Snapped in Cornwall by Janie Bolitho is a quick, light read in the ‘cozy mystery’ category. I had high hopes that this was going to be a really good book because the start sets the scene so well, but it didn’t quite meet my expectations and tailed off towards the end. Gabrielle Milton has recently moved to Gwithian in Cornwall, whilst Dennis, her husband spends his working week in a London flat. She employs Rose Trevelyan to photograph her house for her personalised Christmas cards. Rose, a photographer and artist is a widow in her forties, still recovering from the death of her husband four years earlier. When Gabrielle invites her to a party for old friends from London and the new people she’s met in Cornwall, even though the anniversary of her husband’s death is approaching Rose decides to go.
Dennis has been having an affair with Maggie. He wants to end the relationship but she doesn’t. The Cornwall house belongs to his wife and he is in danger of losing his job – his life is at a crossroads. He’s not pleased when Maggie turns up at the party. Also at the party are Paul, their son and his fiancee, Anna. All in all, there’s an uncomfortable atmosphere, made worse as Paul and Anna are in the middle of an argument. Rose retreats into the garden where she finds Gabrielle’s body beneath the bedroom balcony. Why would anyone want to kill her? Was it her husband or his mistress? Maybe it was her son or his fiancÃ©e who thought they would inherit the house, or maybe it was Eileen Penrose, a local woman who thought her husband was having an affair with Gabrielle.
Rose finds herself drawn into the investigations, which brings her into contact with DI Jack Pearce. Inevitably relationships and secrets in the Milton family and the locals are gradually brought into the open, but the ending was rather predictable and straight forward. Nor was it surprising that Rose and Jack found themselves attracted to each other. Nevertheless the descriptions of Cornwall are good and it was the right book for a quick, easy read.
This is the first book in Janie Bolitho’s series of mysteries featuring Rose Trevelyan, now published in an omnibus edition as The Cornish Novels.