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The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake. As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat. It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake. As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat. It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats… rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died. Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live... or die. An absolutely gripping page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page. Do you love twisty murder mysteries? Meet Tara Thorpe – she had enough on her plate before a grisly college murder landed right in her lap! Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis.


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The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake. As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat. It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case The first in a series of unputdownable Cambridge mysteries featuring Thorpe and Blake. As the sun rises, a young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat. It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats… rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died. Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live... or die. An absolutely gripping page-turner that will keep you hooked until the very last page. Do you love twisty murder mysteries? Meet Tara Thorpe – she had enough on her plate before a grisly college murder landed right in her lap! Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, LJ Ross and Joy Ellis.

30 review for Murder on the Marshes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    4 Brilliant Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 What a fabulous start to this new series! Really loved everything about it the plot, the characters, and especially the setting.... it was a new refreshing twist on a police procedural. because you also got the investigative journalism insight .... and I really loved the academic setting... A professor is found murdered in a fountain at the school, without any clues... Tara is an investigative reporter and assigned to write a story about the victims life... DI Burke is assig 4 Brilliant Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 What a fabulous start to this new series! Really loved everything about it the plot, the characters, and especially the setting.... it was a new refreshing twist on a police procedural. because you also got the investigative journalism insight .... and I really loved the academic setting... A professor is found murdered in a fountain at the school, without any clues... Tara is an investigative reporter and assigned to write a story about the victims life... DI Burke is assigned to solve the murder of the same victim.... what I found so brilliant about this is how each of these characters approached the investigating and questioning differently... because this book was told from each of these characters points of view we really got to see the victim from many different angles.... and Samantha was not a well liked woman! So many suspects, I truly had no idea who done it.... Also really loved the dynamic between Claire and DI Blake.... The characters weren’t quite as well developed as I would have liked, but there are more books to follow for that.... i’m also very curious to see what happens with these characters in the future! So thrilled that the next book comes out in October! Absolutely recommend to fans of the crime thriller with a bit of a different twist! *** many thanks to Bookouture for my copy of this book ***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    It wasn't just the exciting premise that I loved, the beautiful cover influenced me too. Yet another thriller writer that seems to have passed me by! Clare Chase has had three other books published from 2014-16 by Choc Lit. You'll enjoy her books including this one if you like Joy Ellis, L. J. Ross, and Faith Martin. It's dawn and affluent Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a Cambridge courtyard. The only clue left is an antique silver chain that has been wound tight It wasn't just the exciting premise that I loved, the beautiful cover influenced me too. Yet another thriller writer that seems to have passed me by! Clare Chase has had three other books published from 2014-16 by Choc Lit. You'll enjoy her books including this one if you like Joy Ellis, L. J. Ross, and Faith Martin. It's dawn and affluent Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a Cambridge courtyard. The only clue left is an antique silver chain that has been wound tightly around her throat. It is the job of DI Garstin Blake and Tara Thorpe to investigate what happened to the victim. The case hits very close to home when Tara discovers that Samantha had received the same death threats she had received on the night the woman died. If they wish to solve this case and catch the sadistic killer Tara needs to face up to the truth. Will she share the secret she has been hiding with Blake or will they die trying to track the murderer down? I absolutely adored the setting here. It reminds a little of the sort of setting in Midsomer Murders - quaint and idyllic with some very shady characters. The twists in the plot were plentiful and I liked the relationship and dynamic between Thorpe and Blake. As this is a series opener I will look forward to seeing their characters develop further in the next books. The writing is sound and gets you interested and invested in the story pretty quickly. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Welcome to Cambridge and its elite university colleges, whose foundations will be rocked by the murder of one of their own. Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the fountain of a courtyard. The only clue is a silver chain. How did Samantha get access to this courtyard? Who would want to harm her and why? The investigation into Samantha’s murder falls into the hands of DI Blake, but he isn’t the only one tracking a killer. Tara Thorpe is a journalist, whose boss wants her to write an article abou Welcome to Cambridge and its elite university colleges, whose foundations will be rocked by the murder of one of their own. Samantha Seabrook is found drowned in the fountain of a courtyard. The only clue is a silver chain. How did Samantha get access to this courtyard? Who would want to harm her and why? The investigation into Samantha’s murder falls into the hands of DI Blake, but he isn’t the only one tracking a killer. Tara Thorpe is a journalist, whose boss wants her to write an article about the life and death of Samantha Seabrook. But when Tara receives a warning and realises this same warning was sent to Samantha before she was killed, things become personal. Can DI Blake and Tara Thorpe find the culprit before it’s too late? The gorgeous Cambridge setting is in stark contrast with the backstabbing, rivalry and competitiveness of the professors at the college. Bar maybe one or two, nobody comes across as especially likeable and everyone seems to have something to hide. Throughout, there is the fascinating angle of the privileged versus the ones who come from nothing and had to work extraordinary hard to get where they are now. The prologue sets the tone for things to come but its relevance isn’t revealed until the end. I do so enjoy that as I keep going over things like that in my head, trying to figure out how that little teaser fits into the story. For the record, I didn’t have a clue. Nor did I have the tiniest inkling about who the murderer was. One investigation but two different ways of tackling it and both really held my interest. As a journalist, Tara has other resources available to her than DI Blake has, and vice versa. In their own ways they do the same thing with the same goal in mind. Talk to people, find the clues, put together the pieces of the puzzle and ultimately find the truth. And in Tara’s case, stay alive, as that first warning won’t be the last. This first instalment in the Tara Thorpe Mystery series does exactly what it needs to. It’s gripping and compelling, has a wonderful setting and introduces us to fantastic characters both professionally and personally. There are plenty more things to discover about both DI Blake and Tara Thorpe and the conclusion of this first book sets things up perfectly for the follow-up. A brilliant start that will leave you wanting more!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Murder on the Marshes, the first novel set in Cambridge to feature investigative journalist Tara Thorpe. When Professor Samantha Seabrook is found murdered in the fountain of St Bede College's private walled garden DI Garstin Blake and his team are assigned the case. Tara Thorpe is asked to write an in-depth article on Samantha following her death so she crosses paths with DI Blake, especially when the police discover that the I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Murder on the Marshes, the first novel set in Cambridge to feature investigative journalist Tara Thorpe. When Professor Samantha Seabrook is found murdered in the fountain of St Bede College's private walled garden DI Garstin Blake and his team are assigned the case. Tara Thorpe is asked to write an in-depth article on Samantha following her death so she crosses paths with DI Blake, especially when the police discover that the killer may have her in mind as the next victim. I thoroughly enjoyed Murder on the Marshes which is a tense, exciting read with plenty of twists. It is slightly old fashioned in the sense that it relies on interviews, personalities and potential motives rather than technology to solve the case, but modern with its dual point of view narrative, being told alternately by Tara and Blake. I don't feel that the author has got this latter quite right as it can be repetitive and the characters' viewpoints aren't so divergent that the same information seems fresh when presented by the other voice. The plotting is good as both characters gradually build a victimology. It makes for addictive reading as more and more facts are uncovered, although their arrival at a solution seems like a bolt from the blue and decidedly unheralded. I had an inkling of the killer from about half way through, simply by the way the character was written, but the motive was elusive until the denouement. Minor points in what is, overall, an addictive read. The characterisation is sufficient for the novel, but not overly so. Much is made of the stalker Tara had when she was a teenager and who was never caught because it has shaped the woman she is today, strong, feisty and independent but aware of the danger around her. Blake, on the other hand, is a man of mystery. Obviously caring and good at his job he has recently separated from his wife, for reasons often hinted at but never revealed. By the end of the novel it's all change for them so it will be interesting to see what's in store for them. Murder on the Marshes is a credible début which I have no hesitation in recommending as a good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janet Newport

