BRIAN KAVANAGH'S COZY MYSTERIES. Amateur sleuth Belinda Lawrence

A CANTERBURY CRIME Book Four

Home | ILLUSION OF DEATH extract | CAPABLE OF MURDER Book One | CAPABLE OF MURDER BOOK EXTRACT. | EMBROIDERED CORPSE Book Two | THE EMBROIDERED CORPSE BOOK EXTRACT | BLOODY HAM Book Three | BLOODY HAM BOOK EXTRACT | A CANTERBURY CRIME Book Four | A CANTERBURY CRIME BOOK EXTRACT & VIDEO | A WICKED DESIGN Book Five | A WICKED DESIGN Book Extract | MURDER ON THE ISLAND Book Six. | MURDER ON THE ISLAND EXTRACT | MY BLOG SITE | ABOUT BRIAN KAVANAGH A.S.E. A.S.A. | LINKS

Brian Kavanagh's books on Goodreads

Capable of Murder Capable of Murder (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery, #1)
reviews: 38
ratings: 144 (avg rating 3.18)

The Embroidered Corpse The Embroidered Corpse (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)
reviews: 16
ratings: 67 (avg rating 3.42)

A Canterbury Crime A Canterbury Crime (Belinda Lawrence Murder Mystery #4)
reviews: 17
ratings: 53 (avg rating 3.40)

A Wicked Design A Wicked Design (A Belinda Lawrence Mystery #5)
reviews: 10
ratings: 22 (avg rating 3.95)

Bloody Ham Bloody Ham (a Belinda Lawrence Mystery)
reviews: 13
ratings: 27 (avg rating 3.74)

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A CANTERBURY CRIME

Book four in my Belinda Lawrence mystery series. Paperback and eBook.

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ChrisChat REVIEW & EXTRACT

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Read the reviews...
 

**** Charming, funny and darkly engaging., 24 May 2013
By
KatrinaV Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (A Belinda Lawrence Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
 The excellent writer Brian Kavanagh returns with another Belinda Lawrence Mystery, this time set in Canterbury. Intimately detailing various locations within the ancient city, readers local to the area will thoroughly enjoy this book, and those who do not know the city will learn a lot about the history and geography as well. Being from Canterbury myself, I enjoyed the little notes Kavanagh makes of street names, church locations and near-by villages. As Belinda and Hazel attempt to solve the mystery of Professor de Gray's death, they find themselves caught up in a web of local, personal, and religious history, all coming together in order to resolve a life-long family secret. Full of twists and turns, this book takes you on a memorable journey and will leave you wanting more.

*** Becket Remains A Mystery, June 25, 2013
By Karen J. Dahood "moxie cosmos" (USA) - (REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (A Belinda Lawrence Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Ha, ha on me. After reading Capable of Murder and The Embroidered Corpse, and confessing that I didn't like Belinda and Hazel very much, I am right back at Kavanagh's knee. The author is a good storyteller and he gives the reader a lot of English history to chew on. I feel a bit like a cow, though, because I am supposed to know this stuff by now. Never mind, Kavanagh gives a bit more than dry textbooks, and from my quick researches it seems he is accurate enough.
He has been very successful in the Australian film industry, and the years devoted to that medium seem to have put him at an advantage for setting a brisk pace in his books about the amateur detective, an Australian who who inherited her aunt's cottage in Bath, England, and is now helping an antiques dealer buy and sell, and, in this case, evaluate the contents of an historic manor house. Belinda also is thinking about settling down with a lover who makes a living in real estate. In this fourth book in the Belinda series, Mark is about to become a Lord. Belinda must decide if she has the patience to be a Lady. However, matters at hand put that decision off. She has accompanied Hazel to Canterbury, the cathedral city that developed from the first seat of Christianity in England. It was the place where four knights of Henry II brought about the death of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until 1170. Becket and Henry had been friends and collaborators until they disagreed about the powers of Church over State, or vice versa. Becket's assassination was especially brutal, according to popular accounts, with the crown of the victim's head being severed so it revealed his brain. Becket was canonized in 1173 and in death had a cult following. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is about pilgrims on their way to Becket's shrine.
More important to this mystery is that Becket's mangled remains were buried and later moved twice within the Cathedral grounds, so that today no one is sure where exactly they are or what they consist of. The fictional Professor de Gray's work on this subject was about to be presented to publishers when he died. There was something a little dodgy about the hasty burial, and then when Belinda and Hazel arrive and start snooping,...
Kavanagh has improved Belindas's personality - has tamed her Aussie-ness, perhaps - and this time I did enjoy her along with the spooky setting, suspicious characters, and details of the actual architecture. One critic puts Kavanagh in the company of Peter James, Elizabeth George, and Peter Robinson. I disagree and would point instead to Jacqueline Winspear. It's not quite a fit, though, as Maisie Dobbs, after serving in World War I, is more serious than our Belinda, who is a perky woman with 21st century independence yet embedded in romantic mystery novels that depend on history to carry the plots.

