Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

St. Just Mystery #1

Death of a Cozy Writer

Rate this book
From his eighteenth century English manor, rich Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mysteries and disinherits his four spoiled children in turn. At an engagement dinner, he announces his secret marriage to beautiful Violet, once charged with her husband's murder. Within hours, eldest son and hated appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace.

When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just arrives, a deadly calm goes beyond the usual English reserve. Soon Sir Adrian is found slumped over his writing desk – an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Using a Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before another victim falls?

312 pages, ebook

First published July 1, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

G.M. Malliet

29 books629 followers
Award-winning author G.M. Malliet attended Oxford University and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge. She now lives in the US.

She is represented by literary agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group, New York. Contact information for Mr. Gottlieb can be found at www.gmmalliet.com/contact.html, where you can also subscribe to her newsletter.

Follow her Amazon author page for book release updates.


Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
419 (12%)
4 stars
1,047 (32%)
3 stars
1,362 (41%)
2 stars
322 (9%)
1 star
99 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 462 reviews
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,975 reviews1,987 followers
April 3, 2014
Rating: 3.5* of five

A light and pleasant entertainment, worth the eyeblinks.

I don't think I'll pursue the series unless the second one falls in my lap somehow.

But many a cozy reader will lap this up! Find out why at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

Profile Image for Laura.
132 reviews579 followers
July 7, 2016
Before you dismiss this as tacky light fiction, which I would have done if it didn’t appeal to my mania for country house murders, let me say that it had me laughing aloud on the first page. A dreadful old writer invites his offspring, all of whom loathe him, to his estate to celebrate his engagement to a glamorous socialite. It doesn’t take his kids long to dig up that she is suspected of murdering her first husband decades ago. The offspring would refuse their father's invitation (also maliciously extended to their mother, the ex-wife), except they'd run the risk of being cut out of his will — a prospect he’s tormented them with for years. So the troops assemble, in varying degrees of sobriety and sanity, to see if they can scuttle the engagement. At the very least, they can see what this woman is like; after all, it’s impossible that she actually loves their father, so is she hoping to cut in on their inheritance, or just secure an easy old age. . . or maybe murder him for the loot??

The characters are all so flamboyantly appalling that you don’t care who gets murdered, or why. Just watching them try to scheme and cope is entertaining enough (though I did develop a soft spot for the frumpy daughter who has made a name for herself publishing Bible-themed cookbooks). But the real delight is the writing — a pungent blend of dry wit and snarkiness.
Profile Image for Ellie.
1,493 reviews378 followers
April 9, 2011
I spent a delightful morning reading Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery by G.M. Malliet. I had to keep checking the date of publication (2008) because it was so reminiscent of my favorite mysteries of the 1930s. References of course to e-mail and the like kept startling me back into the time frame of the novel: now.

The structure of the story is the classic wealthy patriarch playing his (4) grown children against each other using his ever-changing will (& then upcoming nuptials) to keep them jumping. As usual, there are lethal consequences. The patriarch in this case is a fabulously successful (nice fantasy touch there!) writer but I was disappointed that this "book about books" hook was only tangentially touched upon. That, however, was my only disappointment.

The story is preceded by a cast of characters-a device of which I am particularly fond. I love to read the cast before I start the book, refer to it constantly while reading the book, and go over it after finishing the book to see if I missed any clues hidden in the list (don't expect me to give anything away here!). The book proceeds in a sprightly (not a word I get to use much, especially connected to murder) fashion to its Nick-and-Nora type finale with the cast of suspects all gathered together by the detective in charge (St. Just). This, btw, is another device to which I am especially partial. (btw, I hope you all noticed how I managed to keep those participles from dangling :D)

The writing is crisp and witty. The familiarity of the story and the characters is precisely what makes it feel cozy but Malliet pulls it off without becoming in any way stale. There were laugh out loud lines (not many books get me to do that, although I seem to have found several lately) and the story moved along at the perfect pace for me-a sort of trot, would be my description.

I recommend it to all cozy mystery fans, especially those who, like me, enjoy current wit mixed with a dash of nostalgia.
Profile Image for Hannah.
661 reviews53 followers
February 15, 2012
Death of a Cozy Writer was an "okay" read that fell a short of my expectations, but at least never went all the way to being disappointing. For all the humor and comfortingly familiar premise in the line of a traditional Agatha Christie novel, it just didn't have the same gripping suspense or an interesting detective character.

