Welcome to the musings of Penelope Cress...

Why do we enjoy watching a good murder mystery? Is it because we all want to play detective?

Perhaps it’s because Google and Facebook have worked out that my viewing history across all platforms (BBC iPlayer/ITV Hub/Netflix etc.) tends to gravitate towards a good murder plot, real or fictional. Maybe their algorithms identify that I spend my downtime either researching murder methods, reading cosy mysteries or watching them on my laptop. If that is the case I may need to delete my browser history or the police may soon knock on my door (I’m a writer! – honest. It’s research for my next book – truly, Officer) Who knows? But this morning they presented two original articles to me in my social media that I thought I would share with everyone because they make for an interesting read.

The first ‘The Art of the British Cozy Mystery: 16 Cosy Mysteries to enjoy’ (23 May 2020) on the site The Simply Luxurious Life talks about the simply luxurious pleasure of binge-watching some of the great British mystery series. The great thing about such articles for me is the other links they include. SLL directs us to Cozy-Mystery.com, which took me down a very pleasurable rabbit hole of suggested recent book releases to add to my wishlist.

The second article in my media feed took me to Crimereads.com and another binge-worthy summary of great tales set in quaint English villages. (Even though this post dates from two months ago, the internet is a strange beast – 24 March 2020). I love their byline though:

Come for the thatched roofs and bicycles… stay for the murder.

But our need to binge on British Murder Mysteries doesn’t need to be confined to passively watching the TV. Some Murder Mystery event companies (23 April 2020) have taken their detective evenings online! This article from Business-live.co.uk shows that this is an area that is seeing a boom in demand. ‘The Great British Bump Offby Red Herring Games

But I have to say that the highlight of my lockdown binge-watching so far has been the latest offering from Acorn TV – Queens of Mystery. It has an incredible cast of strong female characters. It is quirky and hits all the tropes with humour. It is a joy to watch. I loved all three episodes and can’t wait for the next season. But the best bit for me is the behind-the-scenes bonus show. Much of the filming took place in Kent, either in the beautiful Cranbrook village or in the coastal town of Folkestone and the surrounding areas. This is my backyard. It is where I get my inspiration for my Isle of Wesberrey series. I felt so at home with the scenery and the characters.

Do we all want to play detective? I don’t know. What I know is that the attraction is strong. Great mysteries can be addictive, and you will want to return to them again and again. So, take some time during lockdown to indulge in the best of British Murder Mysteries, whatever your reasons and in whatever format you choose. There is plenty of choice for everyone.

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Penelope Cress

About Me

My name is Penelope Cress and I love a good murder. Don’t you?

In fact, there is nothing I like better than snuggling up with a nice cup of tea and some digestive biscuits and watching some Agatha Christie or Midsomer Murders on the television. Or even better reading the latest cosy mystery on the train at the end of a hard day.


Hover over the books to flip over the cover and then click on ‘Read More’ to read all about each novel.

Holy Homicide

Rev Jessamy Ward uncovers murder, mystery and tragic family secrets when she returns to live on the magical Isle of Wesberrey.
Read More

Jubilee Jinks

A nostalgic mystery set on the Isle of Wesberrey, a charming prequel to the Rev Jessamy Ward Mystery Series.
Read More

Mausoleum Madness

Bodies pile up quicker than the new vicar, Rev Jessamy Ward can bury them in the second book from the Isle of Wesberry series.
Read More

Pious Poison

In book three of the series, Rev Jessamy Ward joins the Wesberrey Walkers to become fitter and it almost kills her.
Read More

Penelope Cress

About Me

My name is Penelope Cress and I love a good murder. Don’t you?

In fact, there is nothing I like better than snuggling up with a nice cup of tea and some digestive biscuits and watching some Agatha Christie or Midsomer Murders on the television. Or even better reading the latest cosy mystery on the train at the end of a hard day.

I started to write my own stories a couple of years ago and the result is the exciting Isle of Wesberrey series featuring the sleuthing talents of Reverend Jessamy Ward. It had been such a joy creating this magical island and its quirky inhabitants.

I live with my children and elderly Jack Russell terrier on an island off the Kent coast and Wesberrey has been inspired by the history and attractions of the many amazing towns and villages dotted along the Kent coast.

In my head I imagined the nostalgic world of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown with the modern day humour of the Vicar of Dibley.  What if there was a place where there were no cars but cats roamed free? A place steeped in history, tradition and ritual that embraced the best things about living in the modern world. A charming English idyll where there just happens to be the odd murder, every other week!

In my research about the local history of my parish church I discovered the legend of the fertility well and the triple goddess. What if Reverend Jess Ward was descended from the original keepers of the well? Is there a way for ancient and modern traditions to peacefully coexist?

I have had great fun creating a world where all of these elements could find a home and I have had even more fun populating this island with some wonderful characters. I love them as my family and I hope that you will grow to love them too.

I am truly honoured that you have come to my website and possibly have read, or are about to read some of my books.

If you would like to keep in touch and hear about all the latest goings on in Wesberrey, competitions, new releases or just some general gossip, please sign up for my free newsletter. To say thank you, I will send you a link to a special sort story Jubilee Jinks (a prequel to the main Wesberrey series) for FREE!

When I’m not writing, or reading murder mysteries, I spend way too much time on Facebook, so I have a special group called the Wesberrey Watchers where I will be sharing all sorts of goodies and members can talk about their favourite characters and so on. If you would like to take part, all you have to do is head over to Facebook and request to join.

I would be delighted to hear from you and welcome any ideas or suggestions for what could happen with the characters as the series unfolds. Ideas for interesting new murder plots are welcome too. I hope the police never have cause to open my search history, they would think I am some kind of serial killer. I promise my only victims are fictional!

Thanks again for popping by, keep in touch…



I am currently working on a second series which will take me around the world. Watch out for the adventures of Sandra Snoop coming soon…

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Contact Penelope

I love a natter don’t you? Get in touch and we’ll have a chit chat!

About Me

I’m a writer of mysteries and a mother of four. Addicted to tea, digestive biscuits and all things retro.

I love to socialise


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