THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. 

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late? 


Title : Thursday Murder Club
Author : Richard Osman
Series : Thursday Murder Club
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 382
Genre : crime / mystery
Publisher : Penguin
Release Date : September 3, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 4 star review

Well this was as delightful as it sounds, really!

This is definitely (maybe? I think..) on the cozier side of murder mystery novels but doesn’t feel too silly, either. While it might be easy to just enjoy the antics of the seventy year olds poking their noses about and unearthing secrets and hatching plots to solve the case (well, cases), there’s also some very real observations and contemplations concerning their mortality and minds and how much time they, and those around them, have left. In a somewhat related way, too, there were tears shed. For a few different reasons. But they still have a good time, too. It was just.. I mean, I said it before, but : delightful.

I’d welcome a burglar. It would be nice to have a visitor.”

I was absolutely enamoured by all of the characters; the Murder Club, the officers drawn into their orbit, even some characters who might have been suspects. It was all very gently compelling. Which makes the fact that I have the sequel, or the second in the series, all ready to go because I am not ready to leave these old crafts dears and their fellows.

This might not satisfy readers who are more into thrills, chills, and chases, but if you like a good mystery to unravel, and like to read about some unconventional leads, this is a must for you to read.

DEAR MRS BIRD by AJ Pearce 🎧

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.


Title : Dear Mrs Bird
Author : AJ Pearce
Narrator : Anna Popplewell
Format : Audiobook
Length : 10 hours, 40 minutes
Genre : Women’s Fiction/Historical
Publisher : Macmillan Audio
Release Date : April 5, 2018

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

Headlines:
Funny
Down to earth view of war-time London
Female-centric

This was both a witty perspective of city life during WW2 but as you can imagine, it hit a point where it was tragic and sad too. That said, this is one of the easiest historical reads I’ve ever had and for that many points awarded. I often associate historical reads with being heavier but the funny narrative of Emmy, the protagonist, eased you into her world.

Emmy was a bit chaotic, she had a desire to make her subtle mark on society and she found herself wanting to empower women. What I liked about this story and narrative was that Emmy was all about the average woman, the problems those women faced in life, love and loss. There was so much in this witty bite of life for the reader.

I got caught up in the feels of tragedy when all was said and done and AJ Pearce has secured me for the next book because I have an intense desire to find out what’s next for Emmy (and Bunty).

The narration was superb and this actor (and voice actor) brought much to the emotional levity and temperature of the listening experience.

IF THIS GETS OUT by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich – double review!

Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.

On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?


Title : If This Gets Out
Author : Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
Format : eARC/Paperback ARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA romance
Publisher : Wednesday Books/Team BKMRK
Release Date : December 7, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2.75 (rounded up) star review

I think this would’ve resonated a lot more with me had I been a One Direction or BTS fan. It’s been a long time since I was into this kind of musical group, though I’m obviously not too old to understand the dynamics and the archetypes and the pressure; I’m not blind or deaf to social media. But it was hard to transport myself into this mindset because, well.. I was too young to pay that kind of attention when I was into these kinds of groups. Not to mention, I think the media and paparazzi — while they were probably no less toxic back in the day — well, the coverage was just different. Because the internet. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to deal with for those who were the subject of it all, of course, but how it was later consumed? The frenzy. The focus. The demand for more, for all? I feel that’s such a different animal now.

But anyway, that’s a long intro that isn’t saying much, so lets move on.

Overall I don’t have a lot of feelings about this. Or at least not strong ones. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, and it was a quick consumption of entertainment. But don’t take that to mean this was light or fluffy or easy to process; there are real issues, some heavy subject matter, mixed in with the boyband and romance elements. But I felt the same way about the story as I do reading about the aforementioned real-life bands; my brain was processing the information, I would sympathize, but ultimately my investment was low.

