Saturday, April 5, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry

Please join me in welcoming Ann Purser to Debbie's Book Bag today. Ann is here promoting the latest book in her Ivy Beasley Mystery series, The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry. Enjoy her guest post, along with my review of her book and a giveaway!

“Roy!   Listen to this!   You know that woman who said she would help me with my memoirs?   Ann Purser was her name, I am sure.   Well, believe it or not, she has written several books about us.”

“Us?” said Roy.   “Are you sure?”

“Yes, look here in the computer.   I got here by accident, and here it is.   A blog, whatever that means.   And here, look!   She says she`s also written a lot of books about Lois Meade!   Wasn`t she that woman who lived over in Long Farnden and had something to do with me when I lived in Round Ringford?   Lois Meade.   And had a daughter who ran the village shop.   Well, if you ask me, I would say that`s a real cheek.    What shall we do about it?”

Roy sighed.   He was very happily enjoying married life with Ivy Beasley, and could do without a court case for plagiarism or similar.   

“Ivy, dear.   I expect it is a mistake, so I shouldn`t worry about it.   We have quite enough to do investigating our next assignment.”

“Well, there`s a lot here about Ann Purser, because she`s apparently written a book about that murder up at Blackwoods Farm.   It took quite a bit of solving that one.  It`d be interesting to know what she thinks of it.   I suppose this stuff here is what they call a plug?   Obviously one who likes the limelight, is Ann Purser.   I shall write to her, Roy, and give her a piece of my mind.   I might also get in touch with Lois Meade, and see if she feels the same as me.”

“Let me look.   Oh, yes, there`s a photo of her, peeling a lemon or an onion, or some such.   She looks quite nice and smiley, Ivy.    Why don`t we write to her and make a contact?   She could send us a blog or a pig in a fog.”

“Roy dear, you`re a poet and don`t know it!   Oh, and here`s something about her first series.   Not crime at all, but village stories.   Village called Round Ringford.   Hey! That’s where I used to live!   Born and bred there.   I let Deirdre persuade me to come and settle here in Suffolk.”

“Just think, Ivy, if it hadn`t been for lovely Deirdre, we might never have met, nor set up an enquiry agency called Enquire Within.    And now we are a foursome, with Augustus Halfhide.   
Goodness, how the time has flown since I met you, beloved!   Many a murder or crime we have solved, with the occasional help from Inspector Frobisher.

“Well, I can hear our gaoler banging the gong for tea.”

“But Ivy, listen to this.   She says the one person who has appeared in all three series is ….   Miss Ivy Beasley.   We must send her a message telling her you are now Mrs Ivy Goodman.   I think she might possibly be interested to hear that we crept off and got married in a registry office.   No fuss, no expense, but a night of torrid rumpy pumpy in a hotel.”

“Supposing she has other ideas?”

“We`ll refuse to appear in any more Ivy Beasley mysteries, that`s what.”

 “I suppose we had better look up her website.   Here, write it down:

Book Information:

The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry (Ivy Beasley Mystery - Book 5) by Ann Purser

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425261816
ISBN-13: 978-0425261811

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Ann Purser on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Ivy Beasley Mystery

1. The Hangman's Row Enquiry
2. The Measby Murder Enquiry
3. The Wild Wood Enquiry
4. The Sleeping Salesman Enquiry
5. The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.


Retiree Ivy Beasley, a college student? Interested in penning her memoirs, Ivy decides to take a creative writing course. But it’s hard to find time to put pen to paper when this current chapter is so full of lies, jealousy and murder… 
Rumors are flying around the village of Barrington about Mrs. Winchen Blatch, a reclusive widow living alone in her old farmhouse. In the past few weeks, the widow claims she has been tormented by ghostly visitations, so she hires Ivy and her fellow investigators at Enquire Within to get to the bottom of the mystery. Ivy’s new classes are very close to the widow’s farmhouse, perfect for combining studying and snooping…
With each new clue—a dark chamber, a smoking cigar and an amorous lodger—it becomes harder to separate fact from fiction. And when the ghost is revealed to be flesh and blood, the lonely widow may be in more trouble than Ivy and her team can handle…


Ann Purser's eccentric cozy heroine, Ivy Beasley is once again called in to solve a mystery. The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry is the fifth book in the Ivy Beasley series and involves some ghostly happenings. Ivy Beasley is not your typical cozy heroine, as she is in her golden years, studying for her degree and still solving crimes. Readers who have followed the series love Ivy's caustic wit and her sassy attitude. New readers will find the English setting quaint and irresistible. A great addition to the series!

