The Murder Question (A Beth Haldane Mystery #3) by Alice Castle

EXCERPT: Beth’s breath was rapidly misting up the window as she squinted this way and that, trying to work out what was going on. She stepped back a little to wipe the condensation down with the sleeve of her coat. Suddenly, a twig snapped somewhere behind her in the dense mass of dripping darkness that was the garden. In the quiet, it was as loud as a gunshot going off. She clutched her chest. Her heart had started pounding. Was it a fox? Or maybe Jen’s beloved cat, Meow? She knew from Magpie that sometimes you could see cats’ eyes glittering in the darkness. She swung round, suddenly supremely conscious that she shouldn’t be here. But there was no sign of the cat, or anything else. Thank goodness. She turned back again.

Instantly, there was a flurry of movement right behind her. Then pain exploded through her skull as something hard and heavy connected mercilessly with the back of her head.

ABOUT ‘THE MURDER QUESTION’: When her best friend goes missing, amateur sleuth Beth Haldane is determined to do some digging of her own… but can she crack the mystery before it becomes a murder?

Beth Haldane is worried. First her dear friend and fellow single mother Jen suddenly gets married to a new man who seems too perfect to be true, then she moves out of leafy Dulwich Village – and now seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Beth knows Jen would never leave her little daughter to handle playground predicaments or her sneaky stepmother alone. Heading to Jen’s new home for answers, Beth’s knocks on the periwinkle-blue front door go unanswered. Police are convinced the lovebirds are on an extended honeymoon: but Beth suspects Jen’s new husband is up to no good… why does no-one in Dulwich know where he came from? Are his looks hiding a dark past?

With Jen’s unpleasant ex popping up at every turn, and gruff but handsome policeman DI Harry York insisting Beth should leave things to the professionals, it’s going to take all her sleuthing skills to track Jen down. But searching Jen’s overgrown garden for clues, Beth hears a twig snap… and next thing she knows, she’s woken up in a hospital bed.

Someone in normally peaceful Dulwich Village will do anything to stop her reaching the truth. Can Beth get to the bottom of this mystery before she’s the next to disappear?

MY THOUGHTS: I don’t know quite what it is about this series that keeps drawing me back. I love a good mystery, but in The Murder Question, the mystery definitely takes a back seat to Beth’s life. Yet, I enjoyed it. It’s entertaining. Amusing. I could easily be friends with Beth. I wouldn’t employ her, but we could be friends.

Beth’s friends and workmates are ganging up on her, saying that after almost a decade of being a widow it’s time she got back on the dating bandwagon. Beth is slowly coming around to their way of thinking. She misses the companionship of a relationship. And her friend Jen’s sudden marriage to the unknown Ted has only reinforced her own loneliness. But while she is browsing a dating website one day, she finds something disturbing. Then, Jen disappears.

I like the way Beth bumbles around in her ‘investigations’. She has no finesse, no real idea of what she is doing. Probably just as I would do in her place. She’s relatable. Ordinary. She’s not beautiful, but rather resembles a Shetland pony with her long thick fringe, sturdy build and short stature. She has a bit of a thing for local DI Harry York, who always seems to be rescuing her from whatever predicament she finds herself in, but doesn’t believe her feelings are reciprocated. Harry, a DI addicted to the works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham, has a disastrous love history. He has all but given up when he is called to a flat where the body of an elderly pensioner has been laying undiscovered for some time, and he wonders if this will be his fate.

The characters are definitely what attract me to this series. From the smug newly married, pregnant Janice to the head ‘yummy mummy’ at the school gates, they are all beautifully drawn and realistically portrayed.

Every book in this series gets better and now I’m ready for book #4, The Murder Plot.


#TheMurderQuestion #NetGalley

I: @alice_castle_ @bookouture

T: @AliceMCastle @Bookouture

#contemporaryfiction #cosymystery

THE AUTHOR: Alice Castle lives in South London with her two children and two cats. She was a feature writer on the Daily Express for many years and has written for most other national newspapers. She has a degree in Modern History from St Andrews University, is the British Royalty expert for Flemish TV, and lived in Brussels for nearly a decade.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Murder Question (A Beth
Haldane Mystery #3) by Alice Castle for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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