That said, I think a lot of people will like this — I don’t think being into these bands is at all a prerequisite. I just, personally, think I would’ve liked it more if I was.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
Self discovery
Friendships to moreships
Band life

If This Gets Out was a read with plenty of drama that I think has particular appeal for teens who love bands, fandoms, band life and are questioning or closeted. I appreciated all those themes and how Zach and Reuben navigated life with their restrictions. I’m not a fan of some of the big bands out there and I think this might have affected my enjoyment somewhat.

The developing more-ship between Zach and Reuben was sweet and made for easy reading. The life of the band on tour was tough, exactly how I imagine in terms of control and restrictions and that was uncomfortable reading.

Self discovery, identity and the desire to come out felt well-handled in this book. One of my yuk factors in YA is crappy parents and parenting; be ready for those elements.

This was a roller coaster of a read with sweet elements and a relationship to buy into.

Thank to TeamBKMRK for the review copy.

LOVE STORIES: A NOVELLA COLLECTION by Samantha Young

A collection of contemporary romance novellas from New York Times Bestselling Author Samantha Young. This volume includes novellas previously only available exclusively to newsletter subscribers. They have now been collated into this romantic collection of modern love stories. Includes:

The Forbidden Christmas Gift:
It’s Christmas at Shaw’s Department store in Edinburgh! Reid Shaw should feel nothing but gratified by his success. But he’s not satisfied because the sexy Scot wants forbidden fruit for Christmas: Evan Munro. Reid’s Evan’s boss. He’s thirteen years older than her.
Oh … and she’s his best friend’s little sister.

New Year’s Eve:
After Ryan drunkenly kisses the object of her crush, Joe—her sister’s father-in-law— at his son’s birthday party, all she wants to do is avoid Joe for the rest of eternity. But when they find themselves stranded alone together on New Year’s Eve, Ryan discovers Joe most definitely doesn’t want to avoid Ryan…

Loving Valentine:
Micah Green has loved Valentine Fairchild for over ten years; ever since they were kids brought together by Micah’s difficult family life. Too many outside factors have gotten in their way, pushing them further apart over the years. But Micah, no matter how hard he tries, can’t forget her. When he finds a way to see her again, he realizes he’s wasted too much time loving Valentine from afar. Now he just has to convince her to let go of their past so they can move on with their future. Together.

Ember in the Heart:
When Ember Bonet overhears her sister’s fiancé’s best friend uttering rude remarks about the Bonet sisters at the engagement party, she instantly dismisses him as a pretentious man-child. Then said man-child, Foster Darwin, moves into the house next door along with his five-year-old daughter, making him hard to ignore.
Foster can’t believe his best friend, Colt, omitted to tell him the spinsterish Bonet sisters live in the house next door to his new home. Problem is, Ember Bonet is anything but spinsterish. From the moment they met, Foster has fought an overwhelming attraction to her. An attraction he has no time for. Not only is he determined to prioritize his daughter Georgie, he can’t fail his own father again. And Edward Darwin has made it clear that Foster must settle down with the right woman. Unfortunately, his family’s idea of ‘right’ isn’t the sexy massage therapist next door who’s eleven years his senior.
Determined to keep her distance from Foster, Ember fails when it becomes clear he and Georgie need support in their new life together. But proximity to one another is too great a temptation, and physical chemistry soon turns into so much more. If only Ember could get over their age difference and Foster his family pride…


Title : Love Stories: A Novella Collection
Author : Samantha Young
Format : eARC
Page Count : 315
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Self
Release Date : December 6, 2021

Reviewer :  Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ 


Micky’s 4 star review

This book of four delicious bites just fitted my mood. Each story was rich despite the brevity of the pages; I definitely had some favourites. Christmas touched at least three of the stories but they weren’t overtly Christmassy which works just fine for me. Each couple knew one another at least a bit already but no one could describe these couples as friends at the start. We also got a couple of age-difference stories.

Each book had a slice of steam and more. If that’s your bag, you can’t go wrong here. I’m putting my seperate ratings below for each novella, with a few individual thoughts.

