A deceptively puzzling mystery that well-captures many familiar trappings of an old-fashioned British cozy, including a sleepy village, its requisite pub, and young lovers at odds with themselves.Madeline McEwen’s Tied Up With Strings (A Serebral...
When curmudgeonly private detective Betty Grape visits a young friend, who is housesitting in a remote village in England for Christmas vacation, something seems out of place. Her friend, Catia, is visibly nervous. Is she worried about the young men in the decrepit caravan in next door’s back garden? Or is Catia involved in the disappearance of the homeowner’s invalid wife?
As an American, Betty discovers the locals are full of friendly gossip but taciturn about solid facts. Though they are determined to keep Betty from butting in on their territory, she blunders through the social morass of narrow-minded foreigners and their broad Dorset accents. Can she unravel the tight knots of this mystery? Will she find the perpetrator under thickly thatched rooves or behind floral chintz curtains?
“To call TIED UP WITH STRINGS a ‘mystery’ in the conventional sense would be to do the story a disservice: while elements of investigation and mystery are here, they are only some of the facets of a story about relationships which are tied up in the trappings of English culture and American perceptions…Readers of fiction about British/American encounters will delight in a tale about carefully buried secrets that come alive to possibly endanger Catia in a story that sets its stage slowly and quietly, then injects unexpected twists and turns for a delightfully thought-provoking read.” —Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“McEwen transports the reader to an enchanting English village, complete with sinister characters, a nosy American and a problematic romance. A delightful read.” —Terry Shames, author of An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock
“Christmas in a quaint English village. Charmed, an American visitor steps inside the picture postcard—only to find the reality more twisted than she could have imagined. The reader is immediately immersed in the mystery as British author McEwen weaves her plot threads with knowledge and affection.” —Diana Chambers, author of Stinger
“TIED UP WITH STRINGS by Madeline McEwen is a deceptively puzzling mystery that well-captures many familiar trappings of an old-fashioned British cozy, including a sleepy village, its requisite pub, and young lovers at odds with themselves.” —Andrew MacRae, author of Murder Misdirected