AMAZON

***** Almost farcical murder mystery, 23 May 2013
By
Elinor Brinsley This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (A Belinda Lawrence Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
 Kavanagh's Canterbury murder mystery is a fun foray into the world of ancient history and modern secrecy. Belinda and Hazel work well as a team in discovering the true story behind Professor de Gray's sudden, and bloody, death - only weeks before his book on St. Thomas was due to be completed and published. Lacing amateur detective work with their professional duties as evaluation clerks, the ladies spend time in Canterbury, London, and Bedfordshire in an effort to unearth the mysterious wrongdoings of a seemingly wholesome network of personal and professional relationships. Quick-witted, fun to read and ultimately everything you could want from a detective novel, Kavanagh's text is definitely worth your time!

**** A great story, 20 May 2013
By
dragonlance
This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (A Belinda Lawrence Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
 Brian Kavanagh is as brilliant as ever with this latest instalment of his Belinda Lawrence mysteries. This time Belinda is in Canterbury along with her associate Hazel and lover Mark, called to a house in order to value the furniture of the recently deceased Professor de Gray. As time progress Belinda come to suspect that de Grays death was not from natural causes. But can she prove it? Brian Kavanagh writes wittily and skilfully, and does not disappoint his readers. The plot flows well and like his previous books he sticks to a winning formula by making sure the murder does not take over the story. Instead we see Kavanagh develop his characters further, and deepen the relationship between Belinda and Mark. If you enjoyed any of Kavanagh's previous works you will definitely enjoy this.

dianahockley.webs.com

5.0 out of 5 stars A cozy whodunit. Very enjoyable, February 3, 2012
By Diana M. Hockley "lacock2" (Australia)
This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (BELINDA LAWRENCE MURDER MYSTERY) (Kindle Edition)
I loved the imagery of Canterbury and the cathedral, a city I have not visited unfortunately. Next time I go to the UK I shall certainly do so, mainly because of this book, a great rainy afternoon read.
A "cozy" tale - if murder- could be said to be - the characters are engaging and the plot reasonably simple, though I don't mean that in a derogeratory way.
I don't give spoilers, as I feel that the synopsis put out with the book is more than enough about the plot, but suffice to say I do have another Brian Kavanagh novel on my kindle and shall be seeking out more :)

AMAZON REVIEW

'A damn good read.'
I like most crime fiction, but the sub-genre of the 'cosy' is just about my favourite. Brian Kavanagh has become an adept at this type of novel, and the fact that he uses the same characters, so that we see their personal stories and their relationships develop, really adds something.
Of course Brian is also adept at weaving in history. So far he's dealt with myseries involving Capability Brown, the Bayeux Tapestry and now the murder of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
As usual, "A Canterbury Crime" kicks off with the Odd Couple of Belinda Lawrence and Hazel Whitby getting involved thru their antiques business. They are valuing the late Prof de Grey's household contents when almost at once there's a hint that de Grey's "heart attack" death might have been something more sinister. From there the story is off and running, as the cleverly dropped clues lead Belinda and Hazel to unravel a callous murder. Woven thru the crime part of the story is Belinda's love affair with the gorgeous Mark Sallinger, who's now a baronet, proposing formally to Belinda. But she's still got her old boyfriend Brad back in Australia... The author is not letting go of that sub-plot in a hurry.
I'm pretty good at spotting whodunnit in crime novels, but I didn't in this one. And when for various tedious reasons I had to put the book aside for 2 days I was furious not to be able to get on with it. For me it ended too suddenly, so I'll have to wait for the next one to get my fix.
But what a TV series this'd make, with the contrasting main characters, and the clever, historically based plots and the weirdness of the people who come and go, and may or may not turn out to be the murderer. I once told Caroline Graham her books'd make a great series, and now they are "Midsomer Murders", so let's hope Kavanagh has the same luck.
A damn good read.

M.J.Whitford,author of Shakespeare's Will.

BODIES MISSING BY DESIGN! by literarymuse.
*****
Brian Kavanagh is a very talented writer who has
written an even more tautly plotted tale than his
last crime mystery. The story is totally
unpredictable and never loses the reader's rapt
attention. Brenda and Hazel are witty, irksome,
sharp, and pleasure-loving characters who are the
perfect detectives barely managing to elude disaster
by the most dire, unsavory criminals imaginable!
A best seller, for sure!
FULL REVIEW ON...

