Thursday 8 June 2023

Read in 2023 - 10, 15: Cold Comfort / Murder on the Oxford Canal

You already know that I often come across free ebooks as starters of a series, meant to induce readers to become interested enough to buy the following books. "Cold Comfort" by Trevor Douglas was one of those; it is #1 in the Bidgette Cash Mystery Thriller series. Similarly, "Murder on the Oxford Canal" by Faith Martin is first in the DI Hillary Greene Mystery series.

Both stories have female detectives for their main character, but that's pretty much where the similarities end.

# 10: Cold Comfort by Trevor Douglas

Bridgette Cash is a rookie detective, working her first murder case together with an elderly detective soon to retire. The story is set in Australia, making a difference to my mostly UK-based reading.

Fresh from the academy (but with a navy career already under her belt), Bridgette looks at the murder from a different angle and finds that a lot points towards it being the work of a serial killer. Nobody believes her at first, but of course she is right. Can she stop the killer before he finds his next victim?

Her past keeps haunting her; when she was a little girl, her father, who was also with the police, was suspected to have killed her mother and then disappeared. Can he still be alive after having been in hiding for 20 years, and did he really shoot his wife and left his young daughter behind to be raised by relatives?

It was a good read, but did not quite engage me enough to want to read more cases (and buy the series).

You can read about the author and his books here.

# 15: Murder on the Oxford Canal by Faith Martin

Hillary Greene is older than Bridgette Cash. A seasoned detective, she has recently become divorced, then widowed. 

Her late ex-husband, also on the force, was running a lucrative side business smuggling illegal animal parts. He also had affairs left, right and centre - with his wife being unaware of both. Still, she is now under internal investigation herself, since it is believed she was in on her husband's activities and is only biding her time until she can safely get hold of the large amounts of money that must be stashed away somewhere.

Circumstances for her are far from good, but when a body is found in the Oxford canal, she is made part of the investigation - last but not least because she happens to temporarily live on a canal boat herself.

While everyone else is quick to believe it was just a boating accident, Hillary's gut feeling says otherwise, and of course she is right. Together, the team untangle a dark web of drug dealing and personal relationships. More people die before the case is solved, and all the while Hillary is under investigation herself.

I liked the Oxford setting and the canal boat way of life. I also liked some of Hillary's collagues, but could not entirely warm to her. A good read altogether, with the solution not easily guessed (but still making sense).

Faith Martin's website is here, with plenty of information about her and her books.


  1. I just can't get into the idea of reading ebooks, Meike. I just finished an interesting mystery set in the 1840s about women convicts being shipped by boat from London to Australia. It's called Dangerous Women by Hope Adams. Goodness, the "olden days" were very rough for women!

    1. If it weren't for ebooks, I would always have to lug around a much heavier bag on my frequent train trips (to work and to O.K.'s). No trip without my kindle!
      The book you mention reminds me of one that I have read some years ago:
      Indeed, the "olden days" were very rough for women, and sadly, in many places across the world, they still are.

    2. I read so many books for Netgalley electronically. I was a holdout for real books, but I now prefer books. .

    3. When I am home, I prefer paper books, especially when they are non-fiction and contain pictures. I am glad that I have the choice between paper and ebooks, depending on the situation 😊

  2. Murder on the Oxford Canal sounded familiar, and when I checked I already have it on Kindle. If I ever actually read it, I forgot to put it on the list I keep on my computer, though. (And didn't write any review either...)

    1. I guess you have not (yet) read it, then. Maybe the Oxford setting reminded me of the "Lewis" series on TV, which I always enjoyed, but the book is rather different and not nearly as "cosy".