After an eventful year, Persimmon "Simmy" Brown is adjusting to life in Windermere, running her florist shop and trying to put her tragic past behind her. But just when Simmy thinks her life is quietly coming together, it begins to unravel at the seams. With the delivery of a bouquet of flowers to an elderly lady - complete with mysterious message attached - old secrets come creeping into the light. When another old woman is found murdered in her own home, Simmy is drawn into the centre of a murder investigation.
"Well worth the read. Rebecca Tope has real talent"
Thea Osborne's latest house-sitting assignment is a little different to the rest. Along with her spaniel, Hepzie, Thea finds herself in the village of Chedworth. She is tasked with creating an inventory of Rita Wilshire's possessions, requested by her son, Richard Wilshire, after moving her into a care home. All goes to plan, until Thea and her fiancé, Drew Slocombe, find Richard dead in a barn. Was Richard's death suicide? Or something more sinister?
Following a string of disastrous house-sitting assignments, and with recent troubles in her personal life, Thea Osborne is understandably apprehensive about her latest commission: a wintry month in an isolated farmhouse with only an assortment of animals for company. With the summer lushness of the Cotswolds turned icy grey, Thea spends her first few days exploring more of the surrounding area.
"Fear in the Cotswolds"
Thea Osborne sets off to Frampton Mansell with confidence. Despite her first disastrous house-sitting venture, which drew her into a murder investigation, Thea, and her spaniel Hepzibah, are sure of a wonderful stay at the relaxed country estate of the Philipses. But it seems that she’s jinxed. Busying herself with her duties, she finds a body hanging from the rafters of one of the barns. Detective Superintendent Phil Hollis oversees the subsequent investigation and is more than a little surprised to find Thea once again at the scene.
"Pretty good story."
Thea Osborne has just lost her beloved father and retreats to her next housesitting assignment in Lower Slaughter to deal with her grief. The tranquillity is a welcome backdrop and there's a whole host of animals to help stave off her loneliness. As Thea settles down to two weeks of solitude, her biggest challenges are jigsaw puzzles and fighting off bats in the bedroom - until reality catches up with her.
Nestled in the hills of the Cotswolds, the village of Duntisbourne Abbots is a well-kept secret. When Joel Jennison is found slaughtered in the same field where his brother’s corpse had lain ten weeks previously, a whole community falls under suspicion. Was it a family feud? An act of revenge?
"Armchair travel with a crime solved"
Thea Osborne, Cotswold house-sitter with an infamous reputation for getting mixed up in crime, is determined to avoid trouble this time. Her latest commission in the village of Daglingworth seems straightforward, with most of her time spent looking after an old corgi and a hibernating tortoise. Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby quarry....
Thea Osborne hopes to spend a quiet Christmas house sitting for the Shepherds in the picturesque village of Stanton. Walks in the local countryside with the dogs and perhaps a meal in the pub are all the excitement she wants. When her arrival at the village coincides with the funeral of local businessman Douglas Callendar, found electrocuted in his bath, Thea's interest is stirred but the onset of flu looks to prevent any sleuthing.
"If you're a fan of the flu ..."
A huge funeral for Windermere’s popular resident, Barbara Dodge, is taking place, and florist Persimmon 'Simmy' Brown and her new assistant, Bonnie Lawson, are busy compiling wreaths in preparation. There’s word of a series of sinister dognappings occurring in nearby Troutbeck, and whilst taking a walk up Wansfell Pike, Simmy and her father, Russell, stumble on a dog strangled to death - it’s not long before Simmy reluctantly finds herself caught up in a murder investigation.
Following a personal tragedy, florist Persimmon “Simmy” Brown has moved to the Lake District to be nearer her parents. But her peace is shattered when, at a wedding, the bride's brother is found brutally murdered. As the florist of the wedding and one of the last people to talk to Mark Baxter alive, Simmy gradually becomes involved with the relatives. When events take another sinister turn, Simmy finds herself at the heart of a murder investigation.
In the wake of a series of unfortunate experiences house-sitting in the Cotswolds, Thea Osbourne, accompanied by her spaniel Hepzibah, is perhaps over-optimistic about the possibilities of her latest assignment – house-sitting for transatlantic reptile breeder Harriet Young. However, yet again, the region’s bucolic charms prove to be more than deceptive, and Thea is thrust once more into the heart of a Cotswolds mystery....
"great writing and performance. "
When Thea Osborne agrees at the last minute to house-sit for Oliver Meadows, she expects a few days of peace. Uncomfortable with her mother's sudden involvement with an old flame, and unsure of how to deal with her feelings for Drew Slocombe, Thea hopes that some time alone will help to clear her head. But with the disturbing discovery of a dead body in the gardens, she finds herself at the heart of a mystery.
"Lovely, no sex, wonderful British English."
Thea Osborne and her trusty spaniel, Hepzie, have been asked by the Montgomerys to look after their house in Blockley while they take a much-needed holiday. Their elderly mother, Granny Gardner, shouldn't be any trouble - although she is slightly forgetful. Thea's got far more to worry about when a body is discovered in the house next door.
"A Good Listen"
Thea Osborne and her canine companion Hepzie travel to the isolated village of Snowshill for their next assignment, house-sitting Hyacinth House for the mysterious Yvonne Parker. Something doesn't feel right to Thea, who is ill at ease in the village, and soon her intuition is proved to be right. A local boy, Stevie Horsfall, is found brutally strangled, with his mother as prime suspect.
As undertaker Drew Slocombe drove to Greta Simmonds’ burial in Broad Campden, deep in the heart of the Cotswolds, thoughts of his troubles at home and at work played on his mind. The last thing he was worried about was becoming a murder suspect. Thea Osbourne becomes Drew’s unlikely friend and defender when the council worker opposing the burial is found dead just minutes from Thea’s latest house-sitting assignment: the Cotswold home of the late Mrs Simmonds.
"Another hit for Ms. Tope!"
Thea Osborne and her spaniel, Hepzie, are house-sitting in the quiet village of Temple Guiting. Detective Superintendent Phil Hollis is looking forward to visiting for a night or two and celebrating the couple's anniversary. A few days into their stay, a pile of human bones is discovered at the base of an uprooted tree. The locals all have their theories about their identity and rumours abound. Thea and Phil discover that the village turns out to have more than its fair share of secrets.
"Enjoyable, but Not Exciting"
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, Persimmon "Simmy" Brown's flower shop near Lake Windermere receives a string of anonymous delivery orders. But each one causes their recipient great distress, and Simmy suspects that the messages they contain mask a sinister intent. Then one of the recipients disappears…. As if that isn't enough, Simmy's friend Kathy turns up, on the trail of her wayward daughter Joanna, who has grown unhealthily close to her university tutor.
It’s with mixed motives that Karen Slocombe’s cousin Penn pays her a visit. Not only does Penn want to renew contact with a relative, but she is also looking for help with the disappearance of Justine, another cousin. Drew Slocombe’s reputation for unraveling mysteries is widespread and Penn hopes he and Karen can be of assistance. Justine’s mother, Roma Millan, claims to be unconcerned at her daughter’s disappearance. Roma’s husband, Laurie, however, believes otherwise.
Thea Osbourne is only too happy to have a bit of peace and quiet. The only positive thing that came out of her recent house sitting disasters is her blossoming relationship with DI Phil Hollis and she relishes the thought of their spending some quality time together. Even meeting Phil’s childhood acquaintance, the eccentric Ariadne, cannot detract from Thea’s happiness. But the bad luck that plagues the hapless Thea and her beloved spaniel Hepzipah is never far away.
"Love the series."