The Herbal Detective – Charles Gray

He again sensed that she could be lover or predator, her sharp fingernails dextrous on the shellfish.

The small village of Holy Cross is as famous as Edinburgh, in its own way. According to legend, the fabled Glastonbury Cross is buried in the precinct. When the Reverend Lionel Kennedy, minister of the famed church of Holy Cross, spots a very large black cat on the road, he immediately reports it to the police.

Luckily for the minister the one local police officer in Holy Cross, Richie Scott, feels obliged to take further details, if only to give himself something to do.

Across the street from the church sits the other local establishment, the Fox and Duck pub. Pub landlady, Rosie McLeod, is approaching her fortieth birthday with trepidation. Not only is she feeling old but her husband, Jack, has decided to buy carpet slippers, thereby confirming their age. More importantly, he hasn’t made love to her for a very long time. To pique his interest she’s having to resort to her knowledge of herbal medicine. Jack manages to continually evade her homemade concoctions by gifting them to others. This causes Rosie great frustration but has hilarious and highly entertaining consequences for all but their unintended victims.

When local Parliamentary Conservative candidate, Adrian Mountjoy, gets in a car accident, it is because he too was distracted by the sight of a large black cat. Something untoward is happening in the village, which would seem to be nothing new to some of its long-time inhabitants. When Jack discovers that their hazel tree is decaying, only Rosie understands the meaning of the carving in the bark. Will the murderer be discovered before it’s too late?

David Gray’s novel will have you laughing out loud at his cleverly drawn characters and adroit portrayal of Scottish village life.

The Herbal Detective is published by Ringwood Publishing and is available now from Amazon and all good bookshops.


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