The Forbidden Christmas Gift – 4 stars. Probably my favourite and this one had a strong office romance vibe.

New Year’s Eve – 4 stars. Joe was a babe and I loved this one too. Snowy cabin vibes were rolling alongside an older man.

Loving Valentine – 3.5 stars. This was a lesson in love-patience and these teens to adults were sweet and then adult-ish, if you get my vibe!

Ember In The Heart – 3 stars. I struggled a bit with the tool that was Foster in this story, redemption occured but he wound me up. That said, major props for the older woman trope here.

Thank you to the author for the early review copy.

A MARVELLOUS LIGHT by Freya Marske – double review!

Red White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.


Title : A Marvellous Light
Author : Freya Marske
Series : The Last Binding #1
Format : Physical ARC / eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 384
Genre : Historical Fantasy/LGBTQIAP+
Publisher : Tor Books
Release Date : December 9, 2021

Reviewer :  Micky / Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 -4 star review

A Marvellous Light really was a great debut novel, bringing that genre I love of historical fantasy and spotlighting a gay relationship in that era. This was the kind of read that I liked as soon as I dipped my toe into but it still took me a little while to truly get into it. When I did, I appreciated the unfolding magical world in historical England and most of all, I adored the connection that began to evolve between Edwin and Robin.

Looking back over the story as a whole, the plot really was rather clever. If I had moments of fogginess over what was happening, clarity did come without me feeling overly confused. The rules of the magical world and what was happening with Robin had a pressing sense of urgency, I was willing things to resolve. There was intelligence and wit throughout.

I can’t believe we were almost killed by a hedge.”

These two really were chalk and cheese, both in magical power and lack of but also in personality, physicality and communication. I particularly loved Robin, his openness, generosity of feeling and willingness to go with the flow. The chemistry between these two rose off the page…

“You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house. I’d like to introduce my fists to whoever taught you to stop talking about the things that interest you.”

There were a few periods in the book that felt a bit pacey, but if you feel that too, it’s worth pushing through. I didn’t like Edwin’s family at all and some of that focus was longer reading for me.

I would definitely recommend this read to you. It read authentically in terms of context and culture to my knowledge (and limitations) and I’m really pleased this is a series. I’ll be turning up for the next book!

Thank you to Tor Books and Black Crow PR for the review copy.


Hollis’ 3 star review

Just need to get this out of the way : I don’t think this ever should’ve been compared to Red, White & Royal Blue. It shouldn’t have been in the pitch. Prior to reading the book it made me hesitant to pick this up and post-reading the book I’m just perplexed.

That caveat aside, I did struggle with this book which made the times when I was really enjoying it a bit of a bummer because it would inevitably take a dip into a less enjoyable section or get a bit bogged down. But considering it’s a series and it sounds like there’s a lot of moving parts and things to reveal and overcome, a battle even maybe, I understand there’s a lot to set up. Having said that, I might’ve liked less emphasis on the romance knowing we had more books to come and therefore more time to let the romance breathe. I did enjoy it but also.. I wouldn’t have been bothered by some added yearning as opposed to resolving most (I assume..) relationship issues within the opening instalment.

What I didn’t have a problem with, however, was how the plot conflict was handled near the end. I disliked a huge portion of the characters in the story, as we’re meant to, and dragged my feet through a lot of the middle because of those scenes, but there was a fist pump moment with how deftly and cleverly one of the villains of the piece got their ass handed to them. It showed a lot of foresight for what these protagonists know they are to face and it was a “lose the battle to win the war” bit of craftiness that I adored and is so rarely seen in fantasy.

Another thing I adored? A certain house/cottage. While the magic system and a lot of the worldbuilding was somewhat interesting, though also at times kind of vague (maybe that’s just me?), I am hoping this house and the magic around it is a clue that things aren’t quite how they appear at first glance. Because I am so here for that.

