The Potting Shed Murder

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Book 1 of Hill House Vintage Murder Mystery
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Pub Date 4 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 4 Apr 2024
Dialogue Books | Renegade Books

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'Miss Marple for the 21st Century. Loved it. A must-read' S.J. Bennett, author of The Windsor Knot

Welcome to the sleepy village of Pudding Corner, a quintessentially English haven of golden cornfields, winding cobbled lanes ... and murder.

Daphne Brewster has left London behind and is settling into her family's new life in rural Norfolk, planting broad beans in raised beds and vintage hunting for their farmhouse.

But when the local headmaster is found dead in his potting shed, amongst his allotment cabbages, the village is ablaze: Who would kill beloved Mr Papplewick, pillar of the community? Daphne soon comes to realise perhaps the countryside isn't so idyllic after all...

When the headmaster's widow points her finger at Minnerva, Daphne's new friend, Daphne vows to clear her name. Sneaking into the crime scene and chasing down rumours gets her into hot water with the local inspector - until she comes across a faded photograph that unearths a secret buried for forty years...

They say nothing bad ever happens in close-knit Pudding Corner, but Daphne is close to the truth - dangerously close...

There's death amongst the dahlias... A truly unputdownable whodunnit by Paula Sutton - otherwise known as Instagram's happiest influencer: Hill House Vintage, the queen of cottagecore - an unforgettable new voice in cosy crime. Perfect for fans of Richard Osman, Janice Hallett and Richard Coles.

'Begs to be read in the cosiest of spaces' Tasha Coryell, author of Love Letters to a Serial Killer

'A great modern cosy' Ian Moore, author of Death and Croissants

'Delightful . . . Charming and fresh' Kuchenga Shenjé, author of The Library Thief

'Blooming fabulous! The perfect book to get lost in . . . The cosiest of cosy crime' Veronica Henry

'The most wholesome whodunit I've ever read . . . I loved it!' Stephanie Yeboah

'Miss Marple for the 21st Century. Loved it. A must-read' S.J. Bennett, author of The Windsor Knot

Welcome to the sleepy village of Pudding Corner, a quintessentially English haven of golden...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780349703763
PRICE £18.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 47 members

Featured Reviews

Daphne tells herself at the end of the book to never ever ever talk to strangers again, but how would that be possible in a village that was completely new to her and therefore everyone unknown to her after she left London?!

Don't be fooled by the low-key, toned down cover as this is a book bursting with secretive and yet quite colorful characters! Yes, there is death amongst the dahlia's, but there is so much more than that...

Good thing I saw on Goodreads that this is a first in a series. I honestly can't wait :)

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.

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Daphne Brewster's move - with her white husband and biracial kids - to the wilds of the English countryside and the quaint village of Pudding Corner has gone unexpectedly well. All three of her children love it there, and Daphne herself, as a black British woman, has found the adjustment easier than she expected, despite the alarming night time quietude of her immediate surroundings.

She loves their new home, and has even began a small business of her own in the village, customising and restoring furniture, that is in great demand. In the process, she has made friends with Minerva, a shy woman who is part of a Wiccan community in the woods. Minerva's son Silvanus soon becomes fast friends with the Brewster children.

Still, all this is about to go pear-shaped with the mysterious death of the populous school headmaster, Charles Pappleworth. Because in this safe little corner of the bucolic countryside, it turns out that Charles Pappleworth has been murdered!

When suspicion unexpectedly falls on Minerva, Daphne throws herself into Miss Marple-style amateur sleuthing, to her husband's immense dismay, and with some entirely unexpected consequences...

This is a charming and wholesome take with well drawn characters, great good humour, and a surprisingly long suspect list. A very enjoyable read. It gets 3.5 stars.

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3.5 stars
Im partial to a cosy murder mystery and this delivered, what appears to be a cosy village turns out to be one filled with many long kept secrets.
Daphne moves from London to escape the crime and busy lifestyle, only to find herself wrapped up in a murder with many hidden secrets being uncovered along the way, and while I did guess who the murderer was this didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story line!
I didn’t expect this to be multi pov in part so this took me some getting used to when there was so many characters involved but once I got to grips with these I enjoyed all the story lines of each character each with a piece to the puzzle

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I have just finished The Potting Shed Murder and what absolute delight it was! I have been eager to read this since I heard about it at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival so I was absolutely ecstactic when I saw it pop up on Netgalley.