    Thank you NetGalley and BookOuture for this arc. I enjoyed Murder on the Marshes a lot. Fast paced, twisty, and interesting well-developed characters. Oh, and a very interesting setting! I just ripped right through this book. A wonderful balance of what I feel are the essential elements for a crime novel. This appears to be the first in a series... I hope so as I really enjoyed Tara! 4.5 stars rounded up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lee at ReadWriteWish

    After I finished this book I read Clare Chase’s Goodreads author profile where she states that Elly Griffiths is one of her influences. I must say this didn’t surprise me as I had noticed similarities between Murder on the Marshes and the books in Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series.  The heroine here is reporter Tara Thorpe. Tara is the daughter of an actress and has previously been harassed by a stalker. As such, when she receives a rag doll with a noose around its neck in the mail, she immediatel After I finished this book I read Clare Chase’s Goodreads author profile where she states that Elly Griffiths is one of her influences. I must say this didn’t surprise me as I had noticed similarities between Murder on the Marshes and the books in Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway series.  The heroine here is reporter Tara Thorpe. Tara is the daughter of an actress and has previously been harassed by a stalker. As such, when she receives a rag doll with a noose around its neck in the mail, she immediately goes to the police. In turn, the police instantly take the threat to Tara seriously as they’ve just discovered the body of a Cambridge professor who, a few days before she was killed, also received a rag doll.  Tara meets DI Blake, the detective assigned to the case and there’s instant attraction between the pair. It's all very respectable though. In fact, I enjoyed how Blake is the only one who seems to completely respect Tara and her choices when it comes to her safety and security.  While Blake is investigating the murder in the conventional manner, Tara starts interviewing witnesses and potential killers. She is writing an article on the murder but she also, obviously, needs to solve the case before the murderer catches up with her. The murder plot was pretty good but I can’t say I thought the clues to the identity of the murderer were very useful. They seemed very general. If you guessed the murderer, you would have been doing just that -- guessing.  The Cambridge setting was great. It increased Tara’s vulnerability to attack in unexpected and clever ways. The setting mentioned in the title, however, is a little misleading. Neither of the murders were carried out in marshes.  I liked the romantic aspect of the book. It was added with a light touch for this first book but I imagine it will develop further in the future books in the series. I look forward to it; I will read on.  I’ll read them the old fashioned way though. I didn’t like the narration in this audio version. The narrator seemed to be whispering every line. It was very annoying.  For most of the book I was a little annoyed too by the slut shaming of the victim (I think I noticed it especially because it was also something Robert Bryndza did in Girl in the Ice which I read recently and therefore, it was still fresh in my mind) but I was pleasantly surprised that Chase made some amends in this area by adding an explanation and a measure of empathy towards the end. Although the mystery plot is wrapped up, the ending cleverly doesn’t answer every question posed meaning, again, I’m sure to pick up the second book. I’d also admit I could be tempted to pick up one of the books from Chase’s other series. Always a good sign.  3 ½ out of 5 

