Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery Paperback – 1 Jul 2008
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Death of a Cozy Writer is a book anyone who cut their teeth on Agatha Christie's mysteries will treasure. I read it once for the story, and plan to read it a second time just to savor the language. It's that good. --CozyLibrary.com
Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement. --Kirkus Reviews
From the Back Cover
"Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet's hilarious first mystery, is a must-read for fans of Robert Barnard and P.G. Wodehouse. I'm looking forward eagerly to Inspector St. Just's next case!"
~~ Donna Andrews, award-winning author of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much
"The traditional British cozy is alive and well. Delicious. I was hooked from the first paragraph."
~~ Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of Her Royal Spyness
"Wicked, witty and full of treats, G.M. Malliet's debut novel has the sure touch of a classy crime writer. More, please!"
~~ Peter Lovesey, recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Crime Writers' Association and Malice Domestic
"Death of a Cozy Writer is a romp, a classic tale of family dysfunction in a moody and often humourous English country house setting. A
worthy addition to the classic mystery tradition and the perfect companion to a cup of tea and a roaring fire, or a sunny deck chair. Relax and let G.M. Malliet introduce you to the redoubtable Detective Chief Inspector St. Just of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from him!"
~~ Louise Penny, author of the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries
A house party in a Cambridgeshire mansion with the usual suspects, er, guests - a sly patriarch, grasping relatives, a butler, and a victim named Ruthven (what else?) - I haven't had so much fun since Anderson's "Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy." Pass the tea and scones, break out the sherry, settle down in the library by the fire and enjoy Malliet's delightful tribute to the time-honored tradition of the English country house mystery.
~~ Marcia Talley, Agatha and Anthony award-winning author of DEAD MAN DANCING and six previous mysteries
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This verged on the silly, rather than the comic, for me. I won't be trying another one.Published 1 month ago by GlowingCactus
Having read 2 Max Tudor books thought would try this mystery and was not disappointed. Will now read other St Just books.Published on 6 July 2014 by Emmy