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Murder at the Old Abbey

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A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspe A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspector Matt Lambert of the Newport police faces is that many people had a powerful grudge or good reason to want him dead. And when it is discovered that Caradoc had children from dalliances in his youth, his family also fall under suspicion – their substantial inheritance having been put in doubt. With so many suspects and little evidence, DCI Lambert finds it difficult to progress the investigation. The family go to ground, so he draws on the advice of his former boss, ex-detective Fabia Havard. Knowing the family, Havard helps Lambert establish motive and opportunity. But will their fractious relationship, the result of repressed feelings for one another, get in the way of finding the killer? MURDER AT THE OLD ABBEY is the second book by Pippa McCathie to feature detective Matt Lambert and Fabia Havard. If you enjoy it, be sure to check out the best-selling MURDER IN THE VALLEYS, which is available in paperback, audiobook and FREE with Kindle Unlimited.


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A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspe A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspector Matt Lambert of the Newport police faces is that many people had a powerful grudge or good reason to want him dead. And when it is discovered that Caradoc had children from dalliances in his youth, his family also fall under suspicion – their substantial inheritance having been put in doubt. With so many suspects and little evidence, DCI Lambert finds it difficult to progress the investigation. The family go to ground, so he draws on the advice of his former boss, ex-detective Fabia Havard. Knowing the family, Havard helps Lambert establish motive and opportunity. But will their fractious relationship, the result of repressed feelings for one another, get in the way of finding the killer? MURDER AT THE OLD ABBEY is the second book by Pippa McCathie to feature detective Matt Lambert and Fabia Havard. If you enjoy it, be sure to check out the best-selling MURDER IN THE VALLEYS, which is available in paperback, audiobook and FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

30 review for Murder at the Old Abbey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nadishka Aloysius

    I was able to figure out the murderer too easily

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Pearson

    Just finished reading this excellent book. The book is set in Wales, and once you get used to the rather odd old Welsh names, the story takes off and keeps you really very much engaged. The story is made compelling by the main character's back story - Fabia - who had been a senior police officer, but had been made to leave the force accused, wrongly, of wrong doing. Fabia gets heavily involved with the investigation of 2 mysterious deaths, and finally establishes how and why the victims have been Just finished reading this excellent book. The book is set in Wales, and once you get used to the rather odd old Welsh names, the story takes off and keeps you really very much engaged. The story is made compelling by the main character's back story - Fabia - who had been a senior police officer, but had been made to leave the force accused, wrongly, of wrong doing. Fabia gets heavily involved with the investigation of 2 mysterious deaths, and finally establishes how and why the victims have been killed, and goes on to solve the case with her still-serving police man friend, Matt. Hard to put down. Well written, and nicely crafted.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Powell

    I felt like I was reading an Agatha Christie novel. Too many people with motives for a murder and a twist at the end. A hint of romance between the main characters. I enjoyed this book and looking forward to the next one,

  4. 4 out of 5

    Megs

    Solid four stars. Surprised me, because for a murder mystery it had character development and was relatively plausible.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Owner of the White Monk Abbey, Carodoc Mansell has recently died and the doctor is suspicious. The family who are all awful have just found out that he has recently changed his will. And an illegitimate granddaughter has turned up. Enjoyable mystery

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patiscynical

    Improbable I didn't read the first book, so I was unfamiliar with the characters. Fabia Havard was once a police detective, but is now an artist, after having apparently been forced out of the department but exonerated. So this book is mostly about her. The Mansell's are an important family, living on a huge estate, but without the money to maintain the vast home and grounds. The head of the family is murdered, and the entire family are suspects. The story is somewhat rambling, the characters aren Improbable I didn't read the first book, so I was unfamiliar with the characters. Fabia Havard was once a police detective, but is now an artist, after having apparently been forced out of the department but exonerated. So this book is mostly about her. The Mansell's are an important family, living on a huge estate, but without the money to maintain the vast home and grounds. The head of the family is murdered, and the entire family are suspects. The story is somewhat rambling, the characters aren't particularly pleasant or interesting, and you had a pretty good idea of who the murderer was early on. Results: this was supposed to be a Fabia Havard mystery, but she really didn't do much to solve it. Well, except for having a dream about who the killer was. I found it improbable and not very thrilling.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sian Morant

    Disappointing follow up as I really liked Murder in the Valleys. Rambling and not that interesting plot and a murderer I sussed out almost immediately. I do like the character of Fabia though so I may stick with the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I really wanted to like this book. The setting is wonderful, and several minor characters are likable and interesting. But I found the main character, Fabia, to be quite annoying - insecure, self-indulgent, and irrational. A mystery that is fairly easy to solve is a minor problem for me, but I can’t stand main characters I find obnoxious.

  9. 5 out of 5

    M

    This non-cozy police procedural works well as a stand-alone This is a quick-read mystery that can be read as a stand-alone, because there’s enough backstory. Chief inspector Matt Lambert and his team out of Newport, Wales are investigating the murder of Caradoc Mansell, an irascible codger and tyrant who ruled the household living in his historic 17th century mansion. A subplot about a newly-found Mansell family member was more satisfying, because newbie Anjali Kishtoo is a delightful character This non-cozy police procedural works well as a stand-alone This is a quick-read mystery that can be read as a stand-alone, because there’s enough backstory. Chief inspector Matt Lambert and his team out of Newport, Wales are investigating the murder of Caradoc Mansell, an irascible codger and tyrant who ruled the household living in his historic 17th century mansion. A subplot about a newly-found Mansell family member was more satisfying, because newbie Anjali Kishtoo is a delightful character with an engaging backstory that piqued my interest. There are also several understated but charming romances, which do not interrupt the murder storyline. This is a solid British/Welsh mystery with a definite old-fashioned feel—no matter the mobiles, laptops, tablets, memory sticks, etc. The main storyline has been done before, and the nuclear/extended family members are the usual murder mystery fodder. As I ticked boxes, I was able to guess the culprit, although I wanted to be sure about the culprit’s motives. The author needs a good editor for punctuation problems. 3 stars, because I liked the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspector Matt Lambert of the Newport police faces is that many people had a powerful grudge or good reason to want him dead. And wh A suspicious death casts a dark cloud over a small community south of the Black Mountains… White Monk Abbey is a local landmark and its resident patriarch, Caradoc Mansell, a foreboding presence. He runs his household and family as if he is still in the army. And he’s been known for rubbing people up the wrong way. So, when he is found murdered, the challenge Chief Inspector Matt Lambert of the Newport police faces is that many people had a powerful grudge or good reason to want him dead. And when it is discovered that Caradoc had children from dalliances in his youth, his family also fall under suspicion – their substantial inheritance having been put in doubt. With so many suspects and little evidence, DCI Lambert finds it difficult to progress the investigation. The family go to ground, so he draws on the advice of his former boss, ex-detective Fabia Havard. Knowing the family, Havard helps Lambert establish motive and opportunity. But will their fractious relationship, the result of repressed feelings for one another, get in the way of finding the killer? Very good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The second of the Havard and Lambert mysteries set in South Wales, and builds well upon the first one. In this one Caradoc Mansell, the patriarch of a Welsh family, is found murdered, and although it appears to be a stroke, he’s been killed by an injection of an animal tranquilizer. Shortly before his death it becomes clear that he had an affair overseas while serving in the army, and he has discovered a granddaughter that he didn’t know he had. That he tries to make things right for her family, The second of the Havard and Lambert mysteries set in South Wales, and builds well upon the first one. In this one Caradoc Mansell, the patriarch of a Welsh family, is found murdered, and although it appears to be a stroke, he’s been killed by an injection of an animal tranquilizer. Shortly before his death it becomes clear that he had an affair overseas while serving in the army, and he has discovered a granddaughter that he didn’t know he had. That he tries to make things right for her family, leads to tragedy in his own. Fabia knows the daughter of Caradoc and is doing illustrations for her upcoming book. So she’s drawn into the family tragedy as Matt Lambert investigates. The tenuous relationship between Fabia and Matt comes to a sort of resolution, although there is tenseness within the family and between them. The solution lies in the understanding of what family means.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I wasn't completely sure what to expect from this but I loved it. Not only was it a great story with plenty of twists and some great and believable characters, it wove the landscape and places of South Wales into the story brilliantly. So many times I was reading knowing almost exactly where events were taking place, making the whole story that much more real and believable. For me the only thing I wasn't so keen on was the romantic interplay between Lambert and Havard, I'm not entirely sure it I wasn't completely sure what to expect from this but I loved it. Not only was it a great story with plenty of twists and some great and believable characters, it wove the landscape and places of South Wales into the story brilliantly. So many times I was reading knowing almost exactly where events were taking place, making the whole story that much more real and believable. For me the only thing I wasn't so keen on was the romantic interplay between Lambert and Havard, I'm not entirely sure it is necessary or warranted and I found bits of it a little forced and awkward. I'm also not that sure I believed it all that much, but that could well be the cynic in me. That aside, I will certainly be looking out for the rest in the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel26621

