John Cleal, Crime Review
[…] ‘The Body on the Doorstep is a clever and gripping atmospheric page turner, with engaging and believable characters, plenty of twists and turns, nicely observed historical detail and touches of gentle humour.‘ […]
‘The characterisation throughout is superb. The artist JMW Turner makes an interesting and sympathetic appearance and even the minor players appear authentic and individual. The background is impeccably presented and the pace picks up as the story progresses. If the showdown owes more to Christie than Le Carre it is nonetheless in keeping with the overall tone of a quite brilliant and traditional period novel.’
Amy Etherington, The Bookbag
‘The Body on the Doorstep […] it’s a gripping, atmospheric page turner. From the opening pages you’re thrust in to the action and the mystery, and neither slow down throughout the course of the novel. Reverend Hardcastle’s discovery of the dying man sets off a continuous chain of events, leading to yet more murder and endless corruption in the small village of St Mary in the Marsh and it makes for a very enjoyable read. […]
Every character in this book has a purpose and there is a reason for every one of them to be in the story, which I find is a rare thing to come across in most fiction but it only emphasises how well the story is planned out and executed. […]
The plot itself is extremely clever, with numerous twists and turns that kept me constantly guessing right up until the final few pages.’
Tracey Warr, Historical Novel Society
‘An enjoyable murder mystery with engaging characters, nicely observed historical detail and gentle humour.[…]
Each and every melodramatic stop is pulled out in this old fashioned murder mystery that promises to be the first in a series featuring Hardcastle and Chaytor.‘
Shirley Blair, The People’s Friend
‘It lived up to the blurb’s promise. It’s a cracking adventure and I whizzed through it – a real page-turner. I loved the characters, for me the most important aspect of any piece of fiction. But they have to be supported by tight plot-structure and scene setting, and this does all of that. The language is just right, reflecting and capturing the period, but without becoming impenetrable. The interplay between Hardcastle and the ingenious Mrs Chaytor is lively and engaging, and I genuinely look forward to meeting them again in A.J. Mackenzie’s next Romney Marsh mystery.‘
Carole’s Book Corner
‘This was a complex, but not complicated, story about smugglers, treason, traitors and spies …….. in a village fearful that the French would invade the country at any time.
Full of colourful characters, my favourite of whom was the Reverend Hardcastle who was a whole lot cleverer than his villagers thought he was; he spoke plainly, offending most people apart from the fascinating Amelia Chaytor who knew her own mind.
A well plotted, well written story that I very much enjoyed and eagerly look forward to the further adventures of Hardcastle and Chaytor!’