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Death in the Crypt, by Fliss Chester

Death in the Crypt book cover

Cressida Fawcett is enjoying a tour of Winchester Cathedral with her aunt when they come across the body of a man. Her aunt’s maid is standing over the body holding the candlestick that struck him. She is instantly arrested but Cressida is sure she is innocent…
Death in the Crypt is the 5th book set in the 1920s to feature amateur sleuth Cressida Fawcett and her friends.
Nancy the maid is found standing over the body of her fiance. Cressida believes her protestations of innocence and arranges for DCI Andrews to lead the case. Of course, she can’t help starting an investigation herself while she waits for him to arrive! She is ably assisted by her dog Ruby and her high class friends Dotty and Alfred. But danger, a ghost and another murder mean trouble…
Cressy is a wonderful lead character. She is feisty and has determined never to marry in order to preserve her independence in an era when gender roles were severe and unfair. But her heart is tempted and confused by her feelings. Her dog Ruby is delightfully naughty which gives Cressida the chance to investigate more subtly.
I loved the familiar setting of Winchester Cathedral. This site has a special place in my heart and I remember the ethereal nature of the crypt. I thought that the historical and geographical settings, social conventions and class/gender roles had been well researched to underpin the plot and character behaviour.
Death in the Crypt is an enjoyable historical murder mystery.

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Book Description:
The Honourable Cressida Fawcett is expecting the cathedral crypt to be full of dry old bones. But when she finds a body murdered just moments before, she’ll need divine inspiration to solve her most mysterious case yet…
Winchester, 1925. When heiress and amateur sleuth Cressida Fawcett is invited to her aunt’s mansion on Cloister Close, she is looking forward to a quiet stay in the historic town. The views of the cathedral are heavenly – and her aunt’s maid, Nancy, makes devilishly good ginger biscuits! But it seems Cressy and her pug Ruby won’t be allowed to rest in peace… On a tour of the crypt, they are shocked to stumble across the body of Anthony, the gentle, devoted verger. And a wild-eyed Nancy is standing over him, bloodied candlestick in hand…
Since Nancy was caught red-handed and the only other suspect is the Silent Friar, the legendary local ghost, Detective Andrews of Scotland Yard thinks the case is closed. But Nancy swears she would never have killed Anthony; they were in love. And while Cressy may not believe in ghosts, she does believe Nancy. So, whose soul is full of murder most foul? And will they strike again?
As she digs through parishioner gossip, Cressy discovers that for a man of the cloth, the verger had a surprising number of enemies. Was a local antiques dealer driven to murder over an illegal trade in holy relics? Would the head bellringer kill to achieve his musical ambitions? Or is the saintly Dean, whose black-cloaked figure resembles the Silent Friar and whose wife recently drowned, hiding a deadly sin?
The cathedral conceals many secrets, and it seems Cressy will need a miracle to uncover the truth. But then Cressy finds a hidden passageway to the crypt. Is this how the murderer escaped? The sceptical police lack faith in her theories, but can she catch the killer and save Nancy from the hangman’s noose? Or will she be too late to prevent another funeral march?
A totally gripping and deliciously witty historical murder mystery with a gasp-out-loud reveal, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
Author Bio:
Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favourite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.
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Buy Link:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0CNTRG61Xsocial
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