I am looking forward to reading on in this series but, between the hype and the interesting choice in comp, just be wary going into this one that it doesn’t oversell itself before you cash out.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – DECEMBER 7, 2021

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Custody Battles by Gregory Ashe came out on December 3, 2021, so I imagine most of you Ashers have already devoured this new series of a spinoff (of a spinoff) starter.

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich is a queer YA romance in the vein of One Direction fanfic.

The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh is the third (not final! this is now a quartet) in the author’s historical vampire series.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske’s historical fantasy m/m debut released in US/CAN on December 2, 2021, but as of December 9, 2021, is also out in the UK.

The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd is a more than the light read that the cover conveys. This book whisks the reader on a journey from India to the Arctic with a feast of food and real issues. This is out on December 9, 2021 in the UK.



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

THE ARCTIC CURRY CLUB by Dani Redd

‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’

Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.

In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.

But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…

A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!


Title : The Arctic Curry Club
Author : Dani Redd
Narrator : Zoha Rahman
Format : eALC
Length : 10 hours 6 minutes
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Harper Collins UK Audio
Release Date : December 9, 2021

Reviewer :  Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ 


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Deep themes
Authentic anxiety rep
From Svalbard to Bangalore

This book was a bit of a travel feast with polar (there’s a pun there) opposite countries and a chef learning to cook the fayre of the places. I came into this book expecting a super light Christmassy romance, but what I got was so much more and better than that. The Arctic Curry Club was an empowering read of previous family trauma, mental illness represented well and woman finding her own feet to stand on.

Maya arrived in Svalbard (I enjoyed looking at photos of the place after reading the book) with her partner and her reaction to this extreme environment felt realistic. Finding your foot and purpose in a place like this was always going to be difficult. Relationships and friendships were key to this story but alongside this was a narrative of Maya’s family, her childhood in Bangalore and a trip back there. I really enjoyed the contrast of these two places.

Food, cooking, polar bears, illness and arctic foxes made for an entertaining read. The themes while deep, weren’t heavy and there was a lighter balance kept through the narrative to offset any emotional elements.

I listenend on audio and thoroughly enjoyed the narration (single pov).

Thank you to Avon Books UK for the review copy.

SEA OF RUIN by Pam Godwin

Bennett Sharp is on the run. 
Wanted for piracy, she fears neither God nor death nor man. Except Priest Farrell. 

The unfaithful, stormy-eyed libertine hunts her with terrifying possessiveness. Nothing will stop him from coming for her. Not his unforgivable betrayal. Not when she’s captured by the ice-cold pirate hunter, Lord Ashley Cutler.  She must escape Ashley’s prison and Priest’s deceit. But can she walk away from their twisted desires? 

Two gorgeous captains stand on opposite sides of the law. When they collide in a battle to protect her, the lines blur between enemies and lovers. Passion heats, secrets unravel, and hearts entangle until they break. 

Can love prevail in the sea of ruin?


Title : Sea of Ruin
Author : Pam Godwin
Series : Sea of Ruin (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 482
Genre : dark historical romance
Publisher : Heartbound Media, Inc.
Release Date : April 28, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 4 star review

You know how we don’t call books guilty pleasures anymore? Or try not to, at least? If we still did, I think this would be one of them. There are so many reasons to feel guilty about enjoying Sea of Ruin. Starting with the ship-full of triggers and dubious content within the pages.

However.

This somehow still managed to be a lot of fun? Compelling as fuck? Delicious? Whilst also constantly making me question myself because of aforementioned dubiousness. Truly. At one point this skirts (if not outright crossed into) torture porn because Bennett, the protagonist, goes through pretty much every kind of awful and pain imaginable. The entire spectrum of bad. And once or twice it even happens with a love interest. Sometimes bits are glossed over in a way that.. well, doesn’t make you forget what’s happening but is less of a play by play. Other times not so much. So, you know, when they say dark romance.. (jazz hands) they mean it.