What I liked:

As usual, Ivy is always a breath of fresh air. She is an amateur sleuth like no other. She's in her elder years but I think she or Ann Purser know it. She is still doing all the things much younger people are doing, including going to college and getting married. Ivy is dream character. She is full of wit and sass and isn't afraid to speak her mind. I love her English way of looking at things and I think Purser does an amazing job of letting Ivy be herself and do things her own way. Just an all around wonderful character.

In the latest addition the series, The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry, Ivy is mixing a bit of snooping in with her studying. The owner of Blackwoods Farm has been experiencing some unexplained things. It appears that ghosts may be afoot and Ivy and her gang from Enquire Within are called in to investigate. But things aren't exactly what they appear and Ivy quickly finds herself in hot water. I liked the paranormal touch that Purser adds to this book. It gives it an eerie sort of feeling to mix with the very English tone of the book.

I love the way that Purser always gives the books in this series a very English feel. The atmosphere is present on every page and in this one, it is extremely apparent that these characters are not in Kansas. From the way Ivy talks and expresses herself to the descriptions of the place and times, Purser knows exactly how to set her scene. 

The mystery aspects of the book were written in a very concise and to the point method, much like Ivy herself. There were several suspects and motives and when it finally all winds down I think readers will be very surprised at how Ivy comes to her conclusions. The big reveal is definitely worth the build up. Purser does a great job of keeping the reader a little off kilter, so that they can't quite place who did it, until the end.

What I didn't like:

I missed all of the wedding hullabaloo from the last book and I wished that Roy had a played a bigger role in this mystery. I find him just as intriguing as Ivy, if not a little less abrasive. 

Bottom Line:

Ivy is back and better than ever. I enjoyed this one a lot and thought Purser was able to use the paranormal to add to the atmosphere of this book. New and old readers alike will love trying to figure out what Ivy will do next. A great addition to the series.

The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!  

About the Author:

Ann Purser is the national bestselling author of the Lois Meade Mysteries (Scandal at SixFound Guilty at FiveFoul Play at Four) and the Ivy Beasley Mysteries (The Sleeping Salesman EnquiryThe Wild Wood Enquiry,The Measby Murder EnquiryThe Hangman's Row Enquiry). She was born in Market Harborough in Leicestershire, and has lived most of her life in villages. She has turned her hand to many things, including journalism (as a columnist for SHE magazine), keeper of hens and donkeys, art gallery owner, clerical assistant in a village school, Open University graduate, novelist, mother of three, wife of Philip Purser, critic and writer. She is an avid reader of detective stories.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry by Ann Purser.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 19th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think of English cozies and how they differ from American cozies.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Kimberlee said...

I absolutely adore this series and cannot wait to read this one! i love British themed cozies because I am a true angliophile and just simply cannot get enough.


Angela - Bookaunt said...

I love both type of series but I am in love with all things Europe so if I had two to pick I would go with the British one.

Brooke Showalter said...

I don't think I've read an English cozy yet. I'm excited to look into this series, it sounds wonderful!

Carol M said...

I haven't read an English cozy but I would love to start with this one. It sounds really good!

skkorman said...

I've only recently started reading cozies so I don't know the difference, but I do know that I am loving them!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Rita Wray said...

I haven't read any English cozies yet but will have to because I love cozies. The book sounds like a good read.


Sue Farrell said...

Other than the setting, I think the 2 are very similar and enjoy both English and American cozies.

Carol N Wong said...

I have read some English cozies and enjoed them. Since I have friends in the U.K. I am always on the lookout for those set in the areas that they live!!! I haven't heard of this series before so I am delighted to be introduced to them.


Natasha said...

I don't think I have ever read any English cozies.
Thanks for the chance to win!

cyn209 said...

I've yet to start this series, but is excited about it!!!

I'm not sure what to expect from an English cozy, but cannot wait to find out if there's any difference between English & American cozies........

lag123 said...

I like English cozies because I always learn something about the culture.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Unknown said...

i have to say, i think english cozies are well done; you get to learn about an area of the world that you may never get to visit; the history is wonderful.

bn100 said...

not sure what the difference is