The Milkwood Murder Series


The Puccini Connection
A Milkwood Murder Book 1
by Sam Bond
Genre: Cozy Murder Mystery

An idyllic English village, a lovable heroine, and a Puccini-inspired murder. Who knew opera could be so deadly?

British expat, Josie Monroe, returns to the idyllic village of Milkwood and finds herself chief suspect in a family murder. Surrounded by cricket greens, duck ponds and lies, Josie must discover the culprit if she wishes to return to the US and Lady Belle DeCorcy is just the pal to help her.

Josie is a down-to-earth, classical music-loving pianist. Belle is a flighty, beautiful and slightly unhinged debutante, making the two amateur sleuths an unlikely and comically inept, team. As if Josie doesn’t have enough problems, she is also dealing with the “Witches of Milkwood,” an elderly trio convinced that Josie is the murderer and that Belle is one sandwich short of a picnic.

Living with a cantankerous cat named Elgar and her aunt’s handsome, but seemingly untrustworthy, lodger, Josie is also coming to terms with resurging feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Detective Inspector Adam Ward. Luckily, tea and tenacity will see her through, even if every time Josie hears Puccini she risks discovering another body.

The Puccini Connection is a cozy English murder mystery with a classical music-loving amateur female sleuth in a picturesque English village with quirky, lovable characters and an extremely grumpy cat. No cliffhangers, gore, graphic violence, sex or overtly strong language.

I entered Plum Tree Cottage, not to the sound of Puccini, but to the sound of laughter — male laughter. I darted towards the kitchen. Which unsuspecting man had Finolla sunk her claws in today? I almost put my ear to the door, but to quote Finolla, “one should never listen at doors, especially if there’s a chance one’s going to get caught.”


Instead, I inched open the door and found Finolla in Adam’s arms and, if I wasn’t mistaken, they were doing the tango. I’ll be honest, I was speechless. Not so Finolla.


“Josie, darling, you’re back and just in time.”


“Just in time for what?” I could hear the petulance creep into my voice and, gosh darn it, I couldn’t do a blessed thing to stop it.


“To be my partner. Adam here is hopeless. Here, let’s show him how it’s done. I’ll lead, shall I?”


Before I had a chance to protest, Finolla pressed a switch on the CD player and Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango blasted across the toaster. Next thing I knew, Finolla had me in a vise grip, arms locked, toes pointed and was leading me across the floor towards the dustbin. Our faces were cheek to cheek and I took advantage of this.


“What the heck do you think you’re doing?”


“Oh darling, don’t tell me all those dance lessons were wasted?”


I heard a snigger. I was going to slap Adam Ward when I got out of this.


“Argentinian tango, darling. That summer in Buenos Aires with TomásBueno!”


“It was Joaquín,” I corrected, instinctively kicking my leg backward from the knee. “And I got hives from my polyester hot pants.”


Finolla dipped me and I hung on for dear life. “I’d forgotten that part. All that calamine lotion. The Pink Panther had nothing on you.”


“Yeah, it was hysterical,” I hissed.


Finolla broke away, letting me tumble to the floor. “Oh, Josie, was it really that bad? Remember the empanadas, the chimichurri, the Malbec?”


“Mum, I was thirteen.” Although, as a matter of fact, I did recall the Malbec — it had been superb.


A wedding. A Death. A visiting family member from outside the country. A musical piece that continues to bring back memories. The  Puccini Connection was a really good read.

Josie had returned to the UK to attend a wedding. She decides to make a stop at her aunt's home before continuing on with her holiday. Of course, when she arrives at the home of her aunt, she learns the aunt has just been murdered. Finger pointing, an unknown tenant, and a friend with a history of being 'unstable' make this story interesting.

The Unread Prophecy
A Milkwood Murder Book 2

It’s summer in Milkwood and life for piano-playing expat, Josie Monroe, is one picnic away from perfect.

When Josie’s newly discovered aunt is asked to participate at a local writing conference, Daisy jumps at the chance and ropes Josie in to help. A day in the idyllic Surrey countryside learning about love potions, lock picking and poisons — what could possibly go wrong?

However, when a bizarre murder occurs, events are set in motion that look likely to destroy the happiness of Josie’s new best friend, Belle DeCorcy.

Josie once again finds herself wellyboot deep in murder, mayhem and Maltesers. With Belle’s sanity hanging by the proverbial thread, Josie must discover the killer--or risk losing her best friend.

Join Josie, Belle, Daisy and the rest of the villagers of Milkwood for a romp through the British countryside in this delightful sequel to The Puccini Connection.

Set amongst the picturesque villages of Surrey, The Unread Prophecy is a cozy murder mystery featuring a classical music-loving amateur female sleuth, quirky, lovable characters, and the world’s grumpiest cat. No cliffhangers, gore, graphic violence, or overtly strong language.  


“Of course she stopped coming when she took up that diet,” continued Florence.

Reverend Greene had gone silent. His brow furrowed. “Are you referring to that dreadful Frogmorton woman?”

“Charles!” exclaimed Florence. “It is not kind to talk ill of the dead.”

“Really?” Reverend Greene’s fingers steepled together, as he strolled towards the north transept. “Not sure that’s in Corinthians, dear.”

Well there you go, it seemed Delia had even managed to exasperate the vicar. Why did that come as no surprise?

“She complained,” said Florence, joining me as I cut across to the south aisle. “About the sacrament. Insisted Charles use something that didn’t contain carbs.”

I almost choked. “Delia wanted the bread of life to be, erm….”

“Not bread,” finished Florence. “I think she may have suggested bacon.”

“Wasn’t Jesus Jewish?” I asked.

“Quite. It didn’t go over too well with the Parish council.”



The Unread Prophecy is a wonderful second book in the Milkwood Murder series. One usually expects a second book to be a bit of a bore, but this second book in the series is truly a great read. I am starting to really get to know the people of Milkwood, and I look forward to visiting them again soon!

You'll want to read the first book in the series The Puccini Connection to have the full blown experience of the book, but if you haven't read the first book, this second book is still a delight. Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and enjoy!

Sam Bond is the best-selling, award-winning author of The Cousins In Action series for middle grade readers and The Puccini Connection, the first book in the upcoming Milkwood Murder series.
Sam was raised in a small village in England before moving to the States twenty-five years ago. When not writing you can find Sam behind the lens of a camera, playing Chopin, or reading one of the many books suggested by the three book clubs she runs. Sam has also been known to make a half-decent shepherd's pie and lives in Austin, Texas with her two daughters and a dog named Sausage.

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  1. This book sounds amazing. I love all those characters with Personality! And the plotline is intriguing!

  2. I like the covers for their clean, crisp lines. An uncluttered cover really attracts me.

  3. Thanks for the great post. I hope toread more.

  4. I love cozy mysteries and these sound great. Love the covers.


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