The biggest problem I had with this book is the author's decision to keep the main detective off-stage until about halfway through the story, by which time I was becoming seriously frustrated with the thoroughly unlikeable cast. It's fine to have a whole crew of scheming, flawed suspects tear at each other until a murder occurs when I'm familiar with the detective, but in a first book, I would expect to be presented with a protagonist that I could identify with as soon as possible. Because St. Just is introduced so late in the story, the book focuses heavily on the characters of Sarah and Albert in the first half, neither of whom are entirely likeable. When St. Just finally appears, the point of view switches and the two of them barely make an appearance anymore. It's strange.

The above issue is compounded by the fact that the late introduction of the detective also meant that he wasn't needed until then - it took half the book for the first murder to occur, by which time I was seriously bored. The suspects were clearly working themselves up to the point where one of them would be murdered, but for all that, there was surprisingly little suspense. Perhaps it's because it felt inevitable? I was just waiting for one of them to be knocked off so that things could finally get rolling.

On the positive side, the book definitely picked up with the first murder and the detective's entrance. St. Just himself isn't really that interesting (another problem I had with the book), but the faster pace during the investigation process really helped. It was fun trying to figure out whodunit as the pieces seemingly fell into place.

I say "seemingly," because the ending turned out to be a disappointment for me. Everything was building up to the big reveal. A large part of the novel had been spent highlighting the awful family dynamic in the Beauclerk-Fisk household and the troubled relationship between Adrian and his children. And the result?

After all that setup, it felt like a cop-out of an ending. St. Just suddenly "realizes" what happened ties in with a past case, and as readers we were privy to none of that information. There weren't even hints of any of the sort until the final stretch. Even more disappointing was the fact that St. Just presented the facts and motive without the murderer ever getting to speak up. He/she just caved! What an anti-climax. For all the time spent on the inheritance issue, as well, we never get to find out how the characters reacted. What about the money-grubbing Lillian, who gets nothing? Does Albert ever quit drinking and find success on stage? We never find out.

For all its problems, I enjoyed parts of Death of a Cozy Writer. The cast of characters with their variety of personalities and flaws were well done, and I liked the tongue-in-cheek references to Dame Agatha as well as Sergeant Fear with his Jingle Bells ringtone. St. Just could use a lot more development, however. I'll be picking up the next book in the hopes that we'll learn more about St. Just and see better pacing.
Profile Image for Leslie.
2,699 reviews203 followers
September 1, 2018
While the solution to this mystery eluded me until the 'big reveal', I found certain aspects of it fairly obvious. Plus the whole Beauclerk-Fisk menage struck me as caricatures; I guess this was meant to be humorous but it didn't tickle my funnybone.

Davina Porter did a good job narrating.
Profile Image for Rob.
69 reviews4 followers
May 24, 2010
While browsing in the Mystery section at my local book merchant, I came across this sublime debut from new writer, G.M. Malliet. Always a fan of the traditional English mystery, I was instanly intrigued and subsequently entertained. If Agatha Christie has been reincarnated, then she has come back in the form of G.M. Malliet, who has deftly captured the Dame's essence when it comes to constructing the perfect English manor mystery.
When a malicious and morally bereft writer of a popular mystery series (very similar to Christie's "Miss Marple"), who delights in inflicting misery upon his four estranged and snarky adult children with threats of disinheritance, systematically extends an invitation to each for a family reunion to introduce them to his new fiancee, he consequently sets the stage, or should I say parlor, for the ultimate sibling rivalry competition. After the first murder is committed, we are introduced to "Chief Inspector St. Just" and his "Watson" like sidekick, "Sgt. Fear". "St. Just" is not nearly as eccentric and fastidious as Christie's "Poirot", but he is just as capable of unraveling the intricate secrets that someone has killed and will kill again to keep.
Superbly executed and well written, I was left to ponder the murderer's identity until the anticipated denouement. Ms. Malliet is a worthy talent and can hold her own in sharing shelf space with the above mentioned doyenne of cozy mysteries. I will be anxiously awaiting "St. Just's" second case, "Death and the Lit Chick", with the hope that there will be many more offerings to come.
Profile Image for Pamela Mclaren.
1,366 reviews83 followers
August 5, 2021
What a devious, deliciously twisted tale full of mean, spiteful, unhappy people, a family and story that reminds me too darn much to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

And if I missed the clues, author G.M. Malliet would make sure you know, alluding to the similarities between Ms. Christie's and her stories of Miss Marple and Malliet's own character Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk's tales featuring Miss Rampling. Ms. Christie, however, never so twisted and unlikeable as Sir Adrian.

