I’m delighted to say ‘Happy Publication Day’ to Gina Kirkham as she releases Murders at the Winterbottom Women’s Institute into the world. This latest book marks a departure for Gina as she leaves behind her alter ego ‘Mavis Upton’ and embarks on the start of a new series introducing indomitable librarian Prunella Pearce. Never fear though, this new series of murder mysteries is full of Gina’s hallmark warmth and humour, with just a few more deaths sprinkled between the pages. This first book also features a cameo from a librarian turned book blogger who’s partial to the odd sherry hmm I wonder who that might be?
So lets take a look:-
About the book
It’s a quiet English village—except for one crazed murderer—in this delightful romp by the author of the Constable Mavis Upton series.
Librarian Prunella Pearce has left heartbreak behind to start a new life in the village of Winterbottom, where there’s little social life to be had aside from the meetings of The Winterbottom Women’s Institute at the parish hall.
But a bit of excitement ensues when the group is about to elect a new president—and the nominees for the position begin dropping like flies. One is found facedown in a lemon drizzle cake, stabbed with a crochet needle. Another nearly dies spectacularly in the revolving doors of a Harrogate hotel. When Pru and her friend Bree agree to do some undercover snooping to help the police, little do they know that one of the Winterbottom women is hiding a scandalous secret . . .
The early reviews are in and both Gina’s existing readers and new readers are loving this move into the more cosy end of the murder spectrum.
I LOVE this start to a new series!!
I know authors are always nervous when they introduce new characters to the fold and I know that as a reader you get nervous, I mean what if we don’t like them!! I have to say Gina doesn’t disappoint because I feel like Pru has always been in my life! She fits in straightaway, her personality shines and I found her endearing although constantly finding trouble!!!Zoé at Zooloo’s Book Diary
I read a lot of murder mysteries, many of them psychological, so when one comes along which is more light-hearted ( if murder can ever be that), I hope that they don’t let me down and this one certainly didn’t.Ruth M
I really loved this book. A perfect cosy murder book, well written, good plot and gripping to the end.KM
This is the third book by Gina Kirkham that I’ve read and I have to say she just gets better and better.
It’s refreshingly different and a light-hearted distraction from the current world we are living in.Caryn D
For those who prefer to listen to their books, the audio rights for the have been scooped up by @TantorAudio in the US, and @Isisaudio for English world rights! A little bird tells me that the book will be narrated by Julia Franklin who also narrated Telling Tales by Anne Cleeves.
About the Author
Gina was born in the late 1950s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who after two pints of beer could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral. Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.
Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, raging pimples and Barry White. Marriage and motherhood ensued, followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her young daughter. Trundling a three-wheeled trike along a leafy path one wintry day, memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton, ginger beer and solving mysteries along with her lifelong passion to be a police officer, excitedly gave way to an epiphany. And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police.
On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband. Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer. Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling, Gina’s alter-ego Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood.