Review: The Murder Next Door by Sarah Bell

The question soon becomes not just ‘Who killed Mr Pearce?’ but also ‘Does that person deserve to hang for it?’


July 1912

Leeds, England

A man is found dead on his study floor and his now-missing wife is the obvious suspect. To their neighbour, Louisa Knight, it’s a shocking piece of news but nothing more. However, when she tells her ‘companion’ over breakfast, Ada Chapman nearly breaks their teapot and looks ready to run out the door.

For Ada watched Mrs Pearce leave from the window of her painting studio. A moment’s glance of a fearful face brings back old memories and gives her doubts.

As far as the more pragmatic Louisa is concerned, Ada’s determination to investigate is bound to lead them into trouble. Again. Yet Louisa’s curiosity cannot be denied, and as the pair delve deeper into their neighbour’s life what they uncover only clouds the issue further. The question soon becomes not just ‘Who killed Mr Pearce?’ but also ‘Does that person deserve to hang for it?’

Even if the couple can find the guilty party, will they be able to agree what should become of them?4

My thoughts

I love the team of Ada and Louisa! Sarah Bell has created a unique couple to solve mysteries together.

Get it free on Kindle Unlimited!3

Bell debuts this couple as having already solved a mystery or two and they are already romantically involved. The Murder Next Door mystery starts on the first page. The trail to truth is complicated and absorbing. Bell integrates period history into the tale as it affects many suspects.This unraveling of secrets is impactful and unfortunately very realistic.

Each step taken has an interesting impact on Ada and Louisa. Bell reveals their past and how they are navigating their present. Louisa is asexual and is only still understanding how it effects her, never mind her relationship with Louisa. Bell explores economic diversity, life experience, temperament, and the effects of having to hide their homosexuality on their relationship. Complex. Deep. Compelling.

This mix is perfectly balanced. I am not one to normally read historical fiction, but this couple is perfect in this time frame.

Sarah Bell has a new stalker because I love Ada and Louisa. I hope to see their origin story and many more mysteries starring them. I hope The Murder Next Door is just the beginning.

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Further Details:

Publisher: Self-Published, 9781527287192, 20 June 2021

Editor: Charlie Knight

Language: British English

Series: I hope so; Settings: 1912 Yorkshire, England

Pages: 382

SC: Black, Lesbian, Gay


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