Cover Image: Death at Sycamore House (A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 12)

Death at Sycamore House (A Sukey Reynolds Mystery Book 12)

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Death at Sycamore House

by Betty Rowlands

Just when Sukey Reynolds begins to feel work as a Detective Constable has slowed to a snail’s pace, her team gets called in on a murder investigation in the quiet area known as Sycamore House. In a case that initially appears to Sukey to be easily solved, a number of secrets surface along with an increase in suspects and a second murder. The team has to try to sort through multiple red herrings to arrive at the truth.

Sukey cooperates with her newspaper reporter boyfriend, but she shares a limited amount of research results, always taking care not to leak information. The characters in Betty Rowlands’ Death at Sycamore House are interesting, and the plot is engaging. The outcome is an enjoyable, police procedural.

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

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: This book is #12 in the Sukey Reynolds Mystery Series. I started into the series late and have only read a few, but I find that I don’t need to have background on the characters to enjoy or understand the individual books. The focus is on solving the crime.

Publication:  October 28, 2019—Bookouture

Memorable Lines:

“She’s probably regretting not having made an effort at reconciliation and now it’s too late.”

“She must have spent most of her life desperately seeking the love she never got from her own mother.”

“Now and again you pick up a piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere, almost as if it belongs to another puzzle and has somehow got into the wrong box. Then you suddenly see its connection with another piece that you haven’t noticed before.”
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This is my favorite crime series. Book 12 in the Sukey Reynolds series is a hit.  Sukey is called to Sycamore House when the gardener finds the body of Fenella  on the grounds. It seems an open and shut case when the neighbor's knife is found at the scene and their past has been argumentative.  But Sukey digs deeper and finds several viable suspects.  Her friendship with Harry continues to grow.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I read this as a free copy via NetGalley in return for an impartial review. Let me say up front that I liked Rowlands’ Mel Craig series - but this is the second Sukey one I’ve read, and I just find them flat and monotonous. The characters are two dimensional with stilted language. After two books, I can tell you hardly anything about them - likes, dislikes, working styles, family life, history... Sukey and her journalist beau eat, drink and canoodle, but that’s it for her. For a cosy mystery which is normally a quick read, this didn’t half drag on. All I can say is give the Mel Craig series a go, and maybe miss this series. I won’t be trying any more of them.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48116468-death-at-sycamore-house
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Death at sycamore house ( a smokey Reynolds mystery book 12) by Betty Rowland. 
It’s been a quiet few weeks on the crime front in Somerset and Sukey Reynolds is starting to wonder if all the villains have gone on holiday. Although Sukey loves solving crimes, she’s happy to have a bit of extra time to spend with the handsome journalist who lives just around the corner…

But when she is summoned to charming Sycamore House it seems that Sukey has tempted fate. Sitting amongst well-tended grounds bordered by trees, with a view of rolling hills in the distance, this stylish set of apartments is usually home to little more than spirited disagreements between members of the neighbourhood committee. Until the body of Fenella Tremaine, one of their residents, is discovered by the caretaker in the garden…

The police quickly close in on Marcus Ellerman, a neighbour and colleague of Fenella’s, with whom she often crossed swords, both in and out of the office. When his distinctive ornamental dagger is found to be the murder weapon, the case seems closed.
A very enjoyable read with likeable characters.  I had no clue who the killer was. 4*.
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Sukey is back with a murder mystery that seems to be solved before she even starts but it seems awfully convenient.  Betty Rowlands is well known for her cozy mysteries as she gives us a seemingly simple case with a suspect who no one is surprised by.  But Sukey looks a little closer and finds multiple suspects with many surprises to come.  Rowlands' books are always a pleasure to read!
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Betty Rowlands continues the Sukey Reynolds mysteries with Death at Sycamore House.  The police are puzzled by two murders and have a number of suspects.  A competent English police procedural cozy.
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Over all rating is 4, wow thanks to you NetGalley I'm up to date on a series , these are fun quick reads and you never know what kind of trouble the main character is going to get into. Once again thank you NetGalley for letting me read and review this series
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Death at Sycamore House is a good mystery and twelfth in the series. The characters are interesting and well developed and the storyline is entertaining.
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This was another wonderful installment in the Sukey Reynolds mysteries.  Sukey is at it again, investigating a murder. There are many twists and turns to keep you guessing til the end.  
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is the first book I have read by Betty Rowlands and to be honest I don't think it mattered at all. While this is the 12th book in a series it stands up well as an individual novel in its own right.

