From deep in the heart of his 18th century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow - a secret elopement. Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk - an ornate knife thrust into his heart.
Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?
©2008 G.M. Malliet (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Fans of English detective work will welcome Malliet's droll debut, the first in a new series." (Publishers Weekly)
"In her series debut, Malliet, who won a Malice Domestic Grant to write this novel, lays the foundation for an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery." (Library Journal)
Death of a Cozy Writer won numerous mystery book awards when it came out in 2008. I could tell way before I had gotten very far into the story that the awards were most justified!!
The English countryside and home of mystery writer and millionaire, Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is the center for this character driven , police procedural murder mystery. Everyone seems to have motive and no one seems particularly honest with their answers. But worst of all, murder seems more of an inconvenience for the family and staff, non of whom are particularly saddened by the deaths of family members.
The mystery had the necessary turns and twists, with building clues. The descriptions and metaphors were terrific and sometimes quit funny too!! This is the first book in Malliet's DCI St. Just series. I decided to read it because I fell in love with her newest Father Max Tutor series. Now I can't decide which one I enjoyed more. G M Malliet if definitely a modern day Agatha Christie,---or perhaps I'd say that Christie's books ALMOST live up to Ms Malliet's writing----yes, Malliet is that great!! It you like classic mysteries with a modern day twist, this book is definitely for you!!!
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
It is not a bad book. I rate it just a bit better than the average cozy mystery. It was a quick, light, easy book with nothing offensive, but I didn't hate to put it down or become very involved with any of the characters. Porter, however, is one of the best narrators, and the reader can make all the difference.
Sometimes I experience book doldrums and I search for books that are narrated by one of my favorites. I'm a Davina Porter fan, so I searched on her name and came up with this series. I don't think I've read any bad books that she has narrated. This one was fun and a good mystery. It held my attention, so I would recommend it if you like historical novel types. I'm looking forward to the other two books in the Death series.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Published in 2008, Death of a Cozy Writer is the first in a series featuring Detective Chief Inspector St. Just. All of the elements of a classic golden age mystery are present: a large country mansion, a gathering of all the members of a wealthy family, servants with varying degrees of loyalty to their employers, seething rancor and hatred among family members, a patriarch who is cruel and hatedul to all, and finally, murder. DCI St. Just and his Constable arrive toi nvestigate.
This is a well -written mystery, with well developed characters, an intriguing twist or two in the plot, and the atmosphere of a golden age detective story spiced by a few 21st century devices. In St. Just, Malliet has created a likeable and capable investigator with a sense of humor as well as common sense. All in all, a very enjoyable read, although I must say that I prefer Malliet's other series, the Max Tudor mysteries.
Anything by G. M. Malliet is generally a treat. She's cornered the market at instilling a modern sensibility on the standard cozy. Enter greed, sex, and old wounds revisited, and well, who doesn't like a dysfunctional family to make all ours seem perfectly normal...
Ms. Porter shines! She pulls out the stops, and even the over-the-top seems just quite right after all.
If you like a well done mystery in a cozy setting, with a sense of the sublimely satiric thrown in, this should definitely please.
Yes, if my friend enjoys a good British mystery, I would recommend it. It was very entertaining, well written.
When the killer was revealed, it was a surprise, I had picked someone else!
She is an excellent narrator, always enjoy her work.
Families: Everybody has them!
Artfully done, with a lot of wit and humor. Pay close attention, or you may miss some of the "tongue in cheek" comments--
A house full of grown children plotting ways to get their fortune the minute their nasty old father dies. What could be more fun? In the style of the classic British murder mysteries, it is extremely well done. It kept me guessing until almost the end.
We have Sir Adrian as the "cozy writer" and head of the castle. He invites his four adult children home to make a big announcement--his engagement to a younger woman. Since he regularly changes his will depending on who is in his good graces on any particular month, they all rush home at top speed to protect their interests. No love lost between any of them, but they all put on a good show. They clearly don't care for one another, but they all do agree they must stop the impending marriage.
Ruthvin (pronounced Riven) the oldest, is the bully and usually gets his way. He has been his father's favorite. George is the vain actor, Andrew an alcoholic, and Sarah, the plump youngest who writes cook books.
You have to pay close attention, as there is a lot going on. Everyone is a suspect, including family members, servants, and old acquaintances. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a British murder mystery this much.
The book as authored by Malliet was very enjoyable.
Davina Porter has a talent for rendering different voices and dialects, but she reads with an emotive, overemphasized style that detracts from the story by drawing attention too much to herself. She would be a great narrator if she could tone it down.
Wanting a change from my preferred genre, I found Ms. Malliet's 2008 prize-winning debut of a Cozy Mystery set in modern times, captivating. I've always enjoyed some Agatha Christie, but find this G. M. Malliet mystery even more to my liking.
There are so many characters it's hard to keep up with them all. In the beginning I found it helped to write down the main characters names, to keep from getting confused.
There's the Patriarch: Sir Adrian
His eldest son: Ruthven (called Riven) and his wife Lillian
His second son: George and his girl friend Natassia
His third son: Albert
His Daughter: Sarah
His Ex-Wife: Cloe
Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and Detective Sergeant Fear
Other characters of Sir Adrian's household are:
Housekeeper: Mrs. Romano and her son Paolo
Literature Secretary: Jeffery (an American, trying to act like an Englishman)
and others who were questioned after MURDER at the house party in the Cambridgeshire mansion.
There's many twists and turns, and the identity of the murderer is quite a surprise.
I don't like to give too much away, because I do not like to have a book ruined by someone wanting to do a summary of the entire book, but hope to make your listening more pleasurable by having the characters in mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to "Death of a Cozy Writer" performed by undoubtedly one of the best narrators I've listen to.
I highly recommend it-- if you like Agatha Christie type books, you'll enjoy listening to this one.
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