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Revenge or evening up the balance? A twisty tale with many red herrings... "Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes." John Donne Tara Thorpe is a journalist working for NOT NOW magazine when she is asked to investigate and write a feature about the murder of a charismatic and popular professor, Samantha Seabrook, a fellow of St. Francis's College at Cambridge. Professor Seabrook, young and athletic, somewhat impetuous and adventurous, had apparently been killed in a wal Revenge or evening up the balance? A twisty tale with many red herrings... "Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes." John Donne Tara Thorpe is a journalist working for NOT NOW magazine when she is asked to investigate and write a feature about the murder of a charismatic and popular professor, Samantha Seabrook, a fellow of St. Francis's College at Cambridge. Professor Seabrook, young and athletic, somewhat impetuous and adventurous, had apparently been killed in a walled garden fountain. Several interesting clues come to light immediately and Tara's first problem is that she can't seem to get honest answers when she interviews Seabrook's colleagues at the institute. Her second problem is that the police, namely DI Blake and his team, don't feel that information should go both ways. They want access to her notes and recordings, but they aren't sharing everything with her. In addition, Tara, who has a history of being stalked, receives a message along with a handmade doll -- "It was a warning. This is a warning." And does this mean that her stalker has returned to terrorize her OR is the note an indication that the story Tara is working on has personal implications? NO SPOILERS. This was a great first novel in a new series. I loved meeting the characters and enjoyed their interaction as their relationships deepen and develop. It was a bit of a class clash as those from Cambridge stall and hinder the police trying to solve the case. The bond between Tara and Blake is just developing and is not romantic...yet. Tara makes some big decisions by the end of this book and I'm thrilled that I can immediately pick up the second in this mystery series. Great storytelling with the added bonus of the setting at Cambridge add to the compelling nature of the tale. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review. I'm off to start DEATH ON THE RIVER...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    This is a great ‘who-dunnit’ story. Tara is a journalist and contacts the Police when she receives a threatening note, along with a strange doll. A body is then found and it transpires that the victim had received a doll with a noose round it's neck a few weeks ago. Detective Blake speaks to Tara and takes the threat against her seriously. With her link to the death of the woman she starts investigating her death as a story. Blake asks her to share what she finds and she agrees as she knows he w This is a great ‘who-dunnit’ story. Tara is a journalist and contacts the Police when she receives a threatening note, along with a strange doll. A body is then found and it transpires that the victim had received a doll with a noose round it's neck a few weeks ago. Detective Blake speaks to Tara and takes the threat against her seriously. With her link to the death of the woman she starts investigating her death as a story. Blake asks her to share what she finds and she agrees as she knows he will look out for her. Tara and Blake form a good working relationship and find out more about those around the victim between them. Someone is still watching Tara though and soon her life is in danger. There’s a real race against time to stop another murder happening and it will have you on the edge of your seat. This is a gripping read and a great start to a new series. Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    4 stars A woman is found half submerged in a pond on the St. Bede’s College campus. DI Garstin Blake and his team respond to the call. She has been drowned intentionally. She turns out to be Samantha Seabrook, a professor at another college in the Cambridge College system. She is wearing a silver crucifix around her neck. Tara Thorpe is a reporter for a publication called Not Now. It is sometimes edgy and just skirts the bounds of propriety. Tara is a good journalist who does not appreciate the qu 4 stars A woman is found half submerged in a pond on the St. Bede’s College campus. DI Garstin Blake and his team respond to the call. She has been drowned intentionally. She turns out to be Samantha Seabrook, a professor at another college in the Cambridge College system. She is wearing a silver crucifix around her neck. Tara Thorpe is a reporter for a publication called Not Now. It is sometimes edgy and just skirts the bounds of propriety. Tara is a good journalist who does not appreciate the questionable aspects of the magazine, but it is a job. She was followed home one dark night and received a creepy doll with a noose around its neck through her letterbox. DI Blake goes to see Tara about her stalker/package though the letterbox. One look at the doll and he knows it is the same as the one Samantha received prior to her death. The police have a suspect, but don’t have enough information or evidence to arrest him. This is a good new series and I hope that Ms. Chase continues with it. The characters were interesting. The only problem I had with the story was sending a DI to interview Tara about the doll and the threatening note she received. Would a DI really do that? Wouldn’t it have been assigned to someone lower in rank? The book is well written, with only a few minor inconsistencies. I look forward to reading more about DI Blake and his team in the future. I want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for forwarding to me a copy of this good book to read, enjoy and review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    ‘Murder On The Marshes’ is billed as being ideal for fans of L. J. Ross, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis. I love all three authors and the books and so I was looking forward to starting ‘Murder On The Marshes’. I was not to be disappointed as I loved it but more about that in a bit. I did feel for the character of Tara Thorpe. She’s a journalist and at some point in her past she has had a traumatic experience which still affects her to this day. She lives a distance away from other houses but she is q ‘Murder On The Marshes’ is billed as being ideal for fans of L. J. Ross, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis. I love all three authors and the books and so I was looking forward to starting ‘Murder On The Marshes’. I was not to be disappointed as I loved it but more about that in a bit. I did feel for the character of Tara Thorpe. She’s a journalist and at some point in her past she has had a traumatic experience which still affects her to this day. She lives a distance away from other houses but she is quite happy with her own company. Tara is tasked with finding out more about Samantha Seabrook, who was murdered by persons unknown. There are similarities between Samantha’s case and Tara’s own case. Tara feels threatened again and so she goes around her house leaving little booby traps to alert her to an intruder if one tries to get into her house. Tara receives a distressing doll, which she perceives to be a threat to her life. Samantha Seabrook also received such a doll prior to her murder. It’s this that brings her into contact with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake. Tara and DI Gerstin Blake work together to try to apprehend the murderer before any further lives are lost. Will they succeed? Well you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you. Oh my days, ‘Murder On The Marshes’ was certainly a read and a half. The author’s writing style is such that you can’t fail to be drawn into the story and before you realise it you have become addicted to the book. The author uses such powerful and vivid descriptions that I could literally imagine the action taking place in front of me. The characters are so well described that they seemed real to me and they seemed to come alive. The more I got into this book, the more I read and the quicker the pages were turning. I was so into the story, the case and the characters that I didn’t realise just how quickly the pages were turning. Before I realised what was happening I had cleated over 40%. It didn’t take me long to finish the story and when I closed the back cover so to speak I felt disappointed in the sense that I was enjoying the book so much that I just wanted it to continue on and on. For me ‘Murder On The Marshes’ is a real ‘CPID’ (can’t put it down book). My Kindle wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. Reading ‘Murder On The Marshes’ was much like riding on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with no idea in which direction the story will take you next. On more than one occasion I smugly thought that I had fathomed out who had committed the murder and why, only to realise that I had the wrong end of the stick entirely and it was actually somebody else. I also loved the setting of Cambridge for this series and in time, Cambridge will become just as notorious as Midsomer (‘Midsomer Murders). I for one can’t wait until this happens. In short I loved reading ‘Murder On The Marshes’ and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Fortunately I don’t have too long to wait because the next book in the series ‘Death On The River’ is due to be released on 17th October 2018. I can’t wait to read it. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a well deserved 5* out of 5*.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Renita D'Silva

