• A Body in the Village Hall: An Utterly Gripping Cozy Murder Mystery

  • A Kate Palmer Novel, Book 1
  • By: Dee MacDonald
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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A Body in the Village Hall: An Utterly Gripping Cozy Murder Mystery

By: Dee MacDonald
Narrated by: Jane McDowell
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Publisher's Summary

Kate Palmer has relocated to Cornwall for a quiet life. Moving into picturesque Lavender Cottage with her sister, Angie, the little village of Lower Tinworthy should be the perfect place for their fresh new start. But within weeks of their arrival, there’s a death in the close-knit community....

A woman is found dead in the village hall, with her own kitchen knife next to the body, covered in blood. Kate, a practice nurse at the local medical center, begins to piece together the clues. Fenella was at the center of village activity, and there seem to be plenty of people who had reason to dislike her. But did any of them hate her enough to kill her? 

As Kate gets drawn into life in Lower Tinworthy, she begins a close friendship with Detective Inspector "Woody" Forrest, who is near to retiring - and determined to crack his last case. Together, they set about solving the mysterious crime. 

But when someone breaks into Kate’s home and leaves a warning note on her pillow, it becomes clear the murderer is prepared to do anything to keep their identity hidden.... Will Kate work out who’s responsible before she becomes the next victim? 

If you love murder mysteries by Agatha Christie, Faith Martin, or Joy Ellis, then this novel will have you listening late into the night! 

©2020 Dee MacDonald (P)2020 Bookouture

What listeners say about A Body in the Village Hall: An Utterly Gripping Cozy Murder Mystery

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Suspense created through the heroine's stupidity

So disappointing. Another story about a man coming to the aid of a stupid female.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kate is a different kind of sleuth: fun

I find I love the "cozy" series of books, and this new series is no different. Characters are unique and fun. The mystery is well-laid-out.

Even with 2 murders in the book, there is no horrible gore. The story is the characters' interactions and relationships.

Good fun, and a good read

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Characters grated on my nerves

Weak story, characters not believable, especially main female character. Her stupidity hard to take. will probably return.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I've read worse...

The main character is an "enabler" who constantly whines about alcoholic sister she lives with.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great cozy mystery

I like the main character and enjoyed this first book in the series. Narrator was good, but was a little stilted at times. I am hoping her narration flows more effortlessly in the next book, as I will definitely be listening to more of this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A simple who done it mystery

This story was easy listening, but not particularly gripping. This book was nice for a change of pace, but lacked the suspense of other mysteries.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dismally underwhelming...

worst American accent ever! overall she was a great narrator but that cop's voice was uncomfortable to listen to.....

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Not worth the buy…

Not worth it. I knew who the murdered was easily… and I’d be fine with that if the book had a good character development or a good plot … this one has neither. Seems like the author just desperately wanted something published.
The narrator only makes it worse…but I don’t think it’s the narrator‘s fault, it’s just really hard to narrate this in any way emphasizing either the plot or the characters (although the American accent she put on for one of the characters was just so fake it made me put the speed up)
The setting is cliche but generally a good one for a murder mystery (a small village in England) - just VERY poorly executed. I’m sure a seasoned author could have made this into a good story with more in depth characters.

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Brilliant New Series!

If you like Betty Rowlands, especially her Melissa Craig series, then you'll like this first Kate Palmer book.

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  • Renka
  • 01-09-21

Not so much utterly gripping as utterly annoying

If you like 'heroines' who are utterly stupid and poke their noses Into danger causing others to have to rescue them, you'll like this. It was too stupidly unbelievable for me.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 11-07-20

Nice!

Enjoyed listening to it, but was left feeling like the end was rushed, and the author just wanted to finish it.
It's a shame as build up and middle parts were good and kept you interested, then fell flat towards the end.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-21

It’s not Le Carré...

This is peak cosy crime. Excruciating at points because of the cheesy-ness of the writing BUT if you’re after something along the lines of the Cherringham Series this is the one. Light, inconsequential but thoroughly enjoyable. I hope it’s the first of many! Also read well.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MRS B.
  • 11-02-20

Good story

Thought the story was good, wouldn’t go so far as to say it was utterly gripping. Didn’t enjoy listening to this narrator, far too plummy with a wooden delivery.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynne
  • 03-18-22

Great narration

I really liked the very Marple esque story and the characters were great. The only time I grimaced was the big mistakes the lead character made. Marple would never offer herself up to the killer the way Kate did so please don't let this intelligent character make such a mistake again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine
  • 02-16-22

Gorgeous.

Really enjoyed this book. It was beautifully narrated by Jane and the characters were believable. I hope there is a follow up to it as I really want to know what happened next.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-07-22

Great, especially if you like Cornwall!

Loved it! First Dee MacDonald book I have listened to, but hooked, especially liked the narrator, very easy to listen to, and very clearly spoken.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • L WILSON
  • 05-28-22

Teach children correctly

Slightly spoiled by the main character going in the post office and asking for a 2nd class stamp. The implied period could be no later than the1960s and the 2nd class stamp was not introduced until 1993.(see page 161)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • francine r.
  • 05-23-22

Great narrator, poor story

I've given up on this book as it's so dull and not well written. I only decided to listen to it as I love this narrator who reads Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway series (or most of them) beautifully. Great to fall asleep to though!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • EKM
  • 08-20-20

enjoyable

Enjoyed this book on audible. Good story with lots of suspects. Three stars because i didn't always find the main character likeable. Despite her being a nurse, I found her a little judgemental towards her sister ... but maybe that's a bit like real life.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • LBar70
  • 11-01-21

Storyline interesting but let down by narrator

I was hooked on the storyline and that is why I finished this book. However the narrators voice was distracting and just plain annoying at times. I would like to hear this book with another narrator. One that doesn’t sound like she has a plum in her mouth. Though the other books interest me, I don’t think I could listen to the narrator again.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • K.
  • 10-20-21

Banal

Banal and highly unlikely. The main character persists in making such ridiculous decisions, despite being an intelligent woman and her sister Angie is plain aggravating. A much more judicious edit could have done wonders for this.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pipie
  • 12-07-20

Body in the village hall.

Love a good mystery. People think sleepy little villages are just that. Just look a little under the surface. Can't wait for the next in the Kate Palmer series. Well done.