A Deadly Discovery

The Woolf & Bell Mysteries Book 1

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Book 1 of The Woolf & Bell Mysteries
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2024 | Archive Date 10 Oct 2024
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One priceless artefact. Two unlikely sleuths.
A murder stranger than fiction.

In the shadow of Lewes castle lies buried an ancient tablet. Hours after discovering it, dashing local archaeologist Gideon Rivers is dead.

Writer Virginia Woolf and her artist sister, Vanessa, both know firsthand that it doesn't take much to cause a stir in town. And when Gideon returned home from a dig in Syria with a glamourous Parisian heiress on his arm, all eyes were on him.

But who would have conspired to murder such a charming young man? There are more suspects in his circle than it first seems: an ambitious fiancée, a jealous best friend, and a string of scorned former lovers.

With the police chasing false leads and the murderer hunting down a second victim - one far closer to home - Ginny and Nessa are forced to take investigations into their own hands.

Solving this mystery calls for a little creativity . . .

BOOK 1 in THE WOOLF & BELL MYSTERIES - a gripping new bookish cosy crime series for fans of The Three Dahlias, The Mitford Murders and golden age crime.

One priceless artefact. Two unlikely sleuths.
A murder stranger than fiction.

In the shadow of Lewes castle lies buried an ancient tablet. Hours after discovering it, dashing local archaeologist Gideon...

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ISBN 9781035413935
PRICE £10.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

when an archaeological find and a familiar face comes home, with a new fiancée on his arm, it really causes a ruckus in sussex.

the quirkiness of the characters really shows through in the three perspectives shown throughout the book.

the fast pace, makes you want to carry on reading, whilst making you laugh a little at times. although, the book touches on dark topics, an air of lightheartedness is in the authors writing.

you cannot help but get sucked into the story, as the women band together to solve the murder of two of their friends. suspecting the people closest close to them, what secrets will be revealed ?

this story, proves that sometimes women’s intuition knows best. with a love triangle, gay affairs.. and a murderer on the loose, this is the perfect historical fiction late summer / autumn read.

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Creative Sleuthing..
The first in the Woolf & Bell series of mysteries featuring Virginia Woolf and sister Vanessa as a pair of most unlikely amateur sleuths. When, local archaeologist, Gideon discovers an ancient tablet somewhere near Lewis Castle, it is mere hours before he is dead. Who on earth would kill such a charming man? And why? It is not long before our intrepid pair of sleuths decide to investigate in their own creative and inimitable manner. A delightful start to a new series with a deftly drawn and unique cast, a well imagined backdrop and a solid Golden Age feel. Enjoyable and entertaining.

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I could not put this book down! I ended up finishing it within one sitting The fact that it is so fast paced kept me interested and intrigued. It had a very interesting plot and it was executed very well. This was a great read! Thank you so much for the arc!

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This was a strong start to the Woolf & Bell Mysteries series, it ahd everything that I was looking for and enjoyed the overall concept of this. The mystery element had a great overall feel and enjoyed the overall feel of the world. The characters were everything that I wanted and glad I was able to read this, it left me wanting to read more in this series and from the author.

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Ciao Byrne has created a very unusual detective duo in Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf who set about uncovering a murderer in their own backyard.
Byrne has obviously done her research into the real life sisters and describes them, their relationship with one another, and their partners, Leonard and Duncan Grant extremely well.
Within the story various well known artistic and literary names crop up, but they are deftly woven into the story rather than shoe horned in for effect.
She also sets the scenes in the two sisters houses and these she portrays so accurately that it is very easy to believe that the Bloomsbury Set really did solve local murders!
This is obviously set up to be a series and I look forward very much to reading what Nessa and Ginny get up to next! Literally, literary detective fiction!

