Death on a Summer Morning (A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 6)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I am honestly running out of ways to say how much I love this series. The books are such easy reads but with lots of mystery and intrigue to keep you interested.
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Death on a Summer Morning

by Betty Rowlands

Previously published as Deadly Obsession by Severn House, this cozy mystery by Betty Rowlands is being published anew as Death on a Summer Morning by Bookouture as part of a thirteen book series centered around Sukey Reynolds, a Scene of Crime Officer responsible for photographing and collecting evidence at crime scenes. Sukey has a nose for detective work which often leads her into scenarios that she is not prepared for, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend DI Jim Castle.

In this case, Sukey arrives at the home of a somewhat elderly man who appears to have fallen down the stairs. Both the man’s younger fiancée and his estranged daughter are convinced there is more to the story, but are at odds with each other in every other way. Meanwhile a headless torso is found in a watery ditch, and the police have the unpleasant and difficult task of identifying the body.

The characters in this book include Fergus (Gus), Sukey’s amiable son who is ready to enter university. Caught in time between teenager and adult, he acts as a sounding board when Sukey needs a listening ear. The plot moves quickly; the setting is important to the plot and well described. I ended the book satisfied with the outcomes, but wanting to read more in this series.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: Although this book is #6 in the Sukey Reynolds Mystery Series of 13 books and it is my first Betty Rowlands book, I had no problem jumping into the series and already have another waiting in my queue based on my enjoyment of this book.

Publication:   July 22, 2019—Bookouture

Memorable Lines:

A short time later, the garden was empty of birds. They had all taken fright at the high, thin scream of terror and the crash of broken crockery and glass that shattered the peace of the morning.

“My father’s death was no accident; he was murdered.” The blue eyes that had made such an impression on Dalia Chen blazed with an almost fanatical intensity.

“In the hope that Sabrina will stop tilting at windmills, I’ll do what I can to get her and Elspeth to talk to each other.”  …Fergus grinned. “I’d love to be a fly on the wall if those two ever get together. It’ll be the mother of all cat fights!”
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A great Cozy Mystery featuring Sukey Reynolds, a Scene of Crimes photographer.  The death of retired school teacher Arthur Soames is considered an accident but his daughter Sabrina and fiancé Elspeth refuse to accept the Coroner’s verdict.  Sukey is persuaded to help investigate the death and discovers that unknown to his family the deceased has a murky past.  When Sabrina disappears and the police refuse to consider her a missing person Sukey investigates further and puts herself in danger.  An enjoyable read.
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I'm really loving this series of mysteries, featuring Sukey Reynolds, a CSI officer who really wants to be a detective.  She can't resist getting involved in the investigation, yet the plots don't seem to be as "boilerplate" as some cozy mysteries.  The supporting characters are also very interesting and realistic.  In this episode, Sukey is called to what appears to be an accident:  an elderly man is killed when he falls down the stairs.  But something doesn't seem right to Sukey, so she begins to get to know his estranged daughter and his young fiancee in order to figure it out.  An entertaining read!
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Arthur Soames missed his footing on the stairs and died. Retired school teacher living a quiet life in this rural village his death seemed straightforward enough. But we have his youthful fiancée and angry young daughter both insisting that the Police investigate the death, as they suspect foul play. 
They cite the other party as suspects with reasons to support their arguments.

The Police dutifully follow up but Arthur had no enemies, no colorful past history to hide or so it seems, until Sukey on her own, with no reference to her seniors starts an investigation into the case and she really unravels a can of worms. With each fact being uncovered, as to who could be responsible for his death widens. The final outcome is totally surprising.

Set in a beautiful rural area, the descriptiveness of both the geography and the characters is old fashioned but spot on.

Love this series of old fashioned detective work
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This is #6 in the Sukey Reynolds series.  In this installment, Sukey is called out to the scene of a death, a man who fell down his garden steps.  There is animosity between his fiancée and his estranged daughter and the daughter insists the death be investigated.  There are many twist and turns along the way. The writing is strong and flows naturally. The characters are enjoyable.  I was slightly disappointed with the ending as I felt it was a little rushed. All in all, it is a good read for cozy mystery fans.  
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Death on a Summer Morning, previously published as Deadly Obsession, is the sixth installment of the series featuring our favorite amateur sleuth and police photographer Sukey Reynolds. This book was previously published as "Deadly Obsession".

Its summer and Sukey is thrilled to be taking a slower turn in life with gardening and enjoying the nice summer weather.  That all changes when she is asked to photograph a crime scene where a man has fallen  from a staircase. His family is sure it was murder and Sukey is on the case with her innate detective skills to find out what really happened. Soon she is deep into clues and suspects and her small village may be hiding many secrets.

I love this series as Sukey is a savvy smart protagonist who always solves the most intricate of murders.   The charcters are likable and its always a enjoyable sleuth to conclusion. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. I highly recommend this entire series for all who enjoy good mysteries in a English setting .
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Another entertaining cozy mystery featuring Sukey Reynolds, a Scene of Crime Officer attached to the Gloucestershire Constabulary. I've read the prior books in the series, in order, and can't wait for more!

