Review: Murder at Waldenmere Lake by Michelle Salter

Today, I'm delighted to share my review for a fabulous murder mystery: Murder at Waldenmere Lake by Michelle Salter

It's the second instalment in her series involving young reporter, Iris Woodmore, in post World War I England, and it's another cracking read!

My thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Boldwood Books for a copy. Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Murder at Waldenmere Lake

An Iris Woodmore Mystery

Michelle Salter

I read and reviewed the first book in the series, Death at Crookham Hall, back in January (find my review here), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was excited to check out the second book in this new murder mystery series – and I was not disappointed.

After the end of the Great War, the British Army needs funds, urgently, so they're planning to sell off lands they'd used during and after the war – which are they now no longer need. As Waldenmere Lake is part of their property, negotiations are under way to sell it off. A large railway company is interested in building a hotel and lakeside resort in place but an old manor previously used as a training base is in the way. Its owner, General Cheverton, refuses to budge. When he is found dead, and his cash-strapped nephew inherits the large house, the company owner finds a way in. 

But he hasn't counted on the local opposition, led by intrepid local councillor Mrs Siddons, who wants the council to buy the property. But things turn ugly when the army appears to accept the company's offer, as does the general's heir. But Mrs Siddons doesn't give up, nor does Iris.

Is there a way of saving Waldenmere Lake from being turned into a theme park for the rich, its flora and fauna trampled into the mud? 

A tricky case for our reporter sleuth, Iris Woodmore, who goes off to investigate the general's murder, with the tacit approval of her boss. But her father has arrived home from his latest journey, and he's not happy at her actions. The rift between them grows, as the case gets murkier. 

Then another murder happens that throws Iris’ world into turmoil, and she is more determined than ever to find out who's responsible. Is it the railway company, ruthlessly picking off opponents, or is there something else afoot? 

I really like Iris. She's a young, independent woman, not afraid to ask uncomfortable questions. But she is also a woman of her time, frustrated at the inability of doing certain things of her own accord. Whilst her father would prefer her home and safe, she fights the injustice she sees around her with the help of her columns in the local paper. Her social conscience remains staunch throughout, but she has to realise sometimes that she needs help. And that's something she finds tricky. 

In many ways, Iris resembles her late suffragette mother, whose unexplained death is covered in Death at Crookham Hall. She just doesn't quite realise it yet.

The murder plot is intriguing, with several possible suspects, including some characters close to Iris. The expansion of the railway companies, and their power at the time, are very well portrayed. As is the local opposition to ’modernity’. It's a tricky subject that the author deals with very well.

I had an inkling about one of the strands, and was proved right in the end, but Murder at Waldenmere Lake remains a gripping and very engaging murder mystery. 

The Iris Woodmore Mysteries is fabulous new series, set in rural southern England, with a very likeable heroine. I'm looking forward to reading the next instalment, later in the spring.

A highly recommended read!



A murder shocks the small town of Walden. And it’s only the beginning…

Walden, 1921. Local reporter Iris Woodmore is determined to save her beloved lake, Waldenmere, from destruction.

After a bloody and expensive war, the British Army can’t afford to keep the lake and build a convalescent home on its shores yet they still battle with Walden Council and a railway company for ownership. But an old mansion used as an officer training academy stands where the railway company plans to build a lakeside hotel. It belongs to General Cheverton – and he won’t leave his home.

When the General is found murdered, it appears someone will stop at nothing to win the fight for Waldenmere. Iris thinks she can take on the might of the railway company and find the killer. But nothing prepares her for the devastation that’s to come…

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About the Author:

Michelle Salter

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She's also a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. 

When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

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