Welcome to Mortiforde!
Mortiforde is a small, quiet market town, located somewhere along the Welsh Borders. Miles from motorways and big cities, rural communities like Mortiforde learn to look after themselves, because if something needs sorting, it’s down to them to sort it. Including the odd murder or two. Or three.
Aldermaston is the Eighth Marquess of Mortiforde, a role he inherited unexpectedly upon the sudden death of both his parents in a road traffic accident. Not unexpectedly because of the road accident, but unexpectedly because that’s when the family discovered Aldermaston’s older brother Basildon (who had expected to inherit the title) was actually his half-brother. Despite being the younger brother, as the Seventh Marquess of Mortiforde’s first-born, it was Aldermaston who inherited the title, the Tugford Hall estate … and the joys of being the local Lord of Manor.
Aldermaston’s having a bad day. A falling hanging-basket has killed the town’s mayor, and a second narrowly missed him. His wife wants him to build her new greenhouse in three days, and some nutter is sending him death threats.
This isn’t the quiet life he expected as the new Marquess of Mortiforde.
It’s the annual Borders in Blossom competition, and Mortiforde is battling with Portley Ridge in the final. But this is no parochial flower competition. The mayor’s mishap looks like murder, and there’s another body in the river. Someone desperately wants Portley Ridge to win for the fifteenth successive year.
So when a mysterious group of guerrilla gardeners suddenly carpet bomb Mortiforde with a series of stunning floral delights one night, a chain reaction of floral retaliation ensues.
Can Aldermaston survive long enough to uncover who is trying to kill him, and why? And can he get his wife’s greenhouse built in time?
Three butchers. Two deaths. One four-hundred-year-old grudge.
It’s Aldermaston’s first Food Festival as the Eighth Marquess of Mortiforde and it’s not going well. One butcher is missing. Another has been threatened. And the Vegetarian Society has been sent a meaty ultimatum.
Meanwhile, Lady Mortiforde desperately needs her husband to find some wild boar meat for her savoury pie entry into the festival’s Bake Off competition.
When the Council’s Chief Archivist disappears, along with the Food History Marquee’s star attraction, a seventeenth-century recipe book, Aldermaston has all the ingredients of a murder mystery that’s been marinating for over four hundred years.
Can he find the missing butchers before it’s too late? Will Lady Mortiforde avoid a soggy bottom in the Bake Off competition? And why do all the butchers take their pet pigs for a walk in the woods at night?