What it's about: Sukey is called to a Victorian house in Rosemount Villas to photograph and gather evidence to rule out a crime in the case of what appears to be an accidental death. The owner was found at the bottom of some wrought-iron steps leading down from the kitchen. DI Jim Castle also attends the scene and the police find nothing suspicious. The dead man was discovered by his much younger fiancée, Elspeth Maddox, and is identified as Arthur Soames. When Elspeth is questioned, she also tells police that Soames had an estranged daughter named Sabrina. The notification is made to Sabrina, and she insinuates that the fiancée killed Arthur for his money and that this was murder. She insists on further investigation, but the police find nothing suspicious at the inquest and close the case. Well, that's not going to work for Sukey, especially after the daughter and fiancée each beg her to do further snooping around. And you know Sukey, she's always done sleuthing on the side as she once had aspirations of being in CID herself. NO SPOILERS. 

Why you should read this series: It's extremely entertaining to see Sukey doing her job by day as SOCO and doing her detective work on her off hours. She has good theories and instincts that are often not taken seriously by her cohort at the police station. Her romance, a secret, with her boss, DI Castle, always complicates and confounds Sukey because she's so often right. I like the writing style, the police procedural details and the typically complex cases that ensue. Sukey, as the main character, is completely believable and easy to relate to. I like her relationships with her son and with Castle but two things I'm wondering about. When are Sukey and Jim going to make their liaison public and why doesn't she just go back and pick up her derailed police career? I enjoy, however, hearing about a murder investigation from the viewpoint of one who's not a detective for a change! 

I'm working my way through the series as I get them and I'd like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review. On to the next!
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This was a quick moving story with a satisfying ending. Sukey is sent to the home of a man who fell to his death into his garden down a spiral staircase. The man's daughter, Sabrina, will not leave the death alone, insisting it was murder rather than an accident. Sukey takes pity on Sabrina and talks to her and the dead man's fiance Elspeth and they start to make inquiries. When Sabrina disappears, Elspeth is beside herself with worry, and enters a missing person report. The police cannot find anything out of the ordinary and just assume Sabrina had disappeared for personal reasons. Elspeth cannot leave it alone and Sukey tries to make inquiries in her spare time, but taking care not to step on the toes of the local police. While pursuing a lead, Sukey finds herself in danger again, but it finally comes to a quick conclusion. It is obvious that Sukey needs to be taken seriously when she finds evidence.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. I will continue to read this series and anything else written by this author.
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Cozy British Mystery I Couldn't Put Down!
This wonderful cozy mystery is Book 6 in the series and stands alone quite well. Of course, books in a series are always better when read in sequence. This story is very well done and has a few abrupt twists and turns. I can't wait to read the next in the series. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
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As usual a well written story with great characters. The plot is a little thin, however, and that makes the book too slow for my liking.
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🌄A good garden can be🚑 deadly!😲,
Intriguing, confusing with lots of twists and red herrings, Death on a Summer Morning is a pageturner.  Sukey Reynolds, the Crime Scene photographer who persists in investigating a grieving woman's disappearance is a bit of a nosey parker.  She simply can't resist an appeal for help or a good mystery that needs solving even when she knows her copper boyfriend would disapprove.  Her son Fergus also suffers from an excess of morbid curiosity and imagination.  I really liked this pair!  I have not read earlier books in the series, so I don't know why Sukey is not doing the investigating as a policewoman rather than as a civilian but she's good;  they need her on the case full-time😊👮

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book provided through NetGalley;  this is my voluntary and honest review.
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Death on a Summer Morning, previously published as Deadly Obsession, is the sixth instalment of the series featuring ambitious amateur sleuth and police photographer Sukey Reynolds from the Queen of cosy mysteries. Each instalment can be read independently of one another without issue as the stories are self-contained. As a scene of crime officer (SOCO) Sukey has been called to photograph the untimely demise of Arthur Soames, who had tragically fallen from an ornate staircase to his death. However, his family are adamant that it was not an accident and so Sukey begins to investigate by delving into Soames's life and the type of company he kept. What she uncovers makes her believe that his family could be right; this was no accident.

Originally written in the 2000s the book hasn't aged well but that is certainly part of its charm, in my opinion. It takes me back with the spot-on descriptions of 00s Britain and I felt a pang of nostalgia for times past. It's well written and plotted, moves at a sprightly pace and the descriptions of the beautiful British countryside are mesmerising and very much reminiscent of the chocolate-box villages portrayed in Midsomer Murders. Sukey has really grown into herself in the past few instalments as she grapples with some complex cases. If you can overlook the glaring lack of realism in the storyline (and series) in terms of an amateur detective being allowed to investigate serious crimes then this is a great cosy mystery series. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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This was an enjoyable read. While I hadn’t read the previous books in the series, it was not difficult to pick up on the relationships that were obviously well established.  The characters are well-developed, I particularly enjoyed the conversations between Sukey and her son, Fergus! I was intrigued as the mystery deepened. However, I did find the plot twists towards the end just a little incredible, so was a little disappointed.

With thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture rs and the author for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was book 6 in the Sukey Reynolds series by Betty Rowlands and the series just gets better and better. This book was fantastic and worthy of more than 5 stars. Sukey once again gets in trouble as she goes beyond the scope of a SOCO and investigates the supposed accidental death of Arthur Soames whose fiancee claims that it had to be murder and begs Sukey to help prove it. Soon the fiancee, Arthur's daughter and Sukey have joined forces and are investigating against the advice of Sukey's love interest DI Jim Castle. Arthur's daughter refuses to let the police be, so Sukey decides to draw her attention away from DI Castle and help investigate - which she loves to do anyway. When the daughter disappears and the police feel she's just gone off to mourn, Sukey feels that there is something much worse happening here. 

Several deep and painful family secrets are brought to light in this book. A case of mistaken identity over a name puts Sukey's life in grave danger. This was a real page turner and when the last page arrived I really didn't want it to end because the adventure in this book was at such a high level.

All the usual characters are in this book again and it's really nice to see how they are developing and growing. It's especially nice to see that Sukey's son Fergus has been aging along in the stories and has not stayed at the same age. This way he is more of a sounding board and confidant to his mother. 

Can't wait for the next installment.....
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I love this series and I love Betty Rowlands' books. I think that each is well written, engrossing and entertaining.
I loved this one, I appreciated the well written cast of characters, the setting and the plot.
I look forward to reading the next installment in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Death on a Summer Morning by Betty Rowlands is the sixth book in the Sukey Reynolds series. I have just loved reading these books by Betty. They are a cosy mystery easy read. 

Sukey Reynolds is a brilliant photographer, and a SOCO Plus helps out to solve murders etc. Sukey loves the summer time when she can get some rays of the sun on her skin and when she can get out in the garden to do some gardening which she loves to do.
Sukey is called to photograph a scene, that appears to be a tragic accident of Arthur Soames a retired school teacher who fell to his death from an ornate iron staircase which is above his perfect manicured lawn. The local police inform his family and they are adamant this is no accident!
Arthur's daughter will not leave the Police in peace. Sukey loves to help out and agrees to put Arthur's daughters mind at rest and she starts to ask questions about Arthur Soames life and what happened leading up to his death. 

Sukey realises he was keeping secrets, and several people might well have wanted him dead. 

But who? 

Could it have been Arthur’s enchanting fiancée,?

An unhappy ex-student?

or maybe his neighbour? 

So sit this book and enjoy a cosy mystery easy read with lots of twists and turns throughout.

I love these books.

Big Thank you, NetGalley, Betty Rowlands and Bookouture, for granting my request to read this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Reading a Sukey Reynolds book is like watching another episode of your favorite TV show.  Trouble seems to find Sukey, this time at the site of an accidental death.  The victims family insist it cannot be an accident so of course, our Sukey must see what she can find.  When her police detective co-workers don't believe her...when will they ever learn...she takes her investigation farther.  Betty Rowlands always gives the readers an entertaining  cozy mystery that we can all love.
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Scene of Crimes Officer Sukey Reynolds is called to photograph the scene of what appears to be a tragic accident. Arthur Soames, a retired teacher, fell to his death from the ornate iron staircase above his perfectly manicured lawn. But when the police notify his fiancé & daughter, they are adamant that this is no accident…
When Arthur’s daughter Sabrina won’t leave the police in peace, Sukey reluctantly agrees to help put her mind to rest. As she starts to poke about in the dead man’s past, she realises he was keeping secrets. Sabrina disappears after visiting Arthur’s old school then a headless body is found in a ditch are the two related?
Yet another engrossing read, it’s the sixth book in the series & could easily be read on its own but as I love series I’m finding the more of the series I read the more I'm drawn into Sukey's world & the threads that run through the series. There are red herrings & twists & turns in this delightful whodunit. I love Sukey who just can’t resist a mystery & she always ignores Jim’s advice. If you love a good murder mystery then give this series a try & become as hooked as I am, I can't wait for more in the series
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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This installment in the Sukey Reynolds series had a little more meat to it and I loved it! While trying to unofficially investigate whether a man dies from a slip or was murdered, Sukey plays things a bit smarter (finally). With multiple angles and a couple competing stories, the book had a bit more depth to it. I even liked some of the additional characters added for this story line and wouldn't mind seeing a few of them stick around for future books. I do wonder if something needs to shake up Sukey and Jim's relationship. They seem to be stuck in a rut. However, I did like that he offered to bring by food a couple times instead of her cooking for him all the time. That felt very old fashioned and sexist! So maybe they are growing?
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