Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!

Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg

Hate Bale

Grumbling guests and escaping piglets are precisely what Martha doesn’t need. She’s already struggling to run a holiday cottage and a rather large smallholding single-handedly. Since her husband Mark died, three years ago, her rural property in France, beautiful as it is, has become an increasingly heavy millstone around her neck.

So whilst she’s horrified to stumble across a corpse at the local farm supplies shop, it does at least distract her from her own woes. Best friend Lottie, the cheese to Martha’s chalk, swoops in to offer moral support, and encourages Martha to join her in some unofficial sleuthing. Meanwhile, police officer Philippe Prudhomme, a former fellow chess-player of Mark’s, undertakes a rather more professional investigation.

However, despite everyone’s efforts the killer remains at large. And when more bodies (one and a bit, to be precise) come Martha’s way, it definitely feels like he’s closing in on her…

There’s suspense, humour and excitement in this entertaining cosy mystery set in the French countryside.

My Review:

This is a delightful, humorous and enthralling cosy mystery set in the French countryside. It had me laughing out loud so often that I ended up sharing excerpts from it with my husband, who then totally understood why it made me laugh so much!

For a start, just imagine the French neighbours of ex-pat Martha trying to say her surname, Bigglesthwaite! She’s a widow, living on a small holding and having guests stay in a nearby cottage. She has an eclectic assortment of animals whose escapades add to the humour inherent throughout the story. There’s also danger, romance, horrendous guests and multiple murders to be found in this great read. Somehow Martha inadvertently discovers not just one body, dropping her straight into the spotlight for the local gossips and police. As the mystery deepens, concern for her own safety is paramount for her friends, but participation in an organised cycle race may not prove to be the simple but strenuous journey she’s anticipating!

This is a story which showcases how well the author knows what it is like living as an ex-pat in rural France. The descriptions of caring for the animals and coping with their escapades are brought vividly to life as part of the story. There’s a great sense of community, with fantastic characters and situations. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and have no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys cosy mysteries with an added French flavour and romance!

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.

Purchase Link – getbook.at/HateBale

Author Bio –

I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years

as an expat in Ireland. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-

sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie of animals, has made for exciting times. The

current array of creatures ranges from alpacas to zebra finches, with pretty much everything in-

between! Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep

learning curve.

I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and

resourceful and generally wonderful.

I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. As

well as being an author, I’m also a part-time editor and, with Chris, manager of three carp fishing

lakes. My hobbies are cycling, geocaching, knitting and sewing.

Social Media Links – @llamamum



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