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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • A.
  • Merritt Island, FL, United States
  • 06-11-13

Go for it

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy J
  • Tornado Alley OK
  • 04-13-13

A Cozy about a Cozy Writer

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A modern day classic mystery!

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!!!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • Tyler, TX, United States
  • 03-16-13

Would give the story a 3 1/2 if I could.

Any additional comments?

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Delightful light who dunnit

What made the experience of listening to Death of a Cozy Writer the most enjoyable?

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...

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

Ms. Porter shines! She pulls out the stops, and even the over-the-top seems just quite right after all.

Any additional comments?

If you like a well done mystery in a cozy setting, with a sense of the sublimely satiric thrown in, this should definitely please.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Jolly Good Fun!

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.



6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • BOERNE, TX, United States
  • 04-04-15

Some interesting characters, OK story

I've decided I don't really like listening to 'cozies.' Seems like most of the books I really get caught up in are darker, even gruesome stories. I was trying for something lighter with this book but the story didn't really capture my interest.

The narrator did a fine job I'm sure but I don't really like female narrators most of the time - I don't like the way most women do a man's voice, but I usually don't mind when a man does a woman's voice. A matter of taste.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Fun Read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if my friend enjoys a good British mystery, I would recommend it. It was very entertaining, well written.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Death of a Cozy Writer?

When the killer was revealed, it was a surprise, I had picked someone else!

Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

She is an excellent narrator, always enjoy her work.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Families: Everybody has them!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • J-9
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 05-05-17

I thought this was fun!

There are some quite clever lines in this story. In the first chapter, the lady of the house is reading the obituaries in the newspaper and ponders how the commoners always manage to die in alphabetical order. I thought that was funny although the author never did carry on with the story of the ditsy lady of the house.

The ending was not predictable - at least not to me. I liked this story and of course, Davina Porter is one of the best narrators out there. If you are looking for something not to heavy, but with some funny bits here and there and excellent narration give this a try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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NIce easy listening

I liked the story and the narrator was excellent. Will order more of this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful