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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

The Coziest of Murders

In which we realize you should never underestimate how far some people will go to solve a murder.

The Queen of Poisons by Robert Thorogood

Stars: 4

52 Book Club Summer Reading Challenge Prompt: #11 (Series with an uneven number of books)

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

Do you know about my long standing addiction? It’s cozy British murder mysteries. I never get enough of them. Thorogood’s book reminded me of the Thursday Murder Club series, with just a few tweaks; instead of four neighbors, we have three friends and instead of a senior living facility, we have the charming town of Marlow. Judith, Susie, and Becks have been so helpful in solving the murder in town, the police decide to just ask them straight away for their assistance. Plus, Susie happened to be at the town planning council meeting with the town mayor, Geoffrey, was murder. Seems smart that the cops just recognize that the trio is going to poke their noses into all this and give them police credentials (this is a lesson that could be learned by most TV detectives who have meddling town folk, Father Brown anyone?)

The plot was well done, there were just enough red herrings to keep me guessing. Though, to be honest, with a book like this, I don’t always try really hard to figure it out. Part of the joy is being immersed in the fictional world. I know that at the end, one of the characters will lay it out, Agatha Christie-like, and wrap it all up for me. 

This book was the third in the series, but the first one I have read. I didn’t quite realize that when I requested it, but I didn't feel like there was much of a barrier to entry, it was pretty easy to pick up on the characters. And since Thorogood is one of the creators of Death in Paradise, a show I adore, I knew I would enjoy the writing regardless. This is the second time I have done this with a mystery series written by a TV screenwriter. I unintentionally started with the second book in Anthony Horowitz’s Hawthorne and Horowitz series!

I listened to the audiobook version and thought the narrator, Nicholette McKenzie, did a wonderful job bringing Marlow and its inhabitants to life. Her inflections and tones were excellent, she imbued Judith with just the right amount of haughtiness, captured Susie’s slightly frenetic energy, and perfectly inhabited Beck’s nervousness. I would highly recommend the audio version of this book.


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