Book Review

The Corfe Castle Murders – Rachel McLean

I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for a new series by one of my favourite authors, Rachel McLean. The Corfe Castle Murders is the first book in the Dorset Crime series. Many thanks to Rachel for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.


Meet DCI Lesley Clarke. She’s a straight-talking city copper who doesn’t suffer fools gladly… and she’s been transferred to rural Dorset.

After being injured in a bomb attack, Lesley is presented with a choice – early retirement, or a period of respite in a calmer location.

But things don’t stay calm for long.

Before she’s even started her new job, Lesley is dragged into investigating a murder at one of England’s most iconic landmarks, the imposing Corfe Castle.

Lesley must hit the ground running. Can she get along with her new partner DS Dennis Frampton, a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate her style? How will she navigate the politics of a smaller force where she’s a bigger, and less welcome, fish? And most importantly, can she solve the murder before the killer strikes again?

The Corfe Castle Murders is a compelling, character-driven mystery perfect for fans of Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis.


Amazon UK

Amazon US

FZF1 cover 0.1


Regular readers will know that I am a huge Rachel McLean fan, and having devoured the Zoe Finch series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the spin off starring DCI Lesley Clarke, who had been one of my favourite characters in the Zoe Finch series – incidentally, don’t worry if you haven’t read that series, as the Dorset Crime series includes plenty of backstory for you to catch up, although it is great, so I thoroughly recommend you read both.

As Lesley quickly discovers following her relocation, Dorset is a long way from central Birmingham in more ways than just the physical distance. Feeling like Lesley is an old friend at this point and knowing her personality, I thoroughly enjoyed watching her struggles with the slower pace, the different jargon and protocols, and particularly her new colleagues. I found her interactions with her new team so entertaining and I am looking forward to seeing how these relationships develop in the coming books (which are being released in quick succession, and which I have already pre-ordered). It was great to uncover another side to Lesley away from the office as well.

As always, Rachel McLean keeps you guessing throughout the book, and I don’t think I will ever tire of trying to unravel the clues and solve the crime before her police officers do. As of yet, I have still never managed to do this, something which delights and frustrates me in equal measure.

As with the Zoe Finch series, I found The Corfe Castle Murders to be a really quick read, and a book that I finished in one sitting because once I started reading, I just could not stop. Not much else got done that day, I can tell you.

If you are a fan of police crime dramas, and are looking for a new series to dive into, you won’t be going far wrong if you dive into this one.


rachel mcleanMy name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club. I’ll send you a weekly (sometimes fortnightly) email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.





Make sure you visit the other blogs coming up on the tour to read more about this book.

The Corfe Castle Murders Full Tour Banner

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