This was a delightful charming murder mystery that kept me guessing until the end. There were a few red herrings to send your thoughts off on a wild goose chase which I think is essential in this type of story.

Easy to read with well-rounded characters, highly recommended for fans of easy reading, cosy mysteries.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this copy in return for an honest review.
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Some time ago I reviewed a previous volume in the Sukey Reynolds series for Netgalley and of course I presumed this would be the next instalment in the series. That turned out not to be the case, this book being the twelfth book in the  series. Maybe the publishers are republishing the books under an other name, because I found the same story under the name Unnatural Waste. 

I enjoyed reading the book as it is well written, the plot is good and  there are several red herrings to put you of the  trail. I found the writing much more coherent and less confusing than the previous book I read. The characters are better developed and I liked the plot. 
I seem to have missed some developments in Sukeys' personal live which is not surprising since I didn't read episode 6-11.

Definitely an improvement on the previous book I read, so 4 stars.
I want to thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.
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I was particularly interested in this episode of the Sukey Reynolds mystery series as a cat was mentioned in the summary.  The cat belongs to a woman whose friend lives in an apartment complex where a death has occurred, and plays just a very small role in the story line.  Frankly, I think Sukey should get a cat!  It would make for some excellent stories!  
But, even though I was a little disappointed as to how the cat fits in, this was still an excellent mystery with interesting characters, both continuing and new to this story.  You find yourself really feeling like you know these people based on the author's descriptions of them.  It was a bit too easy for me to figure out the killer, but that may not always be the case for others.  Regardless, a great read!
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Another great entry in the Sukey Reynolds series.  Somehow the author always seems to keep you guessing until the end to find out who the villain is, but Sukey’s hunches usually end up leading to the right conclusion.
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Death at sycamore house is very typical of a Betty Rowland’s mystery. If you like her style you will like this novel. The style is ‘cosy’ and it’s an antidote to more violent and graphic murder mystery novels. I did feel this one raced towards a conclusion at the end after a careful and intriguing build up.
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This is such a enjoyable series ! I have read the entire series and highly recommend each book in the series.  Thank you for the ARC,.  My review opinion is my own.  This is so charming with a location of a small picturesque English village setting with all the great charcters that go along with a English village and murder. 

In this next in series our intrepid detective Sukey Reynolds is investigating a stabbing that has to do with  apartment home for many residents that normally get along well.  A resident has been stabbed and dumped int he garbage bin.  The obvious suspects do not work in her opinion and soon she is on the right track with twist and turns to keep every reader guessing. 

I love this series and returning to it is so fun with each new release. Sukey is smart, savvy and always solve her cases. A very enjoyable read !
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In Betty Rowlands fashion this is a good one. We have a very genteel elders care facility with a rather tense Mr and Mrs Seaton in charge. We have a block of flats equally high falutin with very nice tenants. When one of them is found murdered and dumped in the bins,  Sukey and the team backing her up are called in for the investigations.

Nothing is what it seems in murder and the links are slowly being put together but it is a puzzling sequence. The one suspect who seems to be the only one around has iron clad reasoning as to why he is not the murderer and though everyone assumes it is him, Sukey is always in doubt though he is an unlikeable character who has got under everyone's skin. Everyone would like him to be the culprit and then the case is closed.