Sir Adrian delights in tormenting his four grown children, revising his wills on a regular basis. And his poor 'children', well, let's face it, are pretty pathetic. His latest game: inviting all four children to his estate for a pre-wedding weekend so that they can get to know his fiancée before the wedding.

And they appear to get to indeed know the beautiful Violet: she was once suspected of murdering her first husband.

The real surprise, however, is that Violet isn't a fiancée but a bride. But that isn't the only surprise because that very evening a murder occurs — but its not who the reader would expect.

Things gradually get more and more sticky — secrets, pasts and all of a sudden everyone has a reason to murder. Hence, the similarities to And Then There Were None.

This story was a hoot. These were not likable characters but it sure is fun to dislike them. The twists and turns and red herrings are loads of fun; sparks that twinkle in the telling. A darn good story.
Profile Image for Dawn Michelle.
2,415 reviews
February 19, 2020
Do yourself a favor and skip this series and just stick with her Max Tudor series [WHICH is delightful]. This was not delightful, had a not-so-great narrator and the story generally was meh [and while I am not a prude, this had more language than I was expecting and seemed gratuitous for a cozy mystery]. The end was good and somewhat unexpected so that helped keep it at 2 stars, but I generally feel like I totally wasted my time. :-(
Profile Image for Sian Wadey-Kerr.
435 reviews11 followers
July 15, 2016
I love a good 'twee' murder mystery, set in the countryside, normally involve a plodding village policeman and often based around a feuding family. Death of a Cozy Writer ticks all the boxes. Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a murder mystery writer who thrives on torturing his four vile children by threatening to disinherit them.
Despite their distaste for their father, when he announces a surprise engagement, all four children come running to their old family home. What follows in murder and mayhem.
For a start there were no redeemable characters. I felt sorry for his daughter, other than that everyone was very arrogant and pompous. G.M. Malliet describes every woman as being disgusting, fat or ugly. And God forbid a fat woman should have any self confidence or consider herself attractive. It surprised me to find the author was female.
The police officers in this novel are quite forgettable. I'm not expecting them to be quirky or have weird characteristics but they need to be memorable. Unfortunately they were quite cookie cutter.
I did like the fact that the murders were linked to the past but more of this needed to be made. By the end I was quite confused as to what had happened and just wanted to be shot of these horrific characters.
Profile Image for writer....
1,286 reviews74 followers
February 20, 2017
Contemporary family setting for this mystery with the solution centred in events and relationships of the 1950s has siblings as well as detectives scurryinging throughout England and Scotland to disclose the murderer.
Profile Image for Dagný.
119 reviews
August 15, 2009
This book was a disappointment. I had come across it many times when looking for mysteries and it is highly decorated, for example it received the 2008 Agatha Award. I kept reading in a trance of indignation; how can it go on and on and never become the least bit award-worthy, was it about to transform? (It did make a feeble attempt at retrofitting but it was just a facade)
I was curious about what made this book such a failure as opposed to success in my mind. For one thing, the characters are all put down and made pathetic and despicable, not through their actions so that the reader would judge by him/herself, but by the author trying to be funny; as a result it was almost impossible to feel sympathy and care what happens to them; it didn't matter "who done it". The point of view jumps all over in an haphazard way, sometimes in a sentence or two out of the blue. A couple of minor characters get introduced as if they were worthy of a major focus while they are then never mentioned again, as opposed to two policemen who are supposedly a mainstay, (to be featured again and again in following series), yet in no way given any interesting presence. This book is, like the Brits would say, a bloody mess and- although a murder mystery- thats not a compliment.
Profile Image for Kristine Kucera.
90 reviews5 followers
August 29, 2012
This was a typical murder mystery: the suspects sequestered in the mansion; the detective gathering them to identify the killer. It was an entertaining, fast-paced read. The only item keeping me from giving it five stars is how the mystery was solved. The detective used information that we readers did not have - making it impossible for me to make a decent guess. This won't keep me from reading another one, though. It was a fun, easy read!
Profile Image for Selah.
1,232 reviews
February 15, 2015
Overall, an interesting, though not entirely satisfying cozy. The writing and plot were uneven, but I enjoyed St. Just and Sergeant Fear. The narrator, Davina Porter, was excellent!
Profile Image for Greg.
1,863 reviews18 followers
February 12, 2021
Of course I had to check this out from the library when I randomly pulled it off a shelf: a back cover blurb by Cozy Library recommends this to "...anyone who cut their teeth on Agatha Christie's mysteries..."
CAST - 3 stars: I liked that a "Cast of Characters" appears before the book opens. But here, this raised a red flag as 23 people are named, usually indicative of 'striving for word count' in this genre. Open a Dame Christie book and you'll find, say, a Cast List of 13 for "The A.B.C. Murders" or 15 for "Funerals are Fatal" or 5 for the criminally overlooked "Murder in Three Acts." I did like Sergeant Fear who had "...developed his own five-star system...One star meant: Probably True...Five stars meant: Certainly a Lie" when investigating a crime. I found Fear more developed than Detective Chief Inspector St. Just, and the Fear/Just names rather clever. Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is humorous as he torments his grown children. Problem is that most characters are under-developed and interchangeable, thus the need to reference said Cast.
ATMOSPHERE - 4 stars: An 18th-Century Cambridgeshire manor owned by a devious mystery writer? Hard to go wrong with this element.
PLOT - 3 stars: This story has been done and done, but seldom with this level of humor.
INVESTIGATION - 4 stars: The author goes for laughs with smart quips to the detriment of smart questions, but the jokes do come often and are indeed clever. Perhaps I needed a nice, light read and this one came to the rescue.
RESOLUTION - 3 stars: The author turns to a last minute character introduction. Yes, this is the very reason many are turned off of this genre completely. But it works for the same reason Neil Simon's "Murder By Death" or the film "Clue" works: as satire. (Truman Capote's gleefully evil turn as Simon's villain is not to be missed.)
SUMMARY - 3.4: A pleasant read chock full of good-to-great one-liners. Perfect if you need some laughs. A downside is that once closing the book, I couldn't remember very much of the actual story. Still, it lightened a rather dark day (you all know about the trial in the USA...very dark days).
Profile Image for lisa.
44 reviews6 followers
May 12, 2013
I am a fan of cozy mysteries and golden age detective fiction. So when I saw Death of a Cozy Writer as the Kindle Daily Deal a while back, I bought it without hesitation. Maybe there should have been some hesitation.

