me. I found it hard to believe the characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary Sedivy

    It was okay. This is the first time I’ve read a Kieran-Lewis book (apparently this one is #8 in a series). At first, the French words in the conversations were off-putting. A little checking revealed that one of the characters was French, married to the main character, which answered that question. I just couldn’t get into the story and characters - I just didn’t care enough about what Maggie felt or cared for. Yeah, a couple of people died, but it didn’t seem to matter. There was a ‘fox hunt’ w It was okay. This is the first time I’ve read a Kieran-Lewis book (apparently this one is #8 in a series). At first, the French words in the conversations were off-putting. A little checking revealed that one of the characters was French, married to the main character, which answered that question. I just couldn’t get into the story and characters - I just didn’t care enough about what Maggie felt or cared for. Yeah, a couple of people died, but it didn’t seem to matter. There was a ‘fox hunt’ with horses and dogs (of course), but I couldn’t care, not even when Maggie’s horse freaked out. Yeah, the murders got solved, but I can’t identify who was killed - and that’s okay. I probably won’t read another Susan K-L novel based on my response to this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Brown

    Book 8 in this murder mystery series, this time set in England, not France. Maggie and Laurent get some bad news which means they have to travel to England. Of course, Maggie can't leave well alone and soon she's investigating the murder of one of their friends. Set in an Abbey, which has been set up as a character driven hotel from a time looking ago when houses had upstairs and downstairs staff, a friend of theirs loses their life. Is it an accident or a deliberate action by someone else? By aski Book 8 in this murder mystery series, this time set in England, not France. Maggie and Laurent get some bad news which means they have to travel to England. Of course, Maggie can't leave well alone and soon she's investigating the murder of one of their friends. Set in an Abbey, which has been set up as a character driven hotel from a time looking ago when houses had upstairs and downstairs staff, a friend of theirs loses their life. Is it an accident or a deliberate action by someone else? By asking questions, Maggie gets herself into trouble again, however, this isn't her only problem. There seems to be some history between Laurent and some of the ladies there, from his time as a con man before he met Maggie. Can their relationship survive this? Is someone out to make trouble for Maggie and Laurent? Back home, there's also an issue with a couple of newcomers to the village. Life is never dull around Maggie! I'm enjoying this series and am looking forward to book 9!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wendell Hennan

    Well mysteries are not my favourite read but there are some mystery writers whose books I love, this book was not one of them. Continually alluding to the con artist past of Maggie's husband Laurent became just annoying, never really detailing the scam that was going on. None of the characters, aside from possibly Laurent, were endearing or interesting or honest. The whole phoney English Aristocracy Bed and Breakfast was equally annoying. Sorry, I won't be searching for more Maggie Newberry myst Well mysteries are not my favourite read but there are some mystery writers whose books I love, this book was not one of them. Continually alluding to the con artist past of Maggie's husband Laurent became just annoying, never really detailing the scam that was going on. None of the characters, aside from possibly Laurent, were endearing or interesting or honest. The whole phoney English Aristocracy Bed and Breakfast was equally annoying. Sorry, I won't be searching for more Maggie Newberry mysteries.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    This could easily be a script for Midsommer Murders. Takes place in an Abbey in England (of course), The posh people staying for the weekend are there for the funeral of a murdered owner, and it seems like nearly everyone has a motive. Many hidden secrets and past relationships are revealed. Accusations are tossed around, a second murder occurs, an attempted murder occurs, a fox hunt takes place, a cottage is blown up, and the case is solved satisfactorily in the end. All we needed was Barnaby t This could easily be a script for Midsommer Murders. Takes place in an Abbey in England (of course), The posh people staying for the weekend are there for the funeral of a murdered owner, and it seems like nearly everyone has a motive. Many hidden secrets and past relationships are revealed. Accusations are tossed around, a second murder occurs, an attempted murder occurs, a fox hunt takes place, a cottage is blown up, and the case is solved satisfactorily in the end. All we needed was Barnaby to solve it quicker than the local constabulary could.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Carter May

