Roses Have Thorns – Maureen Stephenson

I picked this up from a pile in the reception of the hotel I stayed in whilst on holiday. I’d read the books I’d brought with me quicker than anticipated and was after some more reading material. With a cover as old-fashioned as the hills, it’s not the sort of book I’d normally read, but needs must. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is a little old-fashioned, but in a quaint way. I still found the story very interesting.

Roses Have Thorns is the tale of Lizzie Russell. She is the last unmarried daughter in her family, due to a broken engagement, so when her parents move to the country she goes with them, hoping to forget her heartache, and the man she still loves. Unfortunately, he remains a business contact of her father’s, and presently arrives at their new home to help him with his latest venture, building a motor car. Stephen stays with the family, making life very difficult for Lizzie, and atmospheres around the dinner table rather strained. But Lizzie does her best to get on with life and begins making new friends in the village.

Then a maid from one of the big houses dies unexpectedly, in somewhat suspicious circumstances, followed days later by the untimely death of Lizzie’s father’s financial backer. Stephen, Lizzie’s ex, is implicated in the second murder. With a head full of questions about both incidents, Lizzie turns detective to get to the bottom of the mystery and prove the innocence of the man she is still madly in love with.

A very sweet and well-written story. I got through it in a couple of hours, and it reminded me of the sort of plots you get in Midsomer Murders and the like. Not exactly ground-breaking stuff, but I can think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

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