When a second accidental death occurs, also someone linked to our victims and suspects and when a third victim seemingly random is also linked to the case, it is thrown wide open.

I never got it till the very end and then only because it was so very obvious!



Superb detection work very well written.
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Book number 12 from Betty Rowlands about Sukey  Reynolds, ex CSI technician and now police woman, I’ve been lucky to read all the books from Ms Rowlands but I always feel there is something missing with the main characters, don’t get me wrong the stories are interesting enough but I’ve not enjoyed them as much as the Melissa Craig series. This instalment finds Sukey investigating the death of a lady found stabbed to death in a bin at a block of flats where she lived,  when the police start their investigations into her life it shows she wasn’t liked very much so there are lots of suspects, what follows next is all the usual twists, turns and red herrings,, which make Ms Rowlands books so endearing p.
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If you enjoy cosy mysteries set against a stunning chocolate-box rural village then you simply cannot go far wrong with this book, series and Betty Rowlands in general. Death at Sycamore House is the twelfth instalment and the series certainly doesn't appear to be showing any signs of floundering at present. Fenella Tremaine - one of the residents of Sycamore House - has met a sad and suspicious demise; her body having been discovered disposed of in a skip like rubbish by the caretaker. The police in their usual lazy way just want the case to be solved so they can close it, and their surface investigation points the finger purposefully towards her neighbour and colleague Marcus Ellerman whom she had locked horns with on multiple occasions. Their case is further reinforced when they discover that Ellerman's unique ornamental dagger matches Fenella's wounds. Case closed, right?

If you are new to Ms Rowlands's books then first let me assure you that you can jump into the series at any time without experiencing any problems whatsoever. I love Sukey's tenacity and the sense of care she exhibits in wanting to get the actual perpetrator and not simply to collar the first person to fit the stereotypes. As always, there are plenty of twists and turns as well as the customary misdirection the author carries out with aplomb. Whilst this isn't my favourite of all the instalments it is a solid, exciting and compulsively readable story and one that is compelling in both plot and characterisation. If you're a crime, mystery and thriller reader and fancy something a little different where the countryside is as killer as the often ruthless culprits then this is worth a read. Cosy fans already know Ms Rowlands's prowess I am sure. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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It’s been a quiet few weeks on the crime front in Somerset and Sukey Reynolds is starting to wonder if all the villains have gone on holiday. When she's summoned to charming Sycamore House it seems that Sukey has tempted fate. The body of Fenella Tremaine, one of their residents, is discovered by the caretaker in the garden,. The police quickly close in on Marcus Ellerman, a neighbour and colleague of Fenella’s, with whom she often crossed swords, both in and out of the office. When his distinctive ornamental dagger is found to be the murder weapon, the case seems closed. But Sukey has a hunch that the police are barking up the wrong tree, however when there’s another murder the case looks to be cut & dried.
Another delicious page turner with plenty of red herrings & twists and turns. In Sukey’s private life her relationship with reporter Harry is a welcome change from her gruesome work. This is the twelfth book in the series & the series just keeps on getting better. Well rounded characters & a fast pace story all made for an enthralling read
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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👮 Good, but Sukey does not seem as front and center🤔

🔍 I really enjoy this series, mainly because DC Sukey Reynolds and her instincts usually confound her male boss and detect the key to the latest murder investigation's solution.  In this book, Sukey does not seem as prominent in the police investigation of a string of deaths.  

I also like the snippets of off-duty life, including Sukey's relationship with her young adult son and her love life, that get folded into each book in the series. Her son Gus barely gets a mention in this story, and the romancing of her reporter boyfriend seems in a bit of a rut, with boyfriend Harry constantly pumping her for information so he can get a scoop for his newspaper.  

It's not my favorite of the half dozen or so books I've read in the series, but the murder mystery with all of its false leads and twists was well-written, and, again, an enjoyable Sukey Reynolds Mystery read.

Thanks to publisher Bookouture and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book;  this is my voluntary and honest review.
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