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Not as Engaging as Other MSW Books
on 4 November 2010
A Fatal Feast is the latest Murder, She Wrote paperback in the long running series based on the equally long running television show. However, it is a rather disappointing entry to the series.
We see Jessica in the midst of preparing Thanksgiving which she will be hosting at her house for her friends, and a visiting George Sutherland from England. With George's visit, Jessica beings to ponder her feelings for him and much of the book is spent on this relationship and often it overshadows the actual mystery. In fact it's not until about chapter 12 when the murder occurs and then its even further into the book that Jessica begins to seriously peruse the case, which means that everything is sort of rushed, especially the reveal of who the murderer is.
There is also a second mystery running throughout the book, this one again comes to a rushed conclusion. However, that is not the only this which is wrong with this second mystery. Jessica begins to receive cut out letters in the post and she begins to feel very uneasy about them as they eventually spell out GLOTCOYB and she has no idea what this means. She goes as far as getting the police involved and George also becomes slightly worried. However, this mystery has been recycled from an earlier book in the series, which I think is a terribly lazy decision by the author. Its almost as if they murder was as engaging enough on its own and he thought of this last minute as a filler. I have never really been disappointed by one of these books, but the use of a recycled storyline and the mystery-lite feel to the book has left me feeling slightly underwhelmed with this one.
So unlike other MSW novels, this one often drags and the mystery itself is greatly overshadowed by the Jessica and George relationship which by the end of the book isn't even made official. I hope that future books don't follow this pattern because I have a feeling we'll be getting plenty more of George and Jessica in the future.