The Mystery of Four by Sam Blake

EXCERPT: Almost midnight. The garden is ink black, as though it’s been washed with a brush, details of marble statues and sweeping steps picked out by the week moonlight.

Below, a bronze fountain cast in the likeness of Apollo splashes water into the lake, disturbing the stillness of the hour. Accompanied by the distant scream of a fox, the hoot of an owl, the night sounds meld into backdrop of what is to come.

“The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike.”
Skirting the high granite wall, careful footsteps crunch on the gravel to the end of the path where towering gates stand open, wrought-iron flourishes picked out with golden ivy leaves, visible even in the darkness.

Now cutting across the neatly mown grass in front of the glasshouses, and through another set of matching gates.

Beyond, a series of rose beds and square ponds are linked like gems in a necklace along the formal Rose Walk, leading to the wishing well and the yew maze. On either side, crowded flower beds wait for the morning sunshine, their scent heavy, trapped in high walls covered in more roses, their stems entwined, thick with thorns.

A black shape slips into the foliage unseen, green eyes watching.

Almost there. This will be the last trip.

It’s been a long journey, the planning detailed, but there’s been a lot of time for that. Now, the last act will be easy.

ABOUT ‘THE MYSTERY OF FOUR’: Tess Morgan has finally made her dream of restoring beautiful Kilfenora House and Gardens into a reality.

But during rehearsals for the play that forms the opening weekend’s flagship event, her dream turns into a nightmare when a devastating accident looks set to ruin her carefully laid plans.

There are rumours that Kilfenora House is cursed, but this feels personal, and becomes increasingly terrifying when more than one body is discovered. Could someone be closing in on Tess herself?

Clarissa Westmacott, ex star of stage and screen, certainly believes so, particularly when she learns that purple-flowered aconite has been picked from the Poison Garden. And Clarissa will stop at nothing to protect the friend she has come to see as a daughter…

Four tragic accidents. Or four brutal murders? Unravel The Mystery of Four . . .

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this quiet but engaging murder-mystery. I loved the atmosphere of Kilfenora House, and the characters involved, particularly Clarissa Westmacott, who turns out to be a star in more ways than one.

Now I have to admit that I guessed who was behind all the ‘accidents’ by the time I was a little over halfway through the book. But that didn’t impact on my enjoyment at all. I loved the journey to the rather satisfying end.

The characters are vividly portrayed. Tess is still grieving over the death of her fiance, and I could feel her grief, also her frustration and anguish at the endless stream of incidents that seem set to derail the grand opening of Kilfenora House to the public. On top of all that she has a true crime television crew wanting to dig up the grounds because they believe a serial killer may have buried at least one body there. I loved her response to the news – ‘This just keeps on getting better.’

Merlin the cat is another character of importance. He certainly has personality in spades and has a pivotal role in the solving of this slow-burn mystery.

Great characters, a setting oozing with atmosphere, and an engaging mystery makes this a no-brainer for mystery fans. This is the first book I have read by Sam Blake, and I’ll certainly be snapping up any more that come my way. I see she also has an impressive array of backtitles for me to get my teeth into.

I have listened to other audiobooks narrated by Aoife McMahon and always appreciate her talents. The Mystery of Four is another feather in her cap.


#TheMysteryofFour #NetGalley

I: @samblakebooks @bolindaaudio

T: @samblakebooks @Bolindaaudio

#contemporaryfiction #crime #friendship #murdermystery

MEET THE AUTHOR: Sam Blake has been writing fiction since her husband set sail across the Atlantic for eight weeks, and she had an idea for a book.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bolinda Audio via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of The Mystery of Four, written by Sam Blake and narrated by Aoife McMahon, 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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