Folly is quintessentially British. My love for British mysteries or the English village setting is well known. I recently read M C Beaton’s latest – Death of a Liar, and also The Sussex Downs Murder which is being reprinted. So you can say I am on a British mystery roll.
Folly-on-weir is a small village. Everyone knows everyone. The prominent characters are Alex, prodigal daughter and local pub owner, Will and Cathy, ex pub owners who now run the pub for Alex, Tony Harrison, prodigal son and local vet, Doc Harrison, the village doctor, Lily – bar waitress and Alex’s mom, the vicar, the local gossip, the ladies that run a bookshop and tea room and so on. All usual suspects! And suspects they are when a body is found in the snow.
We soon learn that the dead man was killed by a dart stolen from Alex’s pub. He was a monk. Alex adopts the dead man’s dog. The police is very much on the scene interrogating everyone. Things heat up when some attempts are made on Alex’s life and someone tries to scare her.
Alex and Tony grew up together and went their own ways. Both have had a painful past no one knows about. And both have left the big bad world to come back home. Their respective parents are worried that the current crisis will bring up the past and cause the kids some hurt.
A monk comes into Alex’s pub. He says he knows the dead man but has been snubbed by the police. Alex offers him a room at her pub/ inn. What happens next changes the pace of the story.
Folly started off a bit slow. Although the body is discovered almost in the first few pages, the first quarter or more is devoted more to building up the characters and telling us about their background. But there are also other developments in parallel. There is an aura of suspense and something evil. Although he whole style is understated, there is tension in the narrative. I even felt some goose bumps.
If you are a mystery fan, and enjoy a good plot and story, Stella Cameron’s Folly is for you.