I don’t want to give away the entire plot, so my summary will be brief. This is the story of the Beauclerk-Fisk family, whose patriarch, Sir Adrian, is a cozy mystery writer. He manipulates his four children—Ruthven (the heir apparent), George, Albert, and Sarah—with frequent changes to his will, threatening to disinherit one or all of them as suits his fancy. When the story begins, Sir Adrian has sent all of his children an invitation to his wedding to Violet Mildenhall, and this puts his children in an uproar because they realize this will further jeopardize their inheritance and make their cuts of the inheritance smaller. The children mobilize and descend upon Sir Adrian’s home, Waverley Court, with the intention of preventing the marriage. Only, they discover that Sir Adrian has already married Violet. Throughout the novel, Sir Adrian’s children are shown to be motivated by greed and self-interest, and so there really isn’t one person for readers to like. Enter the figure of the Great Detective—St. Just.

Now, I said earlier that I like golden age detective fiction, and Death of a Cozy Writer certainly intends, at least superficially, to take its position within this style of detective fiction. Which means that the central character of the novel must be the Great Detective (think Hercule Poirot) and Malliet follows this convention by giving us Detective Chief Inspector St. Just of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. The first problem I had with this book grows out of Malliet’s use of this convention in that it’s more than a third of the way through the novel before the central character appears (I read this on my Kindle and it was at about 38% that St. Just made his entrance). This was a problem for me because when I find all of the suspects to be petty, selfish, manipulative, self-absorbed, and generally unlikable, I want a character I can like and who will provide balance and contrast to the other characters. I know that that character is intended to be St. Just, but he doesn’t come into the story soon enough. When he did appear, well, he was kind of boring and bland. The conventional Great Detective possesses some quality that makes him eccentric but brilliant. He is often isolated and somehow outside of the social order and it’s through this position that he is able to restore order to society. I didn’t get this with St. Just at all. There was nothing to attract me to him. Yes, he was definitely a more likable character, but in this novel of generally unlikable characters, that wasn’t going to be too difficult.

