Cover Image: Barking Mad

Barking Mad

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Member Reviews

Barking Mad by Leigh Russell is a nice mystery thriller set in a small village. The plot is a little bit slow and does not arouse much interest and weaves its way. At some points there are some good points to read further. but, I felt that the plot was going haywire and things were really not into place. The characters were also a bit off. It was only in the later half that the things were a little bit interesting. I loved the author's earlier work and I was totally not expecting this time. May be the book was not for me. I could give it only 3 stars for its later half.

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A great follow up to barking up the right tree. It’s a solid cosy mystery with a gentler ending than the previous book, I enjoyed catching up with the old gang and I am look o g forward to book 3!

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Barking Mad by Leigh Russell is a delightful addition to the cosy mystery genre, combining elements of mystery, comedy, and romance in a charming village setting. The story revolves around Emily Wilson, who has settled into the picturesque village of Ashton Mead with her lovable puppy, Poppy. Life seems idyllic, with a cosy cottage, a job she enjoys, and a close-knit group of friends. However, tranquillity takes a backseat when Emily stumbles upon the lifeless body of a woman in the nearby river.

The villagers quickly suspect foul play and cast their suspicions on Richard, Emily's next-door neighbour, who is a newcomer to the village. Emily finds it difficult to believe that her friendly neighbour could be a cold-hearted murderer. Her feelings become even more complicated when she encounters Richard's son, Adam, and experiences an instant attraction. Determined to uncover the truth behind the village's latest tragedy, Emily sets about subtly investigating everyone and everything.

As Emily delves deeper into the investigation, her life takes unexpected twists and turns, leading to dangerous encounters and unexpected revelations. Russell skilfully weaves together the elements of mystery, humour, and romance, creating a well-rounded and engaging narrative. Emily's character is relatable and endearing, and her bond with her charming dog, Poppy, adds a heartwarming dimension to the story.

The village of Ashton Mead is depicted vividly, immersing readers in its quaint charm and tight-knit community. Russell's descriptive prose paints a vivid picture of the village's sights and sounds, enhancing the overall reading experience. The supporting cast of characters, including Hannah, and Toby, adds depth and colour to the story, leaving readers eager to revisit them in future instalments.

While Barking Mad is the second book in the Poppy Mystery Tale Series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone novel. However, readers who have experienced the first book will appreciate the continuity and development of the characters and relationships. The mystery itself is well-crafted, keeping readers engaged as they attempt to unravel the puzzle alongside Emily.

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This is becoming one my favorite cozy series as I love Emily and Polly, the quaint village and the quirky characters
It's a light and entertaining story, a solid mystery that kept me guessing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Well plotted and entertaining
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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What's not to love about Poppy. She is the adorable heroine in a cosy mystery where her owner once again finds herself inadvertently caught up in a murder. And if you read book 1, it's a bit close to home again. The tale has a lovely bucolic setting and Poppy's antics are so well described, they will leave you with a smile on your face. Roll on the next tale.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC to review.

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I have read several of Leighs thriller books and enjoyed them all so was looking forward to reading this. I wasn't disappointed, a great cosy mystery that I was hooked from the first page and couldn't read fast enough. I hope there is another book in this series soon.

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Having lived in Ashton Mead for some months now, Emily and Poppy the dog get themselves into a whole pile of trouble yet again, when they come across the body of a woman in the river in their village.

And the new neighbour is causing concern for the villagers too (as if they would be judgmental and quick to suspect the worst of anyone!!)

Another super adventure, can't wait to see what they get up to next

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Poppy, a charming blend of Jack Russell and Shih Tzu, returns to star in Barking Mad, second in this delightful mystery series by award winning author Leigh Russell. With him, he brings his owner Emily Wilson and the other residents of the small village of Ashton Mead. After a near deadly run in with her neighbor in Laurel Cottage next door, she’s happy to see that someone new is moving in. Richard is an older man and somewhat mysteriously single. And after Emily discovers a woman’s body in the nearby river, the suspicious villagers decide that it is Richard’s wife and he had killed her. What follows is half mystery and half comedy of errors with a touch of romance thrown in.

Fans of the cozy mystery genre will love Barking Mad. It has an entertaining cast of characters, especially Emily, Hannah, Maud and Toby, who will definitely appear in the next of the series. Ashton Mead is well described - you can smell the garden flowers, see the baked goods in Hannah’s Tea Shoppe and listen to the suspicious whispers in the pub. And Poppy? Poppy is just the best dog hero since Lassie. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Oldcastle Books and Leigh Russell for this ARC.

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When the body of a woman is found in the river flowing through the village of Ashton Mead, suspicion soon falls on the woman’s husband Richard. His neighbor Emily can’t believe that someone so friendly, and who is so well liked by her dog Poppy, could possibly be a murderer. Determined to find out the truth, Emily sets out to investigate, only to find herself in danger.

This is a book that just was not for me. I was unable to remain engaged in the story for any length of time and found myself putting it aside over and over.

Unfortunately, this is not one that I personally can recommend.

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