Jo Hughes is teaching astrology at Alcott College in the Cotswolds. But her idyllic life is interrupted when she discovers the body of a colleague. It appears that Seb killed himself but Jo isn’t convinced. Then a second colleague goes missing. She contacts her old friend and colleague private investigator Peter Macy to help look into the death and find her friend…
The Hanged Man is the fourth book in the Jo Hughes series by Linda Mather. It is the first book by this author that I have read. Jo’s life has taken a different direction since she left the private investigation work. There are no references to events or cases in previous books although Jo and Peter obviously have history.
Jo’s interest in astrology threads through the book especially as there are tarot cards left as clues. I liked this element of the book as it felt quite unique and gave Jo’s character an authenticity due to her human interest in the unknown.
The start of the book is quite slow in pace and it took me a little while to get into the plot as not much happens while the characters develop. The death of Seb and disappearance of Nathan happen early on and Jo tries to investigate alone with little success before finally calling in Peter Macy.
The almost uncomfortable friendship between Jo and Peter hints at earlier events and I felt there were unresolved issues between them. Meanwhile in terms of the main plot focus, professional relationships seem to have simmered with resentment. Money appears to have been an issue for the college and forms the basis for Jo’s investigation.
The Hanged Man carefully builds up the mystery and suspense of the case and has likeable lead characters.
THE HANGED MAN by Linda Mather
MEET YOUR NEW FAVOURITE PRIVATE DETECTIVE AND ASTROLOGER, JO HUGHES.
Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Frances Lloyd, LJ Ross, Kristin Wright, or Richard Osman.
Jo Hughes is living a peaceful existence in the gorgeous Cotswolds countryside. She’s looking forward to her weekly glass of wine and catch-up with Aoife, her boss at Alcott College.
But the women find more than they bargained for at their cosy treehouse spot.
Swinging gently in the warm summer breeze is a man hanging from a branch.
It’s Seb, the college financial director. What could have driven him to this?
Jo discovers that the financial situation at the college is dire. But she’s not convinced that Seb killed himself. The question is, though, if he didn’t — who did?
She calls up David Macy, her old private investigator colleague, and the two get to work on the case.
But things go from bad to worse when Jo realises her partner Teddy may also be implicated in the going-on.
Can she read the signs and uncover the truth?
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LINDA MATHER:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This series is getting better as it goes. Book 3 kept me up all night and I find Jo a very relatable, sympathetic and realistic character. Please keep them coming!” Laura
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The suspense builds up really well and I enjoyed the astrological slant to the story. Jo is a very real and relatable character and I absolutely love her will-they-won’t-they relationship with Macy. More please!!” A. Francis
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Fantastic read. Very well written. Great believable plot. Can’t wait for next book.” Julie
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Always interested in a good mystery. Love the subject matter.” M. Palmer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I found this book an easygoing read. Having said that I was unable to stop reading. Looking forward to the next book.” A. N. Davey
“There are twists and turns in this mystery . . . the characters are interesting.” A reader in the US
“Interesting, fun characters . . . fun to read.” Big Fan
ALSO BY LINDA MATHER THE ZODIAC MYSTERIES SERIES Book 1: FORECAST MURDER Book 2: A SIGN FOR MURDER Book 3: MURDER AS PREDICTED Book 4: THE HANGED MAN