Title: Hither, Page
Series: Page & Sommers: Book One
Author: Cat Sebastian
Length: 176 Pages
Category: Historical Romance
At a Glance: Hither, Page was such a fun little weekend read. I’m so glad I picked it up and would definitely recommend.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: A jaded spy and a shell shocked country doctor team up to solve a murder in postwar England.
James Sommers returned from the war with his nerves in tatters. All he wants is to retreat to the quiet village of his childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing in the world he needs is a handsome stranger who seems to be mixed up with the first violent death the village has seen in years. It certainly doesn’t help that this stranger is the first person James has wanted to touch since before the war.
The war may be over for the rest of the world, but Leo Page is still busy doing the dirty work for one of the more disreputable branches of the intelligence service. When his boss orders him to cover up a murder, Leo isn’t expecting to be sent to a sleepy village. After a week of helping old ladies wind balls of yarn and flirting with a handsome doctor, Leo is in danger of forgetting what he really is and why he’s there. He’s in danger of feeling things he has no business feeling. A person who burns his identity after every job can’t set down roots.
As he starts to untangle the mess of secrets and lies that lurk behind the lace curtains of even the most peaceful-seeming of villages, Leo realizes that the truths he’s about to uncover will affect his future and those of the man he’s growing to care about.
Review: Wychcomb St. Mary is a quiet English village with not much drama or scandal, aside from your usual small-town gossip, that is. At least, until a nosy housekeeper turns up dead. Such is the conundrum in Hither, Page, a fun little Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery, and book one of Cat Sebastian’s Page & Sommers series. Cat Sebastian has been on my radar since everyone was raving about The Lawrence Brown Affair back in 2017, but this was my first time reading her, and it was a treat! I love the small-town cozy mystery vibe, and I really liked the diverse cross-section of characters.
When James returns to the village—the place where he spent chunks of his childhood with his uncle—he is in desperate need of a quiet place to recover from the war. So, when Mrs. Hoggett appears to have been murdered, and a complicated stranger turns up to try to uncover what happened, James’s hard-fought tranquility is disturbed. Leo Page might be mysterious and attractive, but he is a dangerous distraction that James just doesn’t need. Or maybe Leo isn’t there to disturb the peace at all…just maybe he’s there to make sure everything in Wychcomb St. Mary remains as it should. I adored Leo. I loved his sharp wit and found myself rooting hard for his happiness as the story progressed. This passage was a fabulous first look into Leo’s head:
“Walking along the high street, he wondered how many of the people he passed had loved ones who would cheerfully murder them given half a chance. He generally operated on the assumption that the only factor holding people back from widespread slaughter was fear—of the gallows, of damnation, of being thought not quite nice by one’s neighbors.”
I enjoyed getting to know both Leo and James, especially finding out about Leo’s motivations, and what he wanted his life to look like moving forward, as well as how James’s experiences in the war and his PTSD affected his life. Sebastian did a nice job portraying some aspects of PTSD, and depression also, while maintaining the balance and lighter tone of the story. The mystery was fun and had a couple of good twists; and there was also a little mystery within the mystery that was intriguing. I also really loved how everyone in the village looked out for everyone else, despite the fact that someone had been murdered, and there were only a handful of people who could be suspects.
Hither, Page was such a fun little weekend read. I’m so glad I picked it up and would definitely recommend. I love when a new-to-me author totally comes through with something memorable and fun. I can’t wait for the next installment, and to also get to some of Sebastian’s back catalog!
You can buy Hither, Page here:
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