The House at Ettrick Bay by Myra Duffy

I have met Myra Duffy on several occasions and always enjoyed her company but somehow had never read any of her novels, so when my friend Chris gave me The House at Ettrick Bay as a gift, I was delighted to be able to put that right.

As expected the story is set in and around Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute. Bute, is an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom. It is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault. Formerly a constituent island of the larger County of Bute, it is now part of the council area of Argyll and Bute. It is a beautiful part of the world and the vivid descriptions do it justice.

The story is a cosy crime about a teacher, Susie, who inherits a large house on the island of Bute but as she is working in the USA her close friends, Alison and Simon agree to look over the property for her.

However, after several unexplained ‘accidents’ Alison realises someone is not happy Susie is the new owner of Ettrick House. An archaeological dig near the house leads to an unexpected discovery and it appears Susie is not the only claimant to Ettrick House. When the next ‘accident’ turns out to be murder, Alison knows she and Susie are in danger. Other people on the island have an interest in Ettrick House -and one of them is prepared to kill.

The House at Ettrick Bay falls nicely into the cosy crime category, It is quite tense in places and the voices of the different characters are well distinguished. So much so that I took an active dislike to Simon whom I found belittled Alison regularly. This is an excellent read and would suit book groups well as there are many issues that could make for lively discussion.

The Author

Myra Duffy started writing at a very early age, both fiction and non-fiction. She now concentrates on fiction and although she still writes short stories and poetry, prefers to focus on novels, mainly cosy crime. ‘When Old Ghosts Meet’ was published in 2009, ‘The House at Ettrick Bay’ in 2010 and ‘Last Ferry to Bute’ in 2011.

Val Penny

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