    Great author and great book Pippa McCathie has become one of my favorite mystery/detective authors. She has created two leading characters that are likable and believable. The supporting characters are also well done to the point the reader feels as if he or she knows them. She is skilled at creating a mystery and guiding the reader through the solving process without giving away the solution, but yet giving enough clues so the reader can keep guessing. There are also lovely descriptions of Wales Great author and great book Pippa McCathie has become one of my favorite mystery/detective authors. She has created two leading characters that are likable and believable. The supporting characters are also well done to the point the reader feels as if he or she knows them. She is skilled at creating a mystery and guiding the reader through the solving process without giving away the solution, but yet giving enough clues so the reader can keep guessing. There are also lovely descriptions of Wales. I hope she continues to write many more books in this series with Fabia, Matt, Dilys, And Cath, the vicar!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bertie

    Really enjoyed this book. Set in Wales, centred around the Mansell family, who own a large estate, but are struggling with the upkeep. All is not well within the family with all the usual bickering that goes on...but then things take a turn for the worse when the head of the family is murdered. Haven't actually read the first one - Murder in the Valleys, but I'm intrigued now to go back and order that one so I have the full story on Matt and Fabia who seem to rather like each other - that is DCI Really enjoyed this book. Set in Wales, centred around the Mansell family, who own a large estate, but are struggling with the upkeep. All is not well within the family with all the usual bickering that goes on...but then things take a turn for the worse when the head of the family is murdered. Haven't actually read the first one - Murder in the Valleys, but I'm intrigued now to go back and order that one so I have the full story on Matt and Fabia who seem to rather like each other - that is DCI Matt Lambert and Fabia Havard (who used to be his boss at the police force). Entertaining.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Grove

    A pleasant read with something of gothic undertones. I found the beginning unsettling but then the story improved (for me) as the characters and ambience became more 21st century. I didn't get a sense of a real environment behind the characters but that may well just be me. Perhaps some improbable elements in the story's progression but these serve to underlie the gothic elements. Yes, I suspected the murderer quite early on but only to question that later. Some interesting characters as well as A pleasant read with something of gothic undertones. I found the beginning unsettling but then the story improved (for me) as the characters and ambience became more 21st century. I didn't get a sense of a real environment behind the characters but that may well just be me. Perhaps some improbable elements in the story's progression but these serve to underlie the gothic elements. Yes, I suspected the murderer quite early on but only to question that later. Some interesting characters as well as some stereotypical ones. I think I may well look out for further books in this series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diane E

    Excellent An old man is murdered (?) In south Wales. His life had been interesting when as a soldier in Mauritius he fell in love with a native girl . He was prevented from marrying her. Late in life he was in touch with her family . A touching story interrupted by a murderer . Great book . Great characters . I personally would read more of them, and of course this author .

