Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It ain't all that cozy

Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a thoroughly unpleasant person, but a wildly successful mystery writer. He gathers his four estranged children to his estate in order to announce his upcoming marriage. The children, naturally, are shocked and worried that their potential inheritances are going to be drastically cut back with a new stepmother in the picture. Naturally, when all are gathered, several deaths occur, and, as there are no footprints in the newly-fallen snow, they must have been an "inside job." DCI St. Just and his assistant DS Fear are left to interview the survivors and work out just whodunit.

In Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet pays homage to the classic country estate mysteries. In fact, the book was nominated for a 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Still, I found the story to be less than engaging. Introducing the characters and their various grievances took nearly half the book. There were three brothers who were a bit difficult to keep straight and lots of sniping that didn't really add anything to the story.

I went to a conference and took this book with me to read, so I did finish it. If I'd had other reading material along, I would have put this one aside after the first few chapters. It wasn't a bad story, and there were some interesting revelations near the end, it just took a long time to get started. By the time the first murder occurred, I had long ago lost interest. There is also an unbelievable character with . . . er, unnatural dedication to the job that also caused me to lose patience with the novel.

Final Verdict for Death of a Cozy Writer: Two Gherkins, for being a promising story that never really takes off

0 comments:

Post a Comment