    I like that the detail was there. Characters seemed realistic. However, too much going on and not enough resolved. I do realize this is a series book, yet when I read a book I want it to be able to start and finish without having to read the others in the series. Not entirely sure that reading the others would give the detail to finish out the characters. I like that it was a cozy mystery (not too much graphic detail). It definitely left me interested and wanting to finish, but was a little disa I like that the detail was there. Characters seemed realistic. However, too much going on and not enough resolved. I do realize this is a series book, yet when I read a book I want it to be able to start and finish without having to read the others in the series. Not entirely sure that reading the others would give the detail to finish out the characters. I like that it was a cozy mystery (not too much graphic detail). It definitely left me interested and wanting to finish, but was a little disappointed that all was not wrapped up.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Allyson Dyar

    I generally don't like starting a new series this far in, but the price was right (free) and the plot sounded interesting. I was not disappointed what so ever. Maggie is a spunky American married to a French wine grower, living in France with their two young children. In this book, the couple go to the funeral of her husband's good friend (a friend Maggie could do without) in England. This was a solid cozy with really interesting characters and was well-paced. I didn't enjoy the initial scenes in F I generally don't like starting a new series this far in, but the price was right (free) and the plot sounded interesting. I was not disappointed what so ever. Maggie is a spunky American married to a French wine grower, living in France with their two young children. In this book, the couple go to the funeral of her husband's good friend (a friend Maggie could do without) in England. This was a solid cozy with really interesting characters and was well-paced. I didn't enjoy the initial scenes in France as much as I enjoyed those in England. But I can easily chalk that up to the fact that I was starting with the eighth book of the series. I really enjoyed this book and would love to read more in the series as long as the price is right. Well worth the read if you enjoy English cozy mysteries as I do. I give it four and half stars -- and look forward to more books in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chanover55

    Roger is Laurent's best friend & now he is dead. Maggie, Laurent's American wife is an investigater in a "previous life" so when the police indicate his death was not an accident, much to Laurent's dismay, Maggie jumps into action. The list of suspects is long, each with a motive for murder but who actually did the deed? This book was hard to put down...the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the British vulgar slang used throughout the book. For me it added nothing to the story & shouldn't Roger is Laurent's best friend & now he is dead. Maggie, Laurent's American wife is an investigater in a "previous life" so when the police indicate his death was not an accident, much to Laurent's dismay, Maggie jumps into action. The list of suspects is long, each with a motive for murder but who actually did the deed? This book was hard to put down...the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the British vulgar slang used throughout the book. For me it added nothing to the story & shouldn't be billed as a "cozy mystery" because of it. Otherwise, it kept me on the edge of my seat.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ellen White

    Started off good with the family of Maggie and Laurent, and Roger coming to visit. Maggie wasn’t happy about it, yet he was a close and dear friend of Laurent. Then the murder of Roger and they go pay their respect at the funeral and wake. Then the story shifted, to more about people, and Laurent was distant and sullen. A horse ride and Jill saying she had Know Laurent before as they lived together, He didn’t denied it, then later says it was untrue. Mix of American and British words. Was okay m Started off good with the family of Maggie and Laurent, and Roger coming to visit. Maggie wasn’t happy about it, yet he was a close and dear friend of Laurent. Then the murder of Roger and they go pay their respect at the funeral and wake. Then the story shifted, to more about people, and Laurent was distant and sullen. A horse ride and Jill saying she had Know Laurent before as they lived together, He didn’t denied it, then later says it was untrue. Mix of American and British words. Was okay murder.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Duckworth

    Susan Kiernan has a way with murder, even though the Newberry series is written with a formula method Ms. Kiernan-Lewis can do murder in a grizzly manner with the best of writers, they are all originally, deliciously thought out. Murder and mayhem, the perils of Pauline all rolled into one! A very enjoyable read, and as usual she writes her locations with knowledge and a narrative that brings locations to vivid life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gail Mathers

