Publication Day Push for Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg

Great to be involved in the publication day shenanigans for Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg. Thanks Rachel for inviting me!

About the book:

Hate Bale

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.   

Purchase Link  –

So what did I think?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hate Bale! It’s an interesting, funny, action packed cosy mystery set in a smallholding in France. What’s not to love about that! I could totally see it being brought to life as a film or TV program as it would be hugely entertaining. It reminded me a little of The Durrells, wittily written with disasters along the way and naughty animals but a few more murders in France than in Corfu!

I routed for Martha all the way through. She was a really superbly created character who had been through a lot in recent years and was adjusting to life on her own, while running a business that was blooming hard work. In fact the author was great at characterisation full stop. Lottie was also brilliant, I’d love her as my friend. I wanted to wring Carol’s neck but give her grandson Zack a hug. And Philippe was just lovely too!

When Martha happened upon her first murder, I thought it was extremely unfortunate, but when she happened on another one, which I found particularly nasty, I was intrigued to know what was going on in this lovely setting in rural France! The pages couldn’t turn fast enough for me.

Written brilliantly, with a ton of humour and obviously a whole lot of experience in that world, hopefully without the murders, Hate Bale, is a cracking read!

Author Bio –


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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Kim Nash