Book Review: Stranger in the Village by Kate Wells

I’m so happy to be welcoming Kate Wells back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, Stranger in the Village.

Where there’s a body in Malvern End, there are secrets to be uncovered…

Jude Gray has worked hard to bring a steady equilibrium to life on Malvern Farm and things are going well.

The only fly in the ointment is the foul addition of a new face in the village: staunch townie and chauvinistic sleaze, Des Smith. Jude has nothing but sympathy for his caring, patient wife, Loretta, who has become a regular visitor to the farm for a cup of tea and a chat.

But things take a turn for the worse when a hit and run outside The Lamb brings death once again to the village. Is it an accident or is something more sinister afoot?

Perhaps the answer lies in the stranger with red trainers who’s been seen wandering through the village and through Jude’s fields at night. Following the clues, Jude desperately hopes she will find the right answers, because the murderer being someone she knows is unfathomable…


Jude has settled into life working on her farm. With Noah and Lucy by her side, she feels like things are getting back to normal. However, when a hit and run occurs in the village, it sets off a chain of events. Can everyone figure out what’s going on before someone else gets hurt?

I was so excited to be invited onto the blog tour for Stranger in the Village. Having enjoyed the previous novel, Murder on the Farm, I was intrigued to see what was next for Jude, Noah and Lucy.

Even though horrible things happen around them, it was like catching up with friends.

I love Jude. She demonstrates such a strength of character and keeps going, no matter what is thrown at her. Noah continues to be a stoic support and Lucy is bought even closer into the story. I love these three as a team.

As with the previous book, the plot moves well and I read it in one sitting. I actually had to go back pages at a couple of points as I was reading quite fast because I wanted to see what happened.

The mystery, tension and suspense is released at a steady pace and, like with the first book, just when you think you’ve worked things out, a twist is added. Kate Wells really has a skill of making you suspect multiple people and sending the book in directions you would not expect. I couldn’t see how it all fitted together. Marco for example – friend or foe?

If you’ve not read the first novel though, don’t worry. This can be read as a standalone. I really do recommend the first novel though.

I really don’t want to spoil things so I will end the review here.

Stranger in the Village is a great murder mystery. It has strong, believable characters, a beautiful setting and enough twist and turns to have you reading into the early hours.

I really love this author and look forward to seeing what she does next.



About Kate Wells –

Kate Wells is the author of a number of well-reviewed books for children, and is now writing a new cosy crime series set in the Malvern hills, inspired by the farm where she grew up.

Boldwood published the first title, Murder on the Farm, in August 2023. Book two in the Malvern Farm Mysteries, Stranger in the Village was released by Boldwood Books on 30th January 2024. 

Click here to buy on Amazon UK and Waterstones

Say hello to Kate via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Click here to sign up to Kate’s newsletter. 


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

Book Club
Novel Kicks Book Club