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Keeth

    A Well Written Mystery This is a well written mystery that is hard to put down. It is well plotted and the characters are fully developed. One thing I really loved about it was that it wasn’t stretched out with unnecessary descriptions and filler passages. This book will definitely appeal to Christie fans. I strongly recommend it and definitely will be reading other mysteries written by this author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I'm enjoying this series, set in Wales. "Cosy" mysteries with a bit of an edge, this has engaging main protagonists in ex-detective-turned-artist Fabia Havard and current DCI Matt Lambert. The minor characters are all well-drawn, and the sense of place is stronger with this second novel by McCathie. If you like Louise Penny and Elly Griffiths, you'll like these. Looking forward to more in this series (I hope!). I'm enjoying this series, set in Wales. "Cosy" mysteries with a bit of an edge, this has engaging main protagonists in ex-detective-turned-artist Fabia Havard and current DCI Matt Lambert. The minor characters are all well-drawn, and the sense of place is stronger with this second novel by McCathie. If you like Louise Penny and Elly Griffiths, you'll like these. Looking forward to more in this series (I hope!).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karrie pennington

    I want more I have read both books in this series and am hoping that the third comes soon. I also hope the author tells us more about the fate of the Abbey family and our protagonists. I prefer reviews that tell me very little about the story so I put this book in the if you like stories about people and settings with a mystery this one works.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    Five stars This book was outstanding! Have already ordered Murder in the Valley and am looking forward to a very enjoyable read. This author does an exceptional job in creating very interesting characters and an intriguing murder plot. Loved the story taking place in Wales. Highly recommend Murder At The Old Abbey.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Harding

    It was the butler, in the library with... Romance intrudes on a reasonably laced whodunit. Along with racism and a whole family tree and history to grapple with, bach. Make sure you're familiar with a couple of Welsh words and so will flow smoothly to a hasty conclusion cariad. Diolch. It was the butler, in the library with... Romance intrudes on a reasonably laced whodunit. Along with racism and a whole family tree and history to grapple with, bach. Make sure you're familiar with a couple of Welsh words and so will flow smoothly to a hasty conclusion cariad. Diolch.

  22. 4 out of 5

    JM

    I agree with the review of another reader who said: “Disappointing follow up as I really liked Murder in the Valleys; a rambling and not that interesting plot. I do like the character of Fabia though so I may stick with the series.” These are my thoughts exactly. This book really dragged; I had trouble getting through it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gary and Sandra Sims

    Interesting This is the second book in the series, it takes place some months after the incidents in the previous book. This time around we have a murder and a house full of suspects. The victim is the patriarch of the family and very tight fisted, the setting is an old abbey and family seat set in the South of Wales and you have an interesting "who done it". Enjoy. Interesting This is the second book in the series, it takes place some months after the incidents in the previous book. This time around we have a murder and a house full of suspects. The victim is the patriarch of the family and very tight fisted, the setting is an old abbey and family seat set in the South of Wales and you have an interesting "who done it". Enjoy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol Ann

    Suspenseful Page Turner Murder at the Old Abbey by Pippa McCathie was a suspenseful page turner of a murder mystery set in Wales. The patriarch of an old Welsh aristocratic family connects with a granddaughter he didn’t know he had and then gets murdered. Soon everybody looks like a suspect. I loved the Welsh police procedural part. Great characters.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erik Empson

    Another engaging mystery by Pippa McCathie. A local bigwig is poisoned. Lots of people had a good reason to kill him. Set in the countryside north of Newport the book has well-developed, credible characters and a good number of sub-plots that add depth to your traditional whodunnit.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Judy G Spivey

    An old ancestral home an an unexpected heir, leads to murder. Well written, a few hints along the way, leads to an unsuspected murderer. Interesting relationship s between a former police officer and friend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Excellent! The two books in this series are both excellent! They have engaging characters, a well plotted, and well written story. It is a thrilling, exciting reading experience to read as all events mesh to provide a exciting, satisfying finale.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Burke

    Great read! I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series, but it didn’t matter. The author developed the characters well so that they really didn’t need the first book as an introduction. I really enjoyed the story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shona P

    Wonderful - murder, mystery and great characters What a delight to have a second book featuring these wonderful characters. Another case filled with twists and turns, as Matt & Fabia with help from a variety of sources resolve not only the case.......

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Wow! Loved this book even though I had figured out the culprit about half way through, it is a very well written novel and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves a good mystery. The interplay with characters is well thought out and I am looking forward to another by this author.

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