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A snow-covered cottage is nestled in the hills, all ready for Christmas… but inside a body lies dead upon the floor.

Melissa Craig is enjoying her first winter in the Cotswolds, taking brisk walks through the snowy fields and basking in the winter sunshine. The only thing Melissa is plotting is her Christmas shopping.

But after the unexpected death of local writer Leonora Jewell, Melissa is asked to complete Leonora’s final book. However, on her first visit to the cottage, she finds a gruesome object overlooked by the police: a metal bar covered with dried blood.

Terrified, Melissa rushes to the nearest telephone box to call the police. But by the time they reach Leonora’s cottage, the murder weapon has mysteriously vanished.

With no murder weapon, the detective in charge of the case scoffs at Melissa’s suspicions. Furious and frustrated, Melissa focuses on finishing Leonora’s novel. But as she reads Leonora’s notes for the book, she starts to wonder… did Leonora accidentally plot out her own murder?

As Melissa does some investigating of her own, she uncovers some pretty suspicious local characters. But with the police unwilling to help, can Melissa solve this vicious crime alone? By hook, by crook, or by the book, Melissa must find the killers before they strike again…

If you adore Faith Martin, Joy Ellis and P.D. James, you’re in for a treat with this unputdownable mystery novel!

This book was previously published as Deadly Legacy.

What readers are saying about Betty Rowlands:

‘An absolutely addictive, wonderful story. Loved it from start to finish. Great pace and a delightful setting, colourful characters and thrilling mystery. This was a brilliant story and I cannot wait for more!’ Renita D’Silva, author of The Forgotten Daughter, 5 stars

‘Perfect for lovers of COSY CRIME!... I loved this book… This is an easily read book but it will keep you on your toes.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘The quintessential cosy mystery… the storyline is fast-paced and engaging… builds to an adrenaline fuelled ending, full of action and powerful imagery. An enjoyable, escapist read that I suspect may become my secret addiction.’ Jane Hunt’s Blog, 5 stars

‘An entertaining book… fluently written… In the same league as Agatha Christie.’ B for Book Review

‘An enjoyable read, with lots of twists and turns… the mystery is one that keeps you reading well into the night. I will certainly look out for more books in this series.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A lovely, peaceful and funny cozy mystery novel… plenty of very good laugh-out-loud moments… reminded me of Agatha Raisin... I’ll be definitely in the search of other books from this author in future. A perfect cozy mystery!’ Licence to Read, 5 stars

‘Absolutely charming!… A good old-fashioned who-dunnit with just the right amount of mystery, intrigue and humour. Would definitely recommend!’ Stardust Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘Captivated… very well-written… a terrific beginning to the series… a very quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed the danger and surprising twists in this story, as well as the unexpected humour.’ Robin Loves Reading

‘A gripping cozy mystery… encapsulated village life to a T!’ A Knight’s Reads

‘Absolutely perfect… very easy reading… Melissa Craig is such a good character… swept along for the ride… I am very much looking forward delving into the others – I can't wait!’ Broadbean’s Books