Book Review: Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery #1) by G.M. Malliet

Death of a Cozy Writer
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary:   From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow – a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet... who was once suspected of murdering her husband.

Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset – least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. 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?

This was a very fun read. This is my first experience with G.M. Malliet & I thoroughly enjoyed the way the mystery unravelled. With two grisly murders, a manor house, blustery weather & the appearance of some well placed cats, I was completely swept up in this story. I'm a big fan of British mysteries in general and this one kept me page turning & guessing up to the last. Also, there are some truly funny though macabre moments along the way. I often stopped to highlight, laugh & tell myself it was somewhat wrong to laugh at such a thing no matter how insightful or true.

The characters were very well rendered and as there were quite a few of them, I was impressed. DCI St. Just & his assistant, Sergeant Fear take a while to arrive in the story to begin their investigation but as the preceding is very much important to telling us who the Beauclerk-Fisk clan are, it's not awkward at all. The connections all came together & I must admit that I was reading agog. Fantatastic. As this is a mystery, I won't give anything plot-worthy away, I will only say that as murder mysteries go, this one is worth reading. It's perfect for a rainy weekend when you're looking for a good yarn. I have another of G.M. Malliet's St. Just mysteries on my Kindle & will be reading it.

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