    Wow what a book! I love this author's writing and with this book she has surpassed all expectations, setting the standard exceptionally high! One of the best mysteries I have read! Loved it from start to finish and couldn't put it down! A masterpiece! Plotting perfection! The writing is brilliant and flows off the page, the characters stay with you. A thoroughly satisfying, absolutely stunning book! I cannot wait to read more by this amazing author! Wow what a book! I love this author's writing and with this book she has surpassed all expectations, setting the standard exceptionally high! One of the best mysteries I have read! Loved it from start to finish and couldn't put it down! A masterpiece! Plotting perfection! The writing is brilliant and flows off the page, the characters stay with you. A thoroughly satisfying, absolutely stunning book! I cannot wait to read more by this amazing author!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Els

    Money might not give you everything you crave the most, but it sure helps you finding your way in the world. This does not necessarily mean a happy ending, does it ... What I love about this kind of books is that you can awaken your inner cop and try and solve the mystery. Little by little, with the help of each interview, the case becomes clearer. I had to conclude,once again, that I would make a lousy DI ... That means praise to the author for keeping the culprit hidden until the end. The point Money might not give you everything you crave the most, but it sure helps you finding your way in the world. This does not necessarily mean a happy ending, does it ... What I love about this kind of books is that you can awaken your inner cop and try and solve the mystery. Little by little, with the help of each interview, the case becomes clearer. I had to conclude,once again, that I would make a lousy DI ... That means praise to the author for keeping the culprit hidden until the end. The point of view was refreshing. The police and a journalist investigating the same case and revealing different kinds of information using different techniques. It's up to the police though to put one and one together but they seem to come up with three. When, finally, all the pieces fit together, it's all hands on deck ... The story is fluently written and slow paced in the beginning, but you are swept up by a whirlwind towards the end. I am looking forward to a sequel. Thank you, Clare Chase, Bookouture and Netgalley. https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital galley of this novel. This story, set in the environs of the colleges of the University of Cambridge, started out as a classic locked room mystery with a twist: instead of a room we are dealing with a garden. According to the information recorded with the key card codes nobody entered the locked garden gate after it was closed at 5:30 p.m. So how did a murder occur there after midnight? The police discover that an object was sent to the murder v Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital galley of this novel. This story, set in the environs of the colleges of the University of Cambridge, started out as a classic locked room mystery with a twist: instead of a room we are dealing with a garden. According to the information recorded with the key card codes nobody entered the locked garden gate after it was closed at 5:30 p.m. So how did a murder occur there after midnight? The police discover that an object was sent to the murder victim as well as to a journalist. There doesn't appear to be any connection between the two women but the police decide to allow the journalist to gather research information on Professor Samantha Seabrook. Tara Thorpe doesn't know what the object she received means but she knows she needs to find out everything she can about the murder victim. I enjoyed reading this novel which approached the crime from two directions at the same time. The information uncovered by the police and the journalist was slightly different but nicely filled out the picture of the victim and others involved in the investigation. Having Tara Thorpe already skittish because of an extremely unpleasant incident in her past added another level of suspense to the story. The ending to this story leaves the crime solved but Tara's future occupation up in the air.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    I now have another procedural investigative series to follow. MotM was a whip-smart read that had a good many surprises and twists. I won't be spoiling but I found the reveal of the murderer well done and while they were one I had briefly suspected and discarded, it all made sense in the denouement. Oxford is as much a character here as the others and that was also a high point for me. I cared a lot about Tara and her story and given the ending, look forward to what's next for her as it seems he I now have another procedural investigative series to follow. MotM was a whip-smart read that had a good many surprises and twists. I won't be spoiling but I found the reveal of the murderer well done and while they were one I had briefly suspected and discarded, it all made sense in the denouement. Oxford is as much a character here as the others and that was also a high point for me. I cared a lot about Tara and her story and given the ending, look forward to what's next for her as it seems her past still isn't quite settled. Blake was a very good investigator and I look forward to perhaps following him on another case. I accept that I'm awful for hoping that reconciliation with his wife doesn't work out. I'd definitely recommend this to fans of procedural mysteries. It was like an Inspector Morse & Midsomer layer cake with Christie for the frosting. I'm awaiting my next slice. Thanks to publisher Bookouture for the advance reader's copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in the novel There’s a lot going on at this Cambridgeshire college! Not since Inspector Morse have I read of such goings on. This is going to be a new gripping series of mysteries and subplots I think.Great characters already - I liked Tara from the off. Think she should move from that common though - and parking the car in Garlic Lane was apt when she kicked up a stink afterwards! It goes to show that what happens in our pasts can have serious repercussions and come back to h Visit the locations in the novel There’s a lot going on at this Cambridgeshire college! Not since Inspector Morse have I read of such goings on. This is going to be a new gripping series of mysteries and subplots I think.Great characters already - I liked Tara from the off. Think she should move from that common though - and parking the car in Garlic Lane was apt when she kicked up a stink afterwards! It goes to show that what happens in our pasts can have serious repercussions and come back to haunt us. There was depth to this novel which I liked and even after only a few chapters, it had built up nicely to a point where it felt like an series I’d read a few episodes of already. I’m excited by this. I think we need a new series of mysteries and murders in Cambridge and the fens..yes the fens. They fascinate me as I spent countless summer holidays there when younger. They haunt the novel and the difference between them and the city, the city and those who live and work there.....ooh yes, I liked this one!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really enjoyed this book and the main characters. It was a good start to a new series. And I always like strong female characters. I did figure out the killer about three quarters through. But I didn't guess all the details so it made for a nice ending. Got my heart thumping a bit! Solid four stars for me. I really enjoyed this book and the main characters. It was a good start to a new series. And I always like strong female characters. I did figure out the killer about three quarters through. But I didn't guess all the details so it made for a nice ending. Got my heart thumping a bit! Solid four stars for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Roden