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Thanks Headline/Headline accent and netGalley for this ARC of a Deadly Discovery by Car Byrne which is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries involving a very known and therefore very unlikely duo of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

An ancient tablet is discovered in a castle and the local archaeologist is dead within hours of its discovery. This is as much of the plot that I'm willing to give away. This and the fact that it involves a very duo of sleuths - the famous writer Virginia Woolf and her artist sister Vanessa Bell.

I am a huge fan of cozy mysteries and this book( which is the the first in a series which I'm really happy about) doesn't disappoint. It has a three person POV, I love the there is inclusivity be it race, and topics around it, LGBTQIA which is usually not something you come to expect in a golden mystery.

But I love the fast paced plot and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

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Three and a half stars.

Virginia (Ginny) Woolf and her husband Leonard, together with her sister Vanessa (Nessa) Bell and her (former) lover Duncan live in Rodwell, close to Lewes, West Sussex (in separate houses, in case that wasn't clear). As some of the advanced wave of Londoners moving to West Sussex, Ginny feels superior to most of the others such as Mrs Daphne Rivers, whose husband's origins were very working class until he made sufficient money as a stockbroker in the City to buy one of the grandest houses in the village, or Mrs Alice Dudeney, a successful author of romantic novels.

One day, Ginny and Nessa get dragged by Mrs Rivers into meeting her son Gideon, an extraordinarily handsome young man, and feted archaeologist, together with his fiancé Jasmine Zain Al-Din, the daughter of a wealthy French-Syrian family.

However, the next day the village is shocked to learn that Gideon was murdered, battered to death by his own tools at the dig site where he had recently uncovered a small tablet thought to have been brought back from the Crusades. Worse still, Ginny's gardener's son-in-law has been arrested by the local police for the murder. Ginny's gardener and his daughter implore Ginny to reason with the police detective and/or find the real killer.

As befits the Bloomsbury Set, everyone appears to have multiple lovers, both male and female, and there are multiple possible motives for murder including jealousy (from numerous people), illegitimate children, professional rivalry, and potentially money. Everyone is lying about knowing other people. Suspicion lands on one person after another. There is also a mysterious figure in black haunting the lanes/following people.

I'll say straight off that I've never warmed to Virginia Woolf or her writing so she was going to be a difficult character for me to like. However, my issue with this book was that it wasn't sure whether it wanted to be a fictional story about the Woolfs and the Bells, with lots of detail about the décor in Nessa's house and their friends, or a cosy mystery and it sort of fell between two stools for me.

I have some reservations about the method the murderer used and why they killed some people but not others. Also I question the physical appearance of the tool the murderer used. (view spoiler)

I note that there are other cosy mysteries featuring famous people (the Mitfords spring to mind) and I have avoided them for the same reason I have issues with this book. Totally off topic, but if I were writing this sort of cosy fiction I would make our detective famous-person-adjacent eg a fictional friend or servant, that way the reader can peep into the lifestyle but focus on the mystery.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

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Who was responsible for the death of the archaeologist – or was it part of a curse?
Was Virginia Woolf an amateur sleuth in real life?
I’ve no idea but I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy murder mystery and would highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to reading more Woolf and Bell Mysteries.

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The main concept is that the lead archaeologist is discovered dead shortly after discovering a potentially valuable object. There are a few possible motives and a large number of possible suspects. We obtain a clear picture of the individuals involved from the story, which is told from the viewpoints of three distinct ladies. Although , I already identified the killer earlier on but I didn’t pick the motive. I think the Virgina Woolf reference threw me off. However, because the first book in the series was good, I would keep reading the next future books in the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Headline publisher team for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book.
It was quite an enjoyable read, that I would classify as a cozy mystery, and the descriptions were beautiful and immersive.
I am unable to form an opinion regarding the characterisations of the historical characters, but I took it as an opportunity to read and learn more about them.
It was not surprised to learn who the killer was, but I think it's well developed with several red herrings along the way.

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Virginia Woolf is one of my favourite writers of all time so I was really excited to see become a sleuth is this book!!

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