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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't need to be worried at all.
Having read reviews of this book and listened to people talk about it I must say that I was dubious about reading it. I am a real mystery reading fanatic. I don't want too much messing around with my mysteries. I was worried that this one had been given the "cute" treatment to the extent that I would end up throwing it across the room. Well, so much for that worry because...
Published on 16 Oct. 2009 by J. Lesley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American writers should stick to writing books based in the US
There is much to like about this book, it is entertaining and well written. But why should an American writer write a book based in the UK ?The language screams 'wrong', especially attempts at idiomatic language. Makes parts of it toe-curling for the British reader.
Published 14 months ago by Bookworm 1963


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't need to be worried at all., 16 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (Paperback)
Having read reviews of this book and listened to people talk about it I must say that I was dubious about reading it. I am a real mystery reading fanatic. I don't want too much messing around with my mysteries. I was worried that this one had been given the "cute" treatment to the extent that I would end up throwing it across the room. Well, so much for that worry because nothing could be farther from the truth.

G. M. Malliet has written a very, very good debut mystery novel. Words like "hilarious", "satirical", and "romp" almost succeeded in turning me completely off but I'm happy to say that I found most of that to be hyperbole evidently intended to snag the attention of non-mystery readers. This story does have it's humorous moments, but they happen very naturally in the narrative and are not used to lampoon the genre. The plot follows the tried and true progression of the type of mysteries classified as "cozy" so if you like those then you will probably like this as well. The author uses characters that have been used before by other writers but they are used here to great advantage because of all the twists and turns in the plot. I don't think this can be described as a completely "fair play" mystery (meaning that every clue is given within the story and the reader just has to pay attention to gather them up and come to the correct solution), but it was very definitely interesting to watch the author add little bits and pieces along the way to keep the solution under wraps.

In case you aren't familiar with the basic plot, Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk has invited his four adult children to his eighteenth century Cambridgeshire home to have them meet his fiancee. Since the relationship between Dear Old Dad and his children is based on greed on their part and the delights of changing his will for Sir Adrian, can murder be long in arriving? The police team of Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just and Sergeant Garwin Fear were interesting to watch in the performance of their official duties and will probably get more interesting for me as the series progresses.

There is definitely a liberal dose of tongue-in-cheek written into the novel, but this author has also managed to make sure that the mystery itself is engaging, difficult to solve, and worth reading. Two enthusiastic thumbs up from me and I will now order Death and the Lit Chick: A St Just Mystery (Book 2) (St. Just Mysteries) expecting to be highly entertained.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respects and Teases the Cozy Genre, 17 Sept. 2009
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Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (Paperback)
Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a well loved cozy writer. His books constantly hit the best seller lists in his native England, and his latest has been there for almost a year straight.

However, his children have a different opinion of their father. The man considers it a sport to manipulate them into fighting with each other. He changes his will constantly to slight which ever one has offended him most recently.

His latest stunt is a remarriage. His children reluctantly show up at his Cambridgeshire manor for the occasion, hoping to talk him into calling it off. But Adrian has some surprises up his sleeve. However, instead of the normal fireworks, the bodies start piling up. Who among the guests at the manor is a killer?

This book delightfully harkens back to the cozies of the golden age. I'm not as familiar with the writers of that time period as I probably should be, but I still got a kick out of watching someone else hit all the conventions of the drama and yet twist them every so slightly. The story is strong; the first murder takes place rather late in the book, but the tension builds nicely up to that point. Once our main character, Detective Chief Inspector St. Just, is introduced, things pick up even more.

Unfortunately, the book wasn't quite perfect. While the suspects are all very strong characters, I felt they were much stronger than St. Just. Of course, he didn't have as many pages to develop. Still, it would be nice to feel like I know him better than I do. The climax, while logical, was overly complex. Finally, the writing style, while trying to harken back to the writing of the 30's and 40's, was a tad overly complex. Every time I sat down, I had to readjust myself to the style before truly getting lost in the story.

Still, I can see why I've been hearing so much good stuff about this book. I'm already planning my return trip to England to visit St. Just again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American writers should stick to writing books based in the US, 22 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (Paperback)
There is much to like about this book, it is entertaining and well written. But why should an American writer write a book based in the UK ?The language screams 'wrong', especially attempts at idiomatic language. Makes parts of it toe-curling for the British reader.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good start for a new series., 7 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (Paperback)
Book one of the St Just series and this is set in Cambridgeshire. Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is looking forward to the gathering of his clan as he sits, fat and contented in his Manor House which he bought from the procedes of his series of successful murder mysteries. He has a brand new will and a potential brand new wife which none of his eccentric off spring will like one bit. As they all gather together, each ready to stab the other in the back, someone is murdered...who dun it? The super cool Dci St Just is called in and with his trusty side kick sergeant, they wrap up the case, eventually, but not until body count rises. I love this series. Its easy read, lighthearted fun, just the thing for a winters day sat beside the fire. A good old romp with the beautiful people, perks you up no end, fabulous!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Agatha Christie you will enjoy., 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (Paperback)
Having read 2 Max Tudor books thought would try this mystery and was not disappointed. Will now read other St Just books.
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Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery
Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery by G. M. Malliet (Paperback - 1 July 2008)
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