Daphne Brewster and her family have recently moved from bustling London to the wonderful sounding Pudding Corner in Norfolk. A cosy sounding village and a quiet life is just what the Brewster family need following hectic careers and soaring private school prices made them rethink their lifestyle.

However, when the beloved local headmaster Charles Pappleworth is found dead at his allotment, although tragic, people are convinced it was natural causes. He was teacher and the stresses had obviously contributed to his heart attack........... When word of murder spreads, we slowly learn that there are a few suspects that would have liked to have seen the end of Charles.

I absolutely loved Daphne and her investigation, she is like a younger Miss Marple! The village characters are a wonderful addition and I particularly loved hearing about the grumpy Warburton sisters, Nancy and Patsy who run the local store - their backstory was written perfectly and gives you a greater understanding of why they are like they are.

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series!

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Pudding Corner. Such a nice, quiet village after crime-ridden London.

Or so Daphne Brewster thinks.

Until one wet, stormy night, when a body is discovered in a potting shed at the allotments.

And it turns out that more than one villager has a motive for their demise...

Excellent, hopefully the start of a super series

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I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley, however all opinions are my own.

How I read this book: eBook.

So the reason I wanted to read this book is because the description of this book sounded like it would be such a good read. I'm not going to lie, as much as I did enjoy the overall story, I just found myself a little bored through some of the book. All of the juicy bits of the book were so exciting and took me by surprise that when it come down to the "cosiness" of it all I just wanted more! I do understand that this is to show how unchanging this small village in Norfolk is supposed to be and to give us such a huge amount of information of the characters within but all I could keep my mind on was who did it? This however gave us multiple perspectives throughout the book, mainly focusing on Daphne's, and this was something I really enjoyed. I am also so appreciative of the author for putting who everyone is in the start of the book with a little description of each character because then if I ever got anyone mixed up (which I did because I'm really bad with names) I was able to go back to the start and just give myself a little reminder. I also found it really difficult to feel empathy with a lot of the characters because the whole village was honestly given off rich white tory vibes, and I found myself only loving 3 characters throughout the book. I did not expect the twists and turns that we were going to get throughout the book (and trust me there were a bunch of them!) and I actually found myself audibly gasping. It was also interesting to see how differently Daphne was treated by certain characters due to her being a POC, as well as Minnerva for her being a traveller. It definitely puts into perspective how nasty the real world can be. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good cosy mystery book as it is such an easy read. However as much as I love mystery I think maybe cosy mystery isn't the genre for me.

My Favourite Characters:

Patsy: Okay so Patsy is one of the side characters but I actually adored her regardless of how nosey she was. I loved getting to learn more about her throughout the book and I loved the character growth we got with her.

Minerva: Minerva is such a gentle angel and I loved her so much. I just wanted to wrap her up and give her the biggest cuddle.

Daphne: Okay so yes Daphne is the main character but she's got a heart of gold and took no shit. I was rooting for her throughout the whole book!

My Least Favourite Characters:

Marianne: Marianne was the one who gave off the biggest tory vibes. I honestly hated her so much and whilst most of the other characters seemed to gain some redeeming qualities, she absolutely did not.

Augusta: Listen, I did end up feeling sorry for Augusta. It didn't make me like her any more though. She does seem to have a little bit of character growth at the end but it wasn't enough for me to forgive everything that she had done up until that point.

Timothy: Timothy had literally the smallest part in the story but I loathed him. I'm so glad we didn't get any more of him within the book.

(If you'd like to see more of my reviews please go to my blog:

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Firstly thank you to NetGalley and Dialogue Books for sending me this Arc, and I can honestly say I have loved it. A murder mystery/whodunitstyle book set in a traditional English countryside village called Pudding Corner. Every name chosen in the book is so reminiscent of old school mystery books and made the whole story feel cosy and homely, despite the subject matter being a murder. It has the feels of an Agatha Christie and although set in present day you almost feel the village is in a Lorna Doone timewarp stuck in the 1950's.
The story revolves around the murder of the headmaster of the local school Mr Papplewick, and relative newcomer Daphne find herself becoming a sleuth in order to prove her new friend Minnerva has nothing to do with the crime.
This is such an enjoyable book to read whilst figuring out secret pasts of the villages and their interconnecting storylines and honestly I couldn't have wanted anymore out of a book in this genre.

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Fabulous book, great read, I absolutely loved it. Extremely well written, wonderful storyline with a great cast of characters; some you love, some not so much , but all with their own backstory. Highly recommended!

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Quite possibly the cutest cottagecore whodunnit in history. Absolutely adored this book by Paula Sutton.