Malliet also draws upon the familiar convention of providing a cast of characters before the first chapter begins. I don’t usually find myself having a reaction to these lists one way or another, but as I was reading through this one, I kept thinking that there were a lot of characters. I can see why Malliet gave the character list—it was a way of describing the characters for the reader before actually meeting them and a way to help the reader keep all the characters straight. Still, the character list was a preview of how flat the characters would be. They are character types, and yes, that is often a complaint leveled against golden age detective fiction, but the character list seemed to make that deficiency even more apparent. I will say that I think Malliet tried to fill the characters out and make them more round, and I think it is for this reason that the murder doesn’t actually take place until a third of the way through the story. Again, the problem for me is that the first third of the book was used for character development, which would have been fine, if there had been any likable characters, or if through the character development the characters became more likable or even appealing and interesting as characters. For the record, no, I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that all characters must be likable, but all characters must be interesting, and this is doubly true when it comes to unlikable characters. The author needs to give me a reason to keep reading about these characters I dislike so much.

Malliet employs the isolated setting convention and gathers all of the suspects in the same room at the end of the novel so that St. Just can reveal the killer and unravel the mystery. In this respect, I do think Death of a Cozy Writer fits into the style of golden age detective fiction and readers of this subgenre will enjoy the familiarity. However, I think the novel breaks the rule of “fair play” in providing all of the clues so that the reader can solve the puzzle if she has been paying attention. I don’t think the novel gave all of the clues, and so the revelation of the murderer was a complete and unexpected surprise, to the point that I couldn’t even say “oh yes, that was a clue and I just didn’t catch it.”

Overall, I felt like it took too long for the murder to occur and too long for the central character, St. Just, to make his appearance. I have written this elsewhere and I’m sure I’ll write it again, but the purpose of the first book in a series is to make me want to keep reading the series, and for me, Death of a Cozy Writer failed in its purpose. This novel won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 2008, so apparently a lot of people liked it. I’m just not counting myself among their number.

Profile Image for Chazzi.
994 reviews8 followers
September 20, 2020
I bought this a while back because of three things:
1. Cover art included a fountain pen.
2. The word “writer” in the title.
3. The cover blurb sounded good.
There are explanations behind the first two, but they don’t tie to this review.

Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a writer of a long series of best-selling cozy mysteries. He is also a pompous, egotistic snob who delights in pitting his children against each other with threats of their inheritance and frequent changes in his will.

Ruthven (pronounced Riv-ven) Beauclerk-Fisk, the eldest, is first in line for the bulk of the inheritance and title. He is also pompous and a control freak. His wife, Lillian, is a social climber.

George Beauclerk-Fisk is number two in line. A narcissistic young man of the belief that women can’t resist him, is involved in the gallery scene, is not super sharp and is a bit shady.

Albert, number three son, is the black sheep of the family. An actor with a drinking problem and a string of failed roles in plays, figures he won’t get much of anything, but could use a little money.

Sarah Beauclerk-Fisk is the nerdish daughter. A lump of a woman, unhappy in life, but has published a top selling cookbook of odd, healthy recipes and working on another. She tends to get distracted in details.

These are the central characters, and along with others, they’ve been invited to the family estate to attend Sir Adrian’s wedding to Violet Mildenhall. They are not happy about this change in the status quo as they are worried what this will do the their inheritance.

Ruthven researches Violet’s past and finds her first husband died a mysterious death, which provoked quite a scandal. Ruthven plans to present this juicy bit to their father in hopes of him cancelling the wedding.

During a family meal, Sir Adrian shocks the family by announcing that the actual wedding has occurred a week earlier. Needless to say, the children go into a panic.

When Ruthven is found brutally murdered in the wine cellar, the question turns to who is the next in line for the title and money; never mind the murder. The answer is left in limbo when Sir Adrian turns up dead the following day.

Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is getting ready for a vacation when this case is dropped in his lap. He has quite a list of suspects to choose from and also finds a connection to the earlier mysterious death of Violet’s husband. Seems he has three deaths to resolve.

The style is similar to Christie, Sayers and others of that era. There are humourous snippets and threads can be a bit tangled to follow. I enjoyed the characters and the plot moved along at a good pace.
Profile Image for Debbie Maskus.
1,398 reviews14 followers
February 17, 2017
I have read G M Malliet many times, thoroughly enjoying the Max Tudor series. Death of a Cozy Writer, a St Just Mystery, lacked the zest of the Max Tudor series. G M Malliet brings many interesting subjects into her stories through her characters. I adore how Malliet introduces her characters at the beginning of her books, and this story has discussion questions at the end, which is always a delight. All the characters bring faults as well as strengths, and vivid sex scenes and graphic violence disappear in favor of setting and characters. Names of the characters provide great amusement as the Detective Chief Inspector is St. Just, his Sergeant is Garwin Fear, and the coroner is Dr. Malenfant. The English countryside glitters in the Christmas season.
Profile Image for Anissa.
880 reviews264 followers
September 9, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Karen.
154 reviews2 followers
October 24, 2013
I wish I had read more of the reviews before I read the book. The publicity makes it sound like a real Golden Age mystery, but in fact it is more of a parody than a true example of the type. The characters are stereotypes and their motivations are obvious. The Great Detective doesn't even come into the story until about half-way through. He really doesn't have to figure out anything. We have already seen most everything at that point.

