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A Body in Seaview Grange

An unputdownable cozy mystery novel

Dee MacDonald

Books by Dee MacDonald

Kate Palmer Mystery Series

A Body in the Village Hall

A Body in Seaview Grange

A Body at the Tea Rooms

The Golden Oldies Guesthouse

The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane

The Getaway Girls

The Runaway Wife


Kate Palmer Series

A Body in the Village Hall (Available in the UK and the US)

A Body in the Seaview Grange (Available in the UK and the US)

The Runaway Wife (Available in the UK and the US)


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

A Body at the Tea Rooms

Hear More from Dee

Books by Dee MacDonald

A Letter From Dee

A Body in the Village Hall

The Golden Oldies Guesthouse

The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane

The Getaway Girls

The Runaway Wife




You needed to be over sixty years of age and have deep pockets to be able to buy one of the luxury flats in Seaview Grange, up on the cliffs near Higher Tinworthy. Kate Palmer didnโ€™t qualify on age just yet, and her pockets were extremely shallow but she was nevertheless keen to see how the other half might be living.

It was a beautiful sunny early September morning and Kate felt on top of the world, having just returned from Edinburgh for the birth of her first grandson. He was the most adorable, angelic infant ever born, with the possible exception of her own two handsome, perfect sons, of course.

And now, here she was, driving up to Seaview Grange to see a lady called Edina Martinelli in Flat 4 who had recently broken her ankle and was complaining that the plaster felt too tight.

Up until now Elaine, the nurse who split the week with Kate at the medical centre in Middle Tinworthy, had been doing most of the house calls. She was also assigned to โ€˜Assisted Living Careโ€™ which meant sheโ€™d be the designated nurse to look after the residents of not only Seaview Grange, but also The Cedars and the Moorside Nursing Homes. She was shortly going to retire and Sue, who had worked there full time for years, was offered the calls. โ€˜Not on your life,โ€™ said Sue. โ€˜Who wants to go visiting those decrepit old biddies? Not me, Iโ€™m staying right here. Down to you, Kate!โ€™

Kate didnโ€™t mind at all. She loved getting out and about instead of being stuck in the treatment room all day. It was a good way to get to know people and there was normally a cup of tea or coffee on offer.

โ€˜Good luck!โ€™ Sue had called after her. โ€˜That Martinelli womanโ€™s always complaining about something or other.โ€™

Seaview Grange was a large, imposing grey stone double-fronted building facing the Atlantic, one of many superior residences in the Higher Tinworthy area, set in what Kate reckoned must be around an acre of gardens, and with panoramic views of the sea and coastline. It was known to some of the locals as Gwel Teg, its original title being the Cornish for โ€˜beautiful viewโ€™ but since so many of the residents were incomers that had been watered down accordingly. There were neat little windblown flower beds and garden seats dotted here and there with no one sitting on them. Kate wondered briefly what the maintenance charges might be. High, undoubtedly.

The large oak-panelled front door was ajar and led into a spacious hallway, stone-flagged and with a large royal blue centrally placed carpet. There was an impressive stone central staircase, also carpeted up the middle. An ornately carved mahogany table was situated on the right, on top of which were some bundles of mail, which the postman obviously left there for the residents to collect. What caught Kateโ€™s attention, however, was the pair of stone figures on either end: a lighthouse and a tin-mine, both intricately carved out of what appeared to be serpentine. The Cornish serpentine, found on The Lizard peninsula, was normally green or multicoloured, but these items were predominantly red, which was more unusual.

To the left was Flat 1, in the middle behind the staircase was Flat 2, and immediately on the right was Flat 3. Kate assumed Flat 4 was upstairs and, as she climbed up, she ran her fingers along the highly polished wooden bannister. Everything was immaculate: not a speck on the floor and an aroma of polish permeated the air. Didnโ€™t people walk about in here? How come it was so spotless?

When she rang the bell of Flat 4 the door was opened by a tall, slim elderly woman on elbow crutches. She was fully made up, her white hair piled on her head in an elegant chignon, and she was clad in a colourful, full-length kaftan. She wore several heavy gold chains, drop earrings (could they be real sapphires?) a collection of bracelets and rings galore. None of it looked cheap.

โ€˜Mrs Martinelli? Iโ€™m Kate, the practice nurse, whoโ€™s taken over from Elaine. Iโ€™ve come to have a look at your ankle.โ€™

โ€˜Iโ€™m Miss Martinelli,โ€™ the woman corrected. โ€˜Iโ€™ve always retained my professional name. Do come in.โ€™ She hobbled ahead into the large open-plan room, furnished in traditional mahogany. What struck Kate more than the velvet sofas and elaborately draped curtains was the number of framed operatic posters on every wall: Aida; La traviata; Carmen; Il trovatore, and more.

โ€˜Oh, I see youโ€™re an opera fan,โ€™ Kate said, laying her less-than-pristine bag down on the very pristine cream carpet and hoping it wasnโ€™t going to leave a mark.

โ€˜Fan!โ€™ Edina Martinelli clutched her heaving bosom in horror, the left crutch dangling in the air. โ€˜Iโ€™m not a fan, darling, Iโ€™m a soprano!โ€™

โ€˜Sorry, I didnโ€™t realise you were a professional singer,โ€™ Kate said.

โ€˜Well, Iโ€™ve retired now of course but, in my time I sang with all the major opera companies, including Dโ€™Oyly Carte, English Opera, Covent Garden.โ€™ She stopped for breath.

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