    Well plotted, and a darned good read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

    Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review. Murder on the Marshes is a fast read that pulled me in right from the beginning. The action is written so there's plenty of it to move the story forward, but not so much to be over the top ridiculous. In general I enjoyed the writing style. The color descriptions and imagery are wonderful. They paint quite a picture. I also really liked the setting. Many of the main characters are college Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review. Murder on the Marshes is a fast read that pulled me in right from the beginning. The action is written so there's plenty of it to move the story forward, but not so much to be over the top ridiculous. In general I enjoyed the writing style. The color descriptions and imagery are wonderful. They paint quite a picture. I also really liked the setting. Many of the main characters are college professors, so it's set on and near a college campus. There's something about getting a behind the scenes look at college life through the eyes of the professors. Maybe it's just me, but these types of books are really appealing. I could read an entire book about this alone, completely taking out the murder mystery aspect. Although that was intriguing as well and gave the plot structure. I would recommend the book for the great writing, college professor characters, and also the mystery.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Cozy, and clearly the beginning of a good series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I began reading Murder on the Marshes yesterday and literally couldn't put it down!! This was an excellent thriller with well developed characters and great twists!! From the first page until the end, Murder on the Marshes is a great ride of mystery, suspense and murder. First, I'd like to thank Netgalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase (the author) for allowing me to have this ARC. **spoilers** Tara Thorpe is a journalist who has a history of being stalked from when she was a teenager. 20 years later I began reading Murder on the Marshes yesterday and literally couldn't put it down!! This was an excellent thriller with well developed characters and great twists!! From the first page until the end, Murder on the Marshes is a great ride of mystery, suspense and murder. First, I'd like to thank Netgalley, Bookouture, and Clare Chase (the author) for allowing me to have this ARC. **spoilers** Tara Thorpe is a journalist who has a history of being stalked from when she was a teenager. 20 years later, she's living alone in a little cottage by the river. One late night, she sees someone watching her from the shadows, as she runs to her house, the person seems to give chase. She rushes into her house and notices an envelope on her mat. She opens it to discover a very threatening message and she knows this is something serious. She contacts the police and awaits their arrival. She gets a phone call from her boss who wants her to cover a new murder victim...who just so happened to be killed the night she was being watched. Soon, the police are in contact and she learns this victim was a professor and she received the same threat also. Blake and Emma are assigned the murder case and Blake is immediately in contact with Tara. Terrified, Tara knows she has to do a good job digging around to make sure she's not the next victim. Along the way, there are many people she meets who could definitely have had a motive to kill the professor. Tara and Blake form a working pact to help each other solve this murder...and then another woman winds up dead. Time is running out for her story, will she be the third victim? Excellent thriller and crime read!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Between The Pages (Gemma M)

    What a great start to a new upcoming series that I looking forward to reading! Hello DI Garstin and hello Tara. Tara takes her career very seriously but with her life at risk will she be able to cope and keep going? Cleverly written, fast paced and easy to read! Murder on the Marshes kicks off this series brilliantly introducing the characters and setting. A real who dunnit with plenty of twists and turns for the reader to endure. I enjoy reading this one and I look forward to book two already! A What a great start to a new upcoming series that I looking forward to reading! Hello DI Garstin and hello Tara. Tara takes her career very seriously but with her life at risk will she be able to cope and keep going? Cleverly written, fast paced and easy to read! Murder on the Marshes kicks off this series brilliantly introducing the characters and setting. A real who dunnit with plenty of twists and turns for the reader to endure. I enjoy reading this one and I look forward to book two already! A well deserved four stars and highly recommend!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie Morris

