Elizabeth Reads…Books About Murder

This month I am reviewing two books about murder. The first brings an old friend back to life, albeit from a new pen. And the second is a sort of Agatha Christie meets Midsomer Murders. I enjoyed both books very much.

Closed Casket: A New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah

I have always loved Agatha Christie’s stories, especially those featuring Jane Marple or Hercules Poirot. Like many people, I have grown up with the numerous films and TV adaptations, and feel I know these characters particularly well.

Lady Athelinda Playford is a successful author who announces during a house party that she is changing her will. Among the guests are not only the usual mix of family, friends and employees, but also a certain Belgian detective and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Murder ensues, but the victim is not the person one was led to expect. 

This is the second Poirot novel written by Sophie Hannah and although some Christie devotees are less than convinced, I believe she has captured all his mannerisms and his wonderful arrogance perfectly. I found the plot a little too convoluted, even by Christie’s standards, but it was an enjoyable read.

Murder at the Cathedral: (Exham on Sea Mysteries Book 4)

The Exham on Sea Mysteries are set in a seaside town in Somerset and feature amateur sleuth Libby Forest who balances her investigations against an already busy life running a cake and chocolate business. The latest in the series, Murder at the Cathedral sees Libby not only pursuing her twins skills of cooking and detecting, but also learning to knit – a bit, anyway. There is the usual great cast of characters, including old favorites Mandy and the wonderful Bear; and it’s nice to see Libby and Max continuing to develop their relationship. I didn’t guess the culprit, although on reflection, all the clues were there.

Frances Evesham’s books are only available on Kindle and are short enough to read at a single sitting. This is highly recommended as a ‘curl up in front of the fire on a grey Sunday afternoon’ book.

Dear readers, I hope you enjoy reading my occasional book reviews. I make a point of reviewing every book I read  on Amazon and on Goodreads (although, as they say on the BBC, other review platforms are also available); and I would encourage you to do the same, as reviews are very important to writers. And as always, a special plea for a review if you happen to have read one of my books. Happy reading!

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5 Comments

  • Frances Reply

    Thanks for a lovely review- very much appreciated xx

    • Elizabeth Ducie Reply

      You are welcome, Frances. I’m looking forward to reading the new one.

  • Sally Trueman Dicken Reply

    I have read all four of Frances Evesham’s books on this series. They are all very entertaining. I live in this part of Somerset and I like the way that she uses the locations familiar to many in Somerset. She has a good cast and weaves them well into the plots.

    • Elizabeth Ducie Reply

      Yes, they are great, aren’t they, Sally. And having a local setting must make them even better. I’d love to write novels based in my own town, and have lots of stories I could use – but I’d have to move first ! Ex

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