CRYSTAL BOOK REVIEWS

BARNES&NOBLE

***** Excellent Puzzle, December 2, 2010
This review is from: A Canterbury Crime (Paperback)
A Canterbury Crime by the brilliant Author, Brian Kavanagh really caught my attention in this fourth book in the series.
Although I had enjoyed the other three, this time the subject, location, and crime interested me right off.

There is something to be said about covers of books as well. You know that this was going to be an unique crime as the cover showed a jigsaw puzzle and it continued on the back cover. So, I figured out there was likely a sub-plot as well as the main crime.

Belinda and Hazel and Mark were back up to their usual speed. Each with their own individual styles that ends up working well together. I found Hazel more interesting in this book as we got to know her better and through her eyes a bit.

I can easily see this book become a British Mystery Series on Television. Until then, I hope for many more novels.

AMAZON

I finished reading A Canterbury Crime and thought it was one of your best works.....seamlessly written with a lot of atmosphere, well drawn characters and superbly edited to keep one guessing on every page....to say nothing of the well researched historical aspect and the recreation of Becket's murder.....a winner this and I'm very happy for you.......Belinda and Hazel have lost nothing of their personalities and Canterbury itself became another character in the plot....a good mystery with enough twists and turns in the storyline to make it impossible to put down.
John Alaimo, Director of "Antonio Gaudí: Una visión inacabada".
 

This novel begins with a brief background to the history of Canterbury and in particular to the murder of its Archbishop in the Cathedral just after Christmas in 1170.

Antiques dealer Hazel Whitby and her Australian companion Belinda Lawrence have been asked to catalogue and value the contents of a deceased estate, the Manor House. It is just a few days to Christmas and Hazel and Belinda will be spending Christmas in Canterbury.

Professor de Gray died nearly six months earlier, supposedly from a heart attack. But Hazel and Belinda hear stories of there having been "blood on his head" and the Professor's body was cremated with almost indecent haste, the day after his death.

They have been commissioned by Miss Mowbray (who reminds Belinda of a modern Mrs Danvers) to evaluate the contents of the Manor House, which turns out to be a virtual Aladdin's Cave. Shortly after they begin work, Miss Mowbray goes up to London, and there meets with an accident.

As with the other 3 titles in this series, I enjoyed the historical background that Kavanagh uses to give depth to the story. Belinda's romance with the handsome Mark (who appeared in #2) and her partnership with Hazel provide continuity from one novel to the next. (If oyu are new to the series, I strongly suggest you read them in order). Like its predecessors A CANTERBURY CRIME is a pleasant whodunnit in the true cozy tradition. ( )
  smik | Dec 2, 2010 |

That pair of antique dealers from Bath, England, are at it again. This time their work takes them to a manor house near Canterbury where they become involved in the crime that rocked early England--the murder of the Bishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett. Well the reader may ask how that is possible. The mansion in which Hazel Whitby and Belinda Lawrence are evaluating the contents belonged to an aged professor who was finishing the last chapter of his book on that murder and the professor promised new information that would change history. The professor had either passed from a heart attack or had been murdered. That was the question that draws Belinda and Hazel into an investigation of his death. What they uncover will surprise the reader as much as it did them. This tale by talented author Brian Kavanagh is well worth the time. It will provide you with lots of fun as you try to think what will happen next. Lots of action and intrigue brought to the story by interesting characters make for a good time and will have you looking for other work by this imaginative author. The trail leads Hazel and Belinda into danger as it proceeds through the cellars of the Canterbury Cathedral and cemeteries and you will feel the damp chill of those places and share Belinda's unease. A story that will keep you reading. I'm pleased to highly recommend it as a tale you won't soon forget. Enjoy. I sure did. Anne K. Edwards 30/11/2010 Anne K. Edwards

Cool and low-key, this is a mystery that shimmers on the surface of a plot that is historically deep, with emotions only hinted at. Love, terror, betrayal and real insanity appear like fleeting shadows, coming up to break the surface in small but violent explosions. Ancient weapons causing contemporary death: a grisly but inevitable end for two of the characters. One is known from the outset: Belinda and Hazel are on location to make valuations of a deceased estate, after all. But the other is a complete surprise, and shocks the reader out of complacency. Brian Kavanagh has done it again. This is a recommended read that comes with one proviso: the reader will wish it was longer.

AUTHOR ROSANNE DINGLI

AUTHORS DEN