Other parts are well-written, and it did win an Agatha award, but I certainly would never suggest this to any of my patrons who wanted a real cozy mystery. Everyone is too unpleasant, and there is no one to make a person feel a part of the story.

It's too bad because the concept was good and I was really prepared to enjoy this one on a cool Fall evening. I got the next 2 from the library at the same time so I will look to see if the concept gets better or not. I certainly won't be watching for any more in the series, or looking at the other series by the same author.
Profile Image for Kim Kaso.
298 reviews60 followers
August 11, 2015
I like to start a new book on Sunday nights as I settle into bed, listen to Hearts of Space on the radio, and I love when I can settle into something comfortable as Monday looms on the horizon. I started this book and startled myself and my husband by bursting out laughing, and found myself reading passages aloud which made us both start chuckling. So glad to have found this author and am enjoying both of her series.
Profile Image for Julie  Durnell.
1,033 reviews112 followers
June 25, 2015
A good whodunit in the classic British style, with plot twists, involving a decades-old murder, and an interesting cast of characters. My first in this series with St.Just and liked it enough to go on to the second book.
Profile Image for Amy Marie.
329 reviews106 followers
December 16, 2021
Very good read! This was my first time reading anything from G.M. Malliet. The style of writing reminded me strongly of an Agatha Christie novel, which I loved. Great reveal at the end! Characters well fleshed out - I definitely want to read the next in the series.
Profile Image for Cindy.
3,659 reviews165 followers
July 26, 2021
Modern, English mystery with all the twists. Love the writer and all novels. I’ve enjoyed most of them and this one more than once (text and audio). Narrator is terrific.
Profile Image for Frances.
569 reviews5 followers
April 23, 2021
A light read which I enjoyed. I felt I didnt quite get to grips with the St Just character but this may build in later books. I would read more in the series.
290 reviews3 followers
February 10, 2022
Excellent character humor. I’ll be looking at more of Malliet’s stories.
Profile Image for Maria.
400 reviews13 followers
August 29, 2018
This is another of those random selections from the library, the audio version. I have mixed feelings about this book. I was peeved that the book was 35% gone before anything happened. The first third was just to set up the whole crime scene, introducing the characters and their horrible personalities. I don't think I liked any of them, mainly because the author was setting them all up to be suspects, and there wasn't a likeable one in the bunch.

The plot was so full of motives and side-motives and side-side-motives that I had a hard time keeping track of it all, and the ending was so Agatha Christie-like that I wanted to barf. I am NOT a fan of her devious out-of-the-blue endings. The reader should be able to figure out the ending with the clues given. Throwing in a conclusion based on a last-minute "discovery" is frustrating and unfair to the reader.

I don't think I'll be reading any other books in this series.
Profile Image for Phoebe.
1,995 reviews13 followers
June 17, 2017
I kept wondering if I'd started with book 1 in this series, because the author gives no backstory at all to her detectives, except for dropping occasional hints about them. And we want to know more about them both. Murder calls them in, after the eldest son of Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is found dead. Family drama and simmering emotion mire Sir Adrian's children, and this time the announcement of his engagement hits especially hard. Malliet gives the reader absolutely no crumbs, and readers who like to solve the mystery before the great reveal will find this pretty much impossible in this situation. Adult.
Profile Image for Kyrie.
3,081 reviews
February 14, 2022
Sort of the antithesis of family - the Beauclerk-Fisks mostly dislike each other and are only united in hatred of their father. When he gathers them all together to meet his new bride-to-be, murder occurs. It's a good send up of the traditional cozy murder mystery. I like St. Just and his second in command - Fear. Great names. I also like how they combine intuition and facts to arrive at their conclusions.
Profile Image for Louise Culmer.
847 reviews42 followers
August 12, 2023
Quite a clever mystery, I didn’t guess whodunnit, which is always satisfactory. The detective, St Just, is quite pleasant though not particularly distinctive. I liked Sergeant Fear with his system of star ratings for suspects statements based on how likely they are to be true.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 462 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.