I have two books to write about. The first is one many people know: The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart. I read this decades ago and watched the Hayley Mills movie an eternity ago. I've been re-reading Mary Stewarts books after having read some recent blog posts and finding three almost new paperbacks in a Boston used book store.
Nicola Ferris, on vacation from her job at the British Embassy in Athens, encounters a disheveled and armed man while walking to her hotel in Crete. He takes her to a shepherd's hut, where an injured man is hidden. The injured man is Mark Langley, shot when he, his friend, Lambis, and his little brother, Colin, witnessed a local man being murdered. Mark was shot when they escaped.
Nicola helps the men, although Mark doesn't want to endanger her. She gathers information in the village and hunts for Colin, who has disappeared, probably kidnapped by the murderers, maybe murdered. Her Aunt Frances, a botanist, joins her and, between the two of them, they discover who the murderers are and why they killed one of their cohort.
As with all the Mary Stewart books I've read, there are detailed and wonderful descriptions of locations and landscapes. You can feel the heat of the sun, taste the salt of the ocean, see the wildflowers and birds. There's also just the right mixture of suspense and romance. To me, it was a pleasurable book.
This is a mystery and author you may not be familiar with unless you're a fan of Golden Age Mysteries. I read it on my Kindle. I discovered that I have a hardback of another of Burton's mysteries. I've had it for ages but haven't read it. After reading Heir to Murder, I'm eager to read it.
If you're a fan of Murder She Wrote, you may think that Cabot Cove and Carmouth are very much alike. The ratio of murder to residents is very high. Carmouth is a small, coastal English village. Heir to Murder starts out with the drowning death of the local doctor, drowned when his car rolled off the pier into the water. His death is ruled accidental. Then his nurse falls of a cliff walk one night on her way back to the village after attending to a patient. Another accident.
Desmond and Mavis Merrion come to spend some time in Carmouth for Mavis's health. Desmond is an ex-military intelligence officer. Mavis wants to say hello to Lady Violet Vernham, an old friend of her late mother. She lives on her estate, Dragonscourt, outside the village. Lady Violet insists that they leave the hotel and stay with her indefinitely.
To amuse himself, Desmond investigates what he feels are the murders of Dr. Murford and Nurse Penruddock. Then someone shoots at Lady Violet's estranged nephew, Philip Sampson, and bashes the local curate, Colin Carew, over the head one dark night. Desmond realizes that, somehow, the murders and attempted murders are related to Lady Violet and who will inherit her wealth. Because she has no children, she wants to leave her money to whomever will use it to help the people of Carmouth. Oh, by the way, her niece works for her as a companion. No one knows that Olivia Jones is her niece.
I think the book is written well and that the narrative flows. I liked the characters. I was kept guessing about the murderer until the very end. Miles Burton is an author I'll look for again.