    I have always been intrigued by books set in the exclusive university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, especially detective books, and especially ones that provide a glimpse into the exclusive and archaic world of the elite universities that most of us never get to see. My love was initially sparked by the brilliant novel Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers and prevailed through my abiding devotion to the great Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter. I think I have found another fabulous series to a I have always been intrigued by books set in the exclusive university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, especially detective books, and especially ones that provide a glimpse into the exclusive and archaic world of the elite universities that most of us never get to see. My love was initially sparked by the brilliant novel Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers and prevailed through my abiding devotion to the great Inspector Morse novels by Colin Dexter. I think I have found another fabulous series to add to my favourites if this book is anything to go by. Murder on the Marshes is the first in a new crime series set in Cambridge and I absolutely loved this book. I have read it cover to cover in less than a day and I cannot wait to get my sticky mitts on the second book. The central character in the book is Tara Thorpe, a journalist working for a sensationalist online paper. When a successful, young, glamorous and attention-seeking professor from the university is found murdered on college grounds, Tara is tasked with getting the in-depth story. She has an added interest in finding out who might have killed Samantha Seabrook, as it seems the same killer may have Tara in his sights. This book grabbed me by the throat from the opening chapter and refused to let go until the very end. It has absolutely everything connoisseurs of the classic crime novel could want and I am seriously excited to have discovered this great new writer. The story was a fantastic puzzle, filled with twists, turns, red herrings, esoteric clues, dubious characters, tensions, rivalries, all set against the beautiful backdrop of Cambridge and the menacing emptiness of the surrounding Cambridgeshire fens. The author uses the setting and landscape to great effect in the book and it really ramped up the atmosphere. I loved the way she made the flat emptiness of the fens feel claustrophobic, as this is something I have felt myself when visiting that area. As well as having a great setting and plot, the characters in this book are most appealing and really make the book the compelling read it is. Tara Thorpe, who has a difficult and unresolved past, is very likeable and is a great character to carry the series. I was really involved in her family history and her moral dilemmas and personal struggles and enjoyed the way that the author has left certain issues open to be developed and resolved in future books while at the same time giving this novel a satisfying conclusion, it is very neatly balanced. DI Garstin Blake is also a complex and interesting character and a nice foil for Tara and I really hope that we see more of him in future books and that their relationship develops further. I have nothing negative to say about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was an accomplished crime novel and I really look forward to reading the next one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mandie

    Murder on the Marshes introduces us to journalist Tara Thorpe and DI Garstin Blake. Tara arrives home to find that she has been sent a package that contains a small doll with a noose round its neck and a note stating “This is a warning”. With her past history the first thing she does is contact the police. When a Cambridge professor is found strangled, initial investigations uncover that she too was sent a similar doll. When the professors assistant is also murdered the race is on to find the ki Murder on the Marshes introduces us to journalist Tara Thorpe and DI Garstin Blake. Tara arrives home to find that she has been sent a package that contains a small doll with a noose round its neck and a note stating “This is a warning”. With her past history the first thing she does is contact the police. When a Cambridge professor is found strangled, initial investigations uncover that she too was sent a similar doll. When the professors assistant is also murdered the race is on to find the killer and find out what links the murder victims to Tara. Tara has been tasked by her editor to write a story about Professor Samantha Seabrook only he is not aware that there is something that may connect them. Her investigations into the story means that she keeps coming in contact with DI Blake who seems to have a bit of a soft spot for Tara and is genuinely concerned for her safety. Tara has quite a way about her and manages to get all the people in Samantha’s life to open up to her. Despite having to constantly look over her shoulder she is determined to find the real Samantha. The more she investigates the more she finds that the professor may not have been quite the stand-up citizen she appeared to be on the surface. There was certainly no love lost between her and some of her colleagues. DI Blake is dealing with his own issues at home and is sometimes distracted by this but he is determined to catch the killer. He finds that by sharing some information with Tara, she in turn shares bits of information with him that gives him slight insights into potential suspects and their motives. I am not sure however that he really likes the fact that sometimes Tara seems to be one step ahead of the police when it comes to gaining information. I am not naturally a gushy person but I have to say that I loved this book. The two main characters work well together despite being in professions that would normally rub each other up the wrong way. The setting in and around Cambridge gives the author plenty to play with when setting the scene for Tara and her stalker. With so many potential suspects the reader will be kept guessing to the end who murdered Samantha Seabrook and why. This is certainly a fantastic start to the series and I can’t wait to see what awaits Tara in the next book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Professor Samantha Seabrook —intelligent, gifted, and wealthy—is found murdered behind the locked gate of a small garden with a fountain. Detective Inspector Garstin Blake is assigned the case as well as the case of finding the individual who is threatening investigative reporter Tara Thorpe, who has received threats very much like the ones she received several years earlier which the police was unable to find the perpetrator. At the same time, she is given the assignment of writing the story ab Professor Samantha Seabrook —intelligent, gifted, and wealthy—is found murdered behind the locked gate of a small garden with a fountain. Detective Inspector Garstin Blake is assigned the case as well as the case of finding the individual who is threatening investigative reporter Tara Thorpe, who has received threats very much like the ones she received several years earlier which the police was unable to find the perpetrator. At the same time, she is given the assignment of writing the story about Dr. Seabrook for her employer, Not Now. It doesn’t take Blake long to figure out both Seabrook and Thorpe were threatened by the same individual. Tara agrees to share what she finds with Blake as they both begin their investigations of Seabrook’s murder. Chase develops her story slowly, but never misses a step as she shows both main characters going about their business of interviewing people who knew Seabrook. Slowly, we learn that Seabrook, while successful and charismatic, was not a particularly nice person and there were many reasons why someone might want her dead. What neither Blake nor Thorpe can figure out is why someone is stalking Thorpe. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing, including the plotting, the lack of editorial gaffes, and the ending. This is an outstanding mystery on so many levels. Chase takes her time developing the characters and the mystery. Her characters are not mind readers so they quickly become baffled and each new piece of evidence discovered merely adds to having to discover who hated the professor enough to kill her. Slowly, but surely, Chase reveals bits and pieces. The reader quickly learns to not ignore anything Tara and Blake find no matter how inconsequently it might be Eventually, both Tara and Garstin figure out the who the killer was, but not before his murderous spree results in another murder. The two main characters are strong, intelligent, and good at their jobs. An added bonus is that Cambridge is so well described as to having the reader feel like they are on its streets as the characters go about their business.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shell Baker

