Did she do it then? Or now? Or both? Or neither?
I remember reading Something Wicked as a tattered paperback from my local used bookstore a few decades ago, but that paperback is now long lost. So I was really happy to receive a publisher’s copy in e-book to review for my blog.
Even though I’m years older now, I still liked this book, which is the first in the Andrew Basnett series by EX Ferrars. It’s a nice twist on a classic murder mystery, with two murders occurring several years apart. The book is set at the time of the second murder, while the protagonist, Andrew Basnett, a retired professor and widower, is house-sitting in his nephew’s cottage. Which just happens to be across the road from the house of the local “murderess” – the lady that lots of locals think somehow did the first murder, but got away with it. And so the question is: did she do the first one, the second one, both, or neither? At various times throughout the book, I was convinced of each of these possibilities and Ferrars kept me guessing to the end.
Like most British mysteries of the period, the book is well written, and Basnett makes an engaging and relatable “detective”. And although I’m not sure I’d want to visit the local village, since there are some decidedly not-nice folks (the suspects) hanging around, its life is crisply and believably portrayed. All in all, I enjoyed Something Wicked, and having been reminded of this series, I’m now going to keep an eye out for other titles to show up in e-book.
Please note that for me, 4 stars out of 5 is a really good ranking. I try to fight “star-flation” a bit, so 4 stars from me is a solid recommendation. And once again, my thanks to Edelweiss, and to the publisher, Felony & Mayhem Press, for the review copy.