The story follows Daphne Brewster, who’s moved to the Norfolk countryside from the him of London with her family. The village dynamics are a far cry from the bustle she’s used to, and she meets a range of charscters that she must learn how to handle. Scandal soon arrives in the form of the body of the schools headmaster, Mr Papplewick, being found in his allotment potting shed. Daphne finds herself immersed in a world of uncertainty, whispered gossip and raging accusations. Was Mr Papplewick murdered? Or did he really just have a heart attack? Daphne is trying her best to keep her head down, but it seems that she keeps uncovering new information.

This book was absolutely stellar. It is so cosy it’s ridiculous, and I just loved the accurate depiction of rural life in England. The characters are so typical of who you find in these settings (I could put names to a few from my village!!) and it’s so easy to get lost in the story. The different points of view keep you guessing and were a great way to get to know all of the characters. And the language… the language is so eloquent and delicious, but easy to digest.

This is cottagecore at its best! This book will be released 4th April 2024 and you MUST get this on your TBR so you don’t miss it!

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Daphne Brewster has moved from London and is embracing her family's fresh start in the tranquil countryside of Norfolk. However, this tranquility is shattered by the discovery of the local headmaster's lifeless body in his potting shed, surrounded by his prized allotment cabbages.
The Potting Shed Murder is a fun read and a delightful debut, perfect for fans of cozy mysteries!

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Desperate for a change, Daphne and her family move to a quaint little village in Norfolk. Determined ti embrace village life. Daphne acquaints herself with a number of characters in the village. When a pillar of the community is discovered dead in their potting shed, Daphne finds herself drawn into the complicated lives and dirty secrets of the villagers. 

I really enjoyed the structure of this book. It's quite late on that we discover the body because the start of this book is taken up with introducing our main character and her motivation for leaving London, as well as the characters who will eventually become suspects. Multiple characters had a motive for murder, and we learn many of these before the murder has even happened. It was a really good way of setting up this both as a series and as a single murder mystery. I certainly would be interested in meeting these characters again. 
The mystery itself was solid. There were a couple of red herrings I fell for, and I guessed the twists only a page or so before the main character got there. I didn't feel that Daphne did a whole lot of actual solving in this. It was often a result of nosiness and luck, simply being in the right place becuase she was trying to befriend her new neighbours as opposed to any actual motivation to solve the crime. That being said, I'd be interested in how Daphne develops if there are further books.

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This had all the flavour of a farce. Good natured humour, an absolute sans froid when describing murder and so many connections, links, lost loves and mad unknowns that made the murder all rather jolly. The book bounces along in amateur detective mode with the village characters getting more rounded as their past in revealed in all its bizarre finery. The bumbling nature of the plot is great and made it a fun and lovely read.

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Daphne Brewster and her family are settling into a wholesome new relaxed pace of living in the sleepy Norfolk village of Pudding Corner after recently moving from their busy, stressful lives in London.

When the local headmaster is found dead in his potting shed amongst his cabbage in his allotment, the village is buzzing with speculation, gossip and pointing fingers and Daphne can't resist doing some digging of her own to find out who killed Mr Papplewick herself.

My Bookish Thoughts 💬
I really enjoyed curling up under my sick blanket with a hot chocolate in hand and escaping into this cosy crime novel.

Being a city girl, I enjoyed immersing myself in the lives of the colourful residents of a seemingly quiet and peaceful village community and getting to know their back stories and links to each other.

After finishing this novel, I sat pondering for a while on whether the definition of great cosy crime should include reveals that take you by suprise or, if the writing should assist you in uncovering the criminal and their motive yourself. After some reflection I shifted from believing it should be a suprise to concluding the essence of this genre is for you to have fun with and play amateur sleuth yourself, unravelling the mystery.

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Dialogue Publishing for the gifted ARC copy.

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There are lots of colourful and quirky local characters here to keep things interesting. The amount of secrets seething under the surface though is astounding but at the same time fairly usual for a small English village setting. An interesting and unusual amateur detective with a large busy family make this a different read. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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A really gripping read, I thought the characters were intriguing and I'm going to look out for more by this author.

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A really nice, cozy murder/mystery, which reminds me of an Agatha Christie style, set in a proper English village, with a modern twist. Daphne is an interesting character who really wants to make herself part of the community, throwing herself whole heartedly into it. It’s what everyone imagines living in a quiet village would be like, little realising that they can still be a hot bed of passion, envy, cliques and one up manship. Nicely written and with a good twist at the end. An excellent debut, I look forward to the next book by this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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