The same author has written an earlier series set in the Cotswolds featuring an amateur female crime solver. Tope has moved on to a different heroine in a different picturesque setting--the Lake District--but the books are quite similar. Their best feature is the author's knowledge of rural beauty spots and English village life. Less successful are her attempts to create believable mysteries to be solved by an amateur who keeps stumbling across dead bodies.
The Staveley Suspect's sleuth Simmy Brown, fleeing personal tragedy, relocates to the Lake District and sets up shop as a florist. The books feature a continuing cast of characters that include aging parents, a young shop assistant and a local prodigy who's a teenage Sherlock Holmes. The teenager does most of the crime solving, assisted by Simmy, her shop assistant and a very tolerant local cop. The Staveley Suspect, like all of the series entries, is narrow-focused and very dialogue heavy--many scenes of Simmy and her teenaged sidekicks having detailed discussions of the crime and its possible solutions.
This particular mystery features an evolving romance for Simmy and an effective use of the theme of motherhood. Turns out Mother's Day is THE profit highlight of the florist business. Tope does a nice job with the frantic atmosphere in Simmy's shop and the oddball characters who drop in. Tope is a skilled writer and knows her audience, but she never breaks out of a given formula. Her books always seem to bog down in repetitious action and conversation. Good light reading, but you will be tempted to skim whole sections of chitchat.