Coffeetown Press is proud to reissue the first four novels of Hazel Holt’s Mrs. Malory mysteries, a classic “cozy” series based in the fictional English town of Taviscomb featuring a forthright, middle-aged female detective who has a lot in common with the delightful Hazel Holt herself. Read an interview with the author. [To order, please click the images below.]
These new 5×8 Trade Paperback editions became available in November of 2011.
“I got out of the car, went over to the front door and rang the bell. I stood for several minutes and then rang again, but there was no reply. So I went round the side of the house, as I had done with Lee, past the stables, and knocked on the kitchen door. Again there was silence. As I stood there, irresolute, there was a strange snuffling, scuffling sound and I swung round quickly. Just beyond the back hedge was the open moor, and a group of wild ponies, made bold by the winter cold, had gathered by the back gate and were pressing near, hoping that someone was bringing them hay or other food, as people did in the really hard weather.
“This little incident made me pull myself together and think what I should do. Boldly, I tried the back door, but it was locked, so I moved along and looked through the large, uncurtained kitchen window. For a moment I didn’t take in the reality of what I saw. Lying on the floor was a woman, face down, with a large kitchen knife sticking out of her back.”
I drove into the deserted picnic area at the top of Porlock Common and turned off the engine. Everything was quiet and still. The silence felt almost as tangible as the mist around me. The trees and brown grass were sodden with moisture, everything looked totally dead. Not far away I heard a faint sound. It was the thin note of a horn. The huntsman was blowing ‘Gone Away.’ ”
An Excerpt from The Cruellest Month:
‘Yes indeed. Though poor Tony – I don’t know if you heard – there was a dreadful accident there last month and one of the staff was killed. Were you in Oxford then?’
‘Yes, I was, though I was not in the Bodleian at the time – I had gone up to London that day with a friend – but I heard about it when I went in the following week. Shelves collapsed, I gather, on some unfortunate woman.’
‘Something of the sort, though I think it was more complicated than that.’
‘A dreadful thing to have happened.’
‘Yes. Not what one expects in the Bodleian. Poor George – do you know George? He sits in that little cubby-hole and takes your bags and checks your reader’s card – he feels it very much. “What in our house!” – that sort of thing. Which reminds me,’ I looked at my watch, ‘I must get back.’
We eased our way through a group of young people who were engaged in a noisy argument about the relative merits of Bizet and Meyerbeer and emerged thankfully into the fresh air. It was still raining.