Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw

Iris Grey arrives at Mill Cottage in a picture-perfect Hampshire village, looking to escape from her crumbling marriage. She is drawn to the neighboring Wetherby family, and is commissioned to paint a portrait of Dominic Wetherby, a celebrated crime writer.

At the Wetherby's Christmas Eve party, the mulled wine is in full flow - but so too are tensions and rivalries among the guests. On Christmas Day, the youngest member of the Wetherby family, Lorcan, finds a body in the water. A tragic accident? Or a deadly crime?

With the snow falling, Iris enters a world of village gossip, romantic intrigue, buried secrets and murder.

As featured in the Sunday Times, the first mystery in a new crime series from bestselling author Tilly Bagshawe - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Marple and Midsomer Murders.
Iris Grey is an artist whose marriage is falling apart. She is looking for a change of pace so she packs up and goes to Mill Cottage in a Hampshire Village. There she is able to reflect on her marriage, her husband's anger to her rising career and his failing one, and gets sucked into the Wetherby family's drama. This next door neighbor, the owner of the Mill Cottage, has her commissioned to paint a portrait of the head of the family, Dominic Wetherby. Dominic Wetherby is a famous writer who has secrets in his past that are beginning to rise up to the surface. His son, Billy, is coming back home after a stint in jail. He's perfect son Marcus, whom his mother Ariadne depends on, is coming home to celebrate his father's successes with a party. And his son Lorcan, a mentally challenged teenager, is the one who finds a dead body and blames himself for it. This family and others who hate them have now become suspects in a murder. Seeing how incompetent the police chief is, Iris Grey takes it upon herself to uncover the secrets this family is hiding and find the killer before they find her.

Iris's story is like most cozy mysteries in which an absolute stranger to solving crimes decides to solve a crime. It may sound silly but the mystery was fascinating in Murder at the Mill. There was a bit of a weird writing style and Iris herself was a bit odd, she wore mismatched clothes that made her seem more ridiculous than artistic and she liked to build dollhouse furniture which admittedly was kind of interesting. The addition of all the different suspects, the secrets within the family, and all the different POV's that you got to get inside their heads made this such a page turner. I think all the POV's were well placed within the story to try to throw readers off as well as make me wonder if this was the killer talking.

I read this during a time where I was having difficulty liking anything I picked up and I tended to skim read some of the horrible books I was reading. Murder at the Mill was completely different in that I didn't miss a word of what was on the pages. It had many layered stories within one story. Every person had a motive and secrets. It was the perfect mystery. However, I didn't absolutely love Iris and some of the choices with the writing style. There were some very odd descriptions/similes noted by another reviewer as well. Also, I didn't love how Lorcan was added, a mentally challenged teenager, to the story to traumatize him. It was kind of messed up. Furthermore, the book ended like it was a standalone which is odd because it apparently it's going to be a series. Most likely it will be in a different location otherwise I don't see the need to continue on with the series since it ended satisfactory for me.

If you want to see a layered mystery that is highly character driven then I recommend Murder at the Mill. There may be a couple of flaws but overall the mystery is what makes this story so fascinating to read.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for letting me receive Murder at the Mill in exchange for an honest review!

What was the last mystery you read that you couldn't put down?


  1. Wonderful review and I am delighted to hear the murder mystery was well done. I love a weird, quirky main character so this is going on my list.


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