New Cozy Mystery – Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg

About The Book

Title: Hate Bale

Author: Stephanie Dagg

Published April 16, 2019

Cozy Mystery


Grumbling guests and escaping piglets are precisely what Martha doesn’t need. She’s already struggling to run a holiday cottage and a rather large smallholding single-handedly. Since her husband Mark died, three years ago, her rural property in France, beautiful as it is, has become an increasingly heavy millstone around her neck.

So whilst she’s horrified to stumble across a corpse at the local farm supplies shop, it does at least distract her from her own woes. Best friend Lottie, the cheese to Martha’s chalk, swoops in to offer moral support, and encourages Martha to join her in some unofficial sleuthing. Meanwhile, police officer Philippe Prudhomme, a former fellow chess-player of Mark’s, undertakes a rather more professional investigation.

However, despite everyone’s efforts the killer remains at large. And when more bodies (one and a bit, to be precise) come Martha’s way, it definitely feels like he’s closing in on her…

There’s suspense, humour and excitement in this entertaining cosy mystery set in the French countryside.   

Click Here to buy Hate Bale

My Review

› Hate Bale takes place in rural France. Martha is a fifty-three-year-old widow who lives on a farm with her dog Flossie, Hermione the pig, Horace the boar, with a donkey, alpacas, cats, rabbits, ducks, and other animals. Her husband of twenty-seven years, Mark, died three years ago. She’s overwhelmed by all of the work involved at the farm, but at the same time feels at home. There is a holiday cottage on the property which is currently rented out to grumpy Carol, her husband Roy, and their two grandchildren.

› The mystery begins after Martha finds a dead body. She seems to have a lot of bad luck, which leads to a good bit of humor. Her husband’s friend, Philippe, is a cop who helps her when she becomes the prime suspect after finding the first body. I like her friend, Lottie. She doesn’t put up with any crap from anyone.

› Hate Bale is a fun mystery with some laughs, some love, and a great rural setting. Highly recommend this one to animal lovers.

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Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

Professional Reader


25 Book Reviews

About The Author


“I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie of animals, has made for exciting times. The current array of creatures ranges from alpacas to zebra finches, with pretty much everything in-between! Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep learning curve.

I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.    

I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. As well as being an author, I’m also a part-time editor and, with Chris, manager of three carp fishing lakes. My hobbies are cycling, geocaching, knitting and sewing.”

Social Media Links – @llamamum

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