    I was super excited to hear that Clare Chase is back with a new murder mystery series.... having been a fan of her writing for the last couple of years and reading Clare's previous books I couldn't wait to get stuck into Murder on The Marshes and meet Tara Thorpe. I am pleased to say that the author doesn't disappoint this is without a doubt her best book to date....I was hooked from start to finish. Clare does a brilliant job of setting the scene in Cambridge where we follow Tara and Detective I was super excited to hear that Clare Chase is back with a new murder mystery series.... having been a fan of her writing for the last couple of years and reading Clare's previous books I couldn't wait to get stuck into Murder on The Marshes and meet Tara Thorpe. I am pleased to say that the author doesn't disappoint this is without a doubt her best book to date....I was hooked from start to finish. Clare does a brilliant job of setting the scene in Cambridge where we follow Tara and Detective Inspector Garstin Blake on a case to track the killer down after the body of Samantha Seabrook is found downed. I love Clare’s style of writing, which is atmospheric and beautifully written. She really makes me feel like I am in the story with her stunning descriptions. After reading this visiting Cambridge is definitely on my bucket list. This story is what I call an easy read that moves at a steady pace.and reminds me of Agatha Christie.Grabbing me straight from the starts Clare builds up the suspense dropping clues out to build the pieces of the jigsaw, which will keep you guessing until the very end. Tara and Garstin make a brilliant team and I am looking forward to getting to know them more in the next story. I have a feeling this is going to be one hell of a series. Murder on the Marsh is a perfect gripping who-dunnit story, fans of LR Ross will love it.... Which I highly recommend giving it 4,5 stars Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me to take part in this fab tour.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Callie

    Description builds reader up for a disappointment Interestingly the description was far more intriguing than the actual writing, which turned out to be a let-down after the first line of the description saying how the book is: "unputabledown" - what kind of word is that anyway? The writing is slow and at times includes a lot of miscellaneous unnecessary filler... It's one of those books where you pick it up read for little bit, then put it down to later pick it up for little, only to put it down Description builds reader up for a disappointment Interestingly the description was far more intriguing than the actual writing, which turned out to be a let-down after the first line of the description saying how the book is: "unputabledown" - what kind of word is that anyway? The writing is slow and at times includes a lot of miscellaneous unnecessary filler... It's one of those books where you pick it up read for little bit, then put it down to later pick it up for little, only to put it down for longer than the last time, and a becomes a pattern of leaving it down more often than reading it...if all the tedium is trying to be a distraction from figuring out the killer, it works better as a 'killer of reader interest'. The last 10 percent was more interesting than the first 90 percent, and yet even that fell flat about 5 percent into it! The killer completely tells the story...all the parts the detective and writer couldn't decipher. Either bad investigative skills or bad writing if the whole story had to be restated so the reader knew what happened... Is the author implying her readers are not smart enough to figure things out, or that she wrote a story so open ended/details missing that she had to clarify for the reader via the culprit??? The squashing of romance (that won't pan out) ... suggestive comments and body language followed by "oh, I'm not with my spouse, but we're going to give it another go" was a weak attempt at making this fit the cozy mystery / romance genre... Eh, romance doesn't really bring all that much to a mystery anyway. But this failed attempt to touch on it was laughable. Not sure I want to read the follow-up stories...maybe if I put enough time between reads I'll give it a go.... not horrible, but just not that great.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    Having read and thoroughly enjoyed this author's first three books published by ChocLit, I was quite intrigued to see what she could deliver next, now she has signed with Bookouture for this, her new series. Well, the verdict is in and, yup loved this one too! In this book, set in Cambridge, we follow an investigation from two very different sides. On one we have DI Garstin (great name) Blake, the other journalist Tara Thorpe. I found this to be quite novel in delivery and very well executed. Wo Having read and thoroughly enjoyed this author's first three books published by ChocLit, I was quite intrigued to see what she could deliver next, now she has signed with Bookouture for this, her new series. Well, the verdict is in and, yup loved this one too! In this book, set in Cambridge, we follow an investigation from two very different sides. On one we have DI Garstin (great name) Blake, the other journalist Tara Thorpe. I found this to be quite novel in delivery and very well executed. Working together, but not together, sharing information, mostly one way, chalk and cheese professionally and, on the whole, personally, they just complemented each other brilliantly! But, I get ahead of myself. The book opens with a murder. Professor Samantha Seabrook's to be precise. Found drowned in a college fountain with few clues as to who or why. Blake is assigned the case at the same time as Tara is assigned, by the magazine she works for, to write about Samantha's life following her death. There's another connection but I will leave that out of my review (spoilers). We then follow Blake and Tara as they interview much the same people but for very different reasons, obviously. Samantha is all about information for her article whereas Blake wants to find her killer. They have different questions and indeed methods for extracting information. Gradually they both build a picture of Samantha that leads to many suspects. Seems she had a bit of a knack for rubbing people up the wrong way. It's then a case of whittling them down to figure out who and, more interestingly, why? Well... I have to say that, at about 3/4 through this book I had completely no idea which one of our suspects was the perpetrator. I'm not usually a fan of comparing but, it reminded me so much of certain episodes of Midsomer Murders or Lewis, both of which I love, so the fact that I had a big pool of suspects but no clue actually felt quite comfortable and familiar. To be honest, it was a very unusual position for me to be in considering I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out before the reveal. Made for a refreshing change indeed. It also helped that I really connected with both Tara and Blake right from the off. Tara has a bit of a past which explains the way she behaves in this story. She has got where she is today both with her own guts and determination but also with a little help from family. Something that doesn't always sit right with some. Samantha also had a bit of a leg up so there is that knowing affinity between them that adds another layer to our puzzle. Blake is a bit of a typical cop, he has a broken marriage but not much more is given about his personal life. Together they rub along quite well. Obviously they have the usual spats between journalist and cop re sharing and divulging information but, on the whole, they muddle through. Pacing is perfect and with no superfluous padding, the story got on with itself very well. There were action scenes, others which built up suspense very well, as well as the slower, more cerebral investigative side of things. All of which built up to expose the complete picture which left our characters with the rather exciting showdown. By that time, I had mostly worked out the who, but the complete why was still elusive. All in all, a great opener to what looks like being a very promising series. One which I am very excited to see develop. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lillian Cummings