    Grief Interesting and different. Not really my cup of tea. I don't seem to care for the English ones new ones. I did get the French at all not understands the workings of that relationship. Had some good moments and it kept you guess in who done it. I never would have guessed the murders. A lot of injury and no one seemed to be in pain I found that weird. It was ok but not interested in future ones didn't grab me Grief Interesting and different. Not really my cup of tea. I don't seem to care for the English ones new ones. I did get the French at all not understands the workings of that relationship. Had some good moments and it kept you guess in who done it. I never would have guessed the murders. A lot of injury and no one seemed to be in pain I found that weird. It was ok but not interested in future ones didn't grab me

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Rodriguez

    I like mysteries, but this one took a minute for me to get into. I didn't realize that there were other books in this series,as a lot of the back story was not explained well. It is overall a ok read if you are waiting for another book from a favorite author. This book is not a cozy mystery, it says it is, in my opinion. I like mysteries, but this one took a minute for me to get into. I didn't realize that there were other books in this series,as a lot of the back story was not explained well. It is overall a ok read if you are waiting for another book from a favorite author. This book is not a cozy mystery, it says it is, in my opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon M. Turner

    Number Eight of a great series. Maggie and Laurent rush to England to the funeral of his best friend. While there they find that Friend Roger has been murdered. Staying at one of England's great homes turned inn, they begin to unravel the hidden clues to the murder. Read to find out who the murderer is and join a Fox Hunt. Number Eight of a great series. Maggie and Laurent rush to England to the funeral of his best friend. While there they find that Friend Roger has been murdered. Staying at one of England's great homes turned inn, they begin to unravel the hidden clues to the murder. Read to find out who the murderer is and join a Fox Hunt.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Poppenwimer

    Even though this is part of a series, the story stands on it's own. This is the first I have read by this author and was OK for light vacation reading. The plot while not too intricate was entertaining, a little of "Upstairs, Downstairs" type of story but the upstairs were want to be and not really upper class folk. Even though this is part of a series, the story stands on it's own. This is the first I have read by this author and was OK for light vacation reading. The plot while not too intricate was entertaining, a little of "Upstairs, Downstairs" type of story but the upstairs were want to be and not really upper class folk.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Frau Ott

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this as my book by the bedside. I found myself having to reread often - as I wasn't sure who was where and when..which made the book longer than normal for me to read. the true murderer wasn't revealed until way into the story. There were many suspects and I often wavered between characters. That made me keep reading. I read this as my book by the bedside. I found myself having to reread often - as I wasn't sure who was where and when..which made the book longer than normal for me to read. the true murderer wasn't revealed until way into the story. There were many suspects and I often wavered between characters. That made me keep reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    Terrific mystery and love story. The characters and love story of the two main characters developed rapidly throughout the story. The murder mystery had plenty of twists and turns and clues. The end wasn't a complete surprise and was a great close to this story. I plan on starting this series at the beginning. Great book. Terrific mystery and love story. The characters and love story of the two main characters developed rapidly throughout the story. The murder mystery had plenty of twists and turns and clues. The end wasn't a complete surprise and was a great close to this story. I plan on starting this series at the beginning. Great book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Mahan

    Well crafted page turner. As usual, storyline develops a number of viable suspects, each with a reasonable motive. Enjoyed the active participation of Laurent as more of his past is revealed. Definitely a few surprises along the way as the mystery is resolved and an ultimate happy ending is revealed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hean

    This was my favourite book in the series! I felt like FINALLY I got some character development and relationship development when it comes to Maggie and Laurent, and we got to see a completely different side of Laurent which was great. The mystery actually made sense and the investigation was so good and so much more natural. Love love loved it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    There's a lot going on at this abbey. It's one of those "who didn't have a motive?" whodunnits. Enjoyable except for a few moments of inconsistency in the voice of characters that gets a little distracting (especially during the murderer's confession monologue). There's a lot going on at this abbey. It's one of those "who didn't have a motive?" whodunnits. Enjoyable except for a few moments of inconsistency in the voice of characters that gets a little distracting (especially during the murderer's confession monologue).

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Davis

    Maggie Maggie Excellent who done it. Just like the Clue game. Who killed who. Lots of charming but weird characters. Setting very interesting. If you are a true who done it reader, this is a must read.

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