Following the success of the Marlow Murder Club, Judith, Susie and Becks and unlikely trio are back and this time they are right in the thick of the action.
Judith receives a phone call to attend a party to celebrate the forthcoming wedding of Sir Peter Bailey to his nurse Jenny Page. A marriage that has upset many. Judith cannot understand why she has been invited, but can only assume it is her notoriety. Perhaps something is going to happen, Judith with Susie and Becks all attend, if anything to just be nosy.
A loud crash is heard from inside the house and the three women all rushing to find the prospective groom, crushed to death under a large cabinet.
There cannot be anything suspicious about this death, as the room was locked and the key was in the pocket of the deceased. The only key.
But for Judith she knows something is not quite right, there is too many mysteries. All the potential killers have strong alibis, in fact the three women were alibis for the most obvious of the killer – Peter’s son, Tristan who had been arguing with his father and step mother to be on more than one occasion.
Add to this; daughters hidden in wardrobes, gardeners with a long family feud, a bitter ex wife, a glass jar not smashed and the plot thickens.
Of course amongst all of this intrigue, Judith is busy trying to work out the mystery clues she has picked up in the cryptic crossword. She discovers something that she wasn’t really meant to but at the same time, the author uses this as a vehicle to explain the structure and logic of all things cryptic. It is one of my greatest wishes that I could solve cryptic crosswords. I have yet to reach one clue correct.
Susie, the local dog walker is now hiring dog walkers to look after her own clients as she has found fame on the local radio station. In fact it proves a useful tool in solving some questions for the murder club. However fame comes at a price for Susie and it seems she will need to go back to what she is good at if she wants any chance of solving her financial woes.
Becks, the devoted wife of Colin the local priest seems to be up to something which is intriguing both Susie and Judith. Surely they can’t think someone like Becks would commit that sin. Sometimes all the detecting in the world and you can jump to the wrong conclusions.
But when it comes to the death of Sir Peter and catching the killer the Marlow Murder Club will not be fooled.
The book builds on the characters and setting of the first book and is fast paced and plotted, with plenty of clues and red herrings. Smugly I want to say I had worked out the perpetrator but actually it was a guess and I certainly could not work out how they did it. A great example of crime fiction in a bucolic setting with some characters who you can adore. Perfect for all fans of that cosy crime fiction that has boomed in recent years.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Death Comes to Marlow is out now.