    Children can be so cruel. Tara can't believe that someone is stalking her again, she went through so much before and she is prepared but still very scared. And now her boss wants her to write a piece on the professor that was found murdered and find out about her life. DI Blake knows there is more to this case but they don't have much to go on as yet and so when he meets Tara he decides that they should share information. Can they really work together to find the killer? What Tara learns about t Children can be so cruel. Tara can't believe that someone is stalking her again, she went through so much before and she is prepared but still very scared. And now her boss wants her to write a piece on the professor that was found murdered and find out about her life. DI Blake knows there is more to this case but they don't have much to go on as yet and so when he meets Tara he decides that they should share information. Can they really work together to find the killer? What Tara learns about the murdered woman Samantha Seabrook is that she was brilliant, harsh and a never one not to speak her mind. But who wanted her dead? Her pool of friends is very small and her fellow professors had different opinions about her and anyone of them could be the killer. But Tara has bigger problems to worry about she is still been followed and they think that the same person that killed Samantha is warning her off but Tara wants to find out the truth. Blake is trying to figure out who the killer is now that a second victim has been found and it has to be someone from the college. But who and why? The killer has been giving them clues but they keep on missing them and will Blake be able to find them out before Tara is killed? But will Tara be able to get out of this alive and will Blake find her in time? A good read. I like Blake as he is trying to put his life back together and he still carries on regardless. Would have liked to meet Kemp he sounds like a dark horse. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley & the publishing house in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Rae)

    It was really interesting to see the story play out especially from both a journalist and detective's perspective. It gave this story an added edge as people reacted differently to the two people asking the questions. Although to be honest this could be down to Tara and her ability to put people at ease. Both Blake and Tara were intriguing characters especially Tara who has a few secrets of her own from her past. You could feel Tara's fears and worries over the threats she receives, something th It was really interesting to see the story play out especially from both a journalist and detective's perspective. It gave this story an added edge as people reacted differently to the two people asking the questions. Although to be honest this could be down to Tara and her ability to put people at ease. Both Blake and Tara were intriguing characters especially Tara who has a few secrets of her own from her past. You could feel Tara's fears and worries over the threats she receives, something that is just lurking out of sight waiting to step out. I was never sure what would happen next which made this story all the more intriguing. I thought Clare Chase gave the right bits of information at the right time making sure that there was still tension there to keep me invested along with keeping me on my toes. I was intrigued not only with Tara's life but also Samantha as her life is slowly unravelled by Blake and Tara. Making sure I couldn't get a handle on who could be behind it all, it was like a giant puzzle just waiting for that last piece to fit! In a way the setting is a key player in this story as it is described in a way to make you feel as if you are right there. It is a seemingly peaceful place but with some flawed characters and one in particular who you wouldn't want to cross. The pace is pretty steady throughout although not necessarily always moving at a fast speed. However this gives the reader chance to digest what they have read along with getting a feel for Tara and Blake's characters. Which is perfect as this is the start of a new series and I'm already looking forward to seeing what is in store for them in the nest book. Tense at times and unpredictable! With thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for my copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linniegayl

    I quite liked this first entry in the Tara Thorpe mystery series set in Cambridge. During this first book, Tara is working as a journalist for a sleezy publication. When a professor at Cambridge is murdered, Tara is given the assignment to write a feature about the professor. As Tara begins interviewing everyone involved with the professor's life, she meets local Detective Inspector Garstin Blake. Tara is being followed and threatened, with a clear link to the murder, complicating her relationsh I quite liked this first entry in the Tara Thorpe mystery series set in Cambridge. During this first book, Tara is working as a journalist for a sleezy publication. When a professor at Cambridge is murdered, Tara is given the assignment to write a feature about the professor. As Tara begins interviewing everyone involved with the professor's life, she meets local Detective Inspector Garstin Blake. Tara is being followed and threatened, with a clear link to the murder, complicating her relationship with the police. The chapters alternate between Tara and Blake's perspective, which gives an insight into what the police know and what Tara knows. Both Tara and Blake are troubled, with complicated pasts. While there's clearly a spark between the two, Blake is separated from his wife and young daughter, and is trying to decide if he should give the marriage another try. The murder(s) were interesting, with a lot of potential suspects. I will definitely pick up the second in the series at some point. I would give this a B so four stars here.

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