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Chapter One

Raven’s Edge after dark was an eerie place to be. The surrounding forest loomed closer, darker, nastier, and the cottages along the narrow high street huddled tighter together. When the air was cold and the sky was clear, a mist would curl in from the river and it was all too easy to see how a swirl of leaves could be spun into a tale of ghostly revenge, or the rattle of a slate falling from a roof be twisted into spectral hooves clattering over the cobblestones.

Milla Graham ran along the high street, ignoring the shadows that appeared to shift and twist behind her, and the echo of footsteps that might not have been hers. The moonlight had turned the wet paving stones to silver beneath her feet and effectively lit her way towards the path that led past the village pond, where (legend had it) the local witch had met her end over three hundred years ago.

Witch: A smart woman with a smart mouth.

Someone who didn’t follow the rules.

Someone who didn’t belong.

She’d always felt a great deal of empathy with that witch.

Far too pragmatic to believe in ghosts, she still hesitated before taking the path that led into the forest, switching on her phone torch as the ancient, gnarled branches closed over her head, blocking out the moonlight completely.

The further she walked, the narrower and darker the footpath became. It had been a hot, wet summer and the track was overgrown with ferns and nettles almost as tall as her. The only sound was that of her boots scrunching through fallen leaves and broken twigs. How long had it been since anyone had walked this way?

It was too late to realise she should have brought her car, but with its personalised number plate it was far too distinctive, and she had no wish for anyone in the village to guess she was up to no good.

Leaving it parked outside the house of an ex-lover definitely qualified as ‘up to no good’.

The important word to remember here was ‘ex’.

She was not betraying Ben. She loved Ben. He knew that. But, in the four months they’d been together, she still hadn’t got around to telling him there’d once been someone else.

Milla had met Lorcan in Glastonbury last summer. She’d given up trying to inveigle her way into the music festival and had been sulkily exploring the village. He’d been a bespectacled geek that someone was half-heartedly attempting to rob. She’d chucked a potted geranium at the would-be attacker – and missed, as usual: her aim was appalling – but the other man had taken fright and fled.

‘I need a stiff drink,’ the geek had said. ‘Can I get one for you?’

‘You can buy me a cola,’ she’d replied.

It wasn’t as though she had anything else to do.

So they’d gone to the pub and chatted for hours, until a flurry of notifications had made him pick up his phone and grimace.

‘Sorry,’ he’d sighed. ‘I’m supposed to be on stage in thirty minutes. They seem a bit upset that I’m not there already.’

‘Stage?’ She’d regarded him blankly. ‘You mean at the festival? You’re a musician?’

‘Didn’t I say?’


‘Ah... Well, I’m a musician and I’m supposed to be performing in thirty minutes, so my manager is sending a car for me. Would you like to come too? They give us extra tickets for family and friends, but I don’t have any family or friends, apart from my manager, and…’ Lorcan picked up his phone again and winced. ‘Yep, he’s really unhappy with me. I’ve got to go. Please say you’ll come too?’

She stared at him. What kind of person didn’t have family or friends?

A very lonely one, as it turned out.

She’d gone to the festival and had the best time ever, writing a series of articles about her experience and selling it to a now-defunct music magazine – launching a whole new career out of one good deed.

They’d dated for a few months, but they were better as friends. He’d returned to his house in Provence and she’d ended up here in Raven’s Edge, reuniting with her long-lost family and meeting Ben, whom she still hadn’t got around to telling about Lorcan.

She’d never told Lorcan about meeting Ben either, having a horrible feeling that neither man would approve of the other.

Hence this moonlit trek through a dark, allegedly haunted forest.

Honestly, sometimes she made things so difficult for herself.

A gruesome murder in charming Raven’s Edge sends Milla Graham sleuthing to catch a killer, win back her detective ex, and dig up a decades-old secret along the way...

When a shocking murder rocks the picture-perfect English village of Raven’s Edge, amateur detective Milla Graham finds herself right at the centre of the mystery. Still reeling from her recent breakup with local police officer Ben Taylor, Milla sets her sights on solving the case, hoping to win Ben back.

But when the evidence begins to point to Milla’s old friend and former boyfriend Lorcan Black, she must choose between her loyalties to the past and the possibilities of the future. Meanwhile, Ben is on a different trail – he’s begun to suspect that the murderer could be someone from his own family’s dark history.

Further complicating matters are Milla’s meddling grandmother, Ben’s no-nonsense police partner Harriet, and David the surprisingly young and sexy new vicar. With shocking twists around every cobblestone corner, the truth refuses to stay buried for long in this quaint village, whose picture-postcard façade hides decades of buried grudges, plots, and betrayal.

Will Milla solve the mystery in time to rescue her relationship with Ben? Can Ben face the skeletons in his family’s closet before one of his own relatives meets the same bloody end?

Murder at Ravenswood House

(An English Village Murder Mystery #2)

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