The vibe here is basically Pirates of the Caribbean minus the campy fun meets all the grittiness of Black Sails. Dark bites aside, I didn’t expect to enjoy a pirate book this much as I’ve been pretty meh about every one I’ve read thus far (not many). But maybe that’s because they were YA. This isn’t remotely in that category. Insert big flashing sign saying tHisS iS aDuLt here, please.

I can’t say I was surprised about some of the unraveling of plot but to be honest I don’t think we’re supposed to be. And when I say plot, I mean that in the vaguest sense of the definition of the word. This is mostly a lot of adult content (both sexy and side eye-y) wrapped around a few pivotal scenes that have information related to backstories and motivations but otherwise.. yeah, not a lot of actual plot. But to be honest I didn’t even really notice until after I’d finished it and realized it was more character driven and, also, character-tossed -about-in-and-out-of-harm-or-sexy-times.

And still.. it worked.

For readers of dark romance I don’t know how this measures up to other reads as I don’t tend to dip into this subgenre so I don’t know if this is technically tame or just par for the course; but, regardless of your tastes, if you are worried about triggers, I definitely encourage you read other reviews and especially any content warnings to see if you’re up to braving these turbulent seas. It’s not hard to find the specifics.

I think it very likely I’ll read this author again — I’m sure I have a few of her books on my kindle from various sales over the years — because if she can make me like a book this much despite all the dodgy bits? What can’t she do.

If you want something gritty, sexy, historical, piratey, dark, romantic, and more, Sea of Ruin might just fit the bill. Also, it’s recommended you read the prequel after this book to avoid any spoilery bits that are revealed within the main book. Just a heads up. I’m off to read that now.

AS GOOD AS DEAD by Holly Jackson

The highly-anticipated finale to the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series, the instant bestsellers that read like your favorite true crime podcast or show. By the end of this mystery series, you’ll never think of good girls the same way again…

Pip is about to head to college, but she is still haunted by the way her last investigation ended. She’s used to online death threats in the wake of her viral true-crime podcast, but she can’t help noticing an anonymous person who keeps asking her: Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?

Soon the threats escalate and Pip realizes that someone is following her in real life. When she starts to find connections between her stalker and a local serial killer caught six years ago, she wonders if maybe the wrong man is behind bars.

Police refuse to act, so Pip has only one choice: find the suspect herself—or be the next victim. As the deadly game plays out, Pip discovers that everything in her small town is coming full circle . . .and if she doesn’t find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears. . . 


Title : As Good As Dead
Author : Holly Jackson
Series : A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (book three)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 464
Genre : YA mystery
Publisher : Delacorte Press
Release Date : September 28, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

If not for the fact that I feel obligated to review this, as the first two books are on the blog, I would probably take the coward’s way out and just not review; because I have no idea how to process my feelings about this. Or, rather, I am still processing them.

In hindsight all the extremes we visit in this finale do make sense. The argument could definitely be made that it was all building to this. But I wish we could’ve had the same result via a different means. I wish we hadn’t needed to see those extremes. It added a whole other thriller-y layer to this series, that’s for sure, but it’s hard to settle with.

It does prove that age old adage true, though. I won’t tell you which one, though; it would be a spoiler.

I’m going to slap this with a three because I think the craft and calculation behind this series, and this finale, is well done. And I would definitely read this author again. Especially if she writes in this genre. But the way this one fell out is just a little too.. well. Too something.

However, if you’re looking for a YA thriller/mystery series that definitely gets darker as the series goes on, with mixed media elements, with strong will-go-to-hell-and-back friendships aka found family presence, I would actually recommend.

MURDER MOST ACTUAL by Alexis Hall

From the author of Boyfriend Material and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake comes a cozy mystery that revisits the Golden Age of detective fiction, starring a heroine who’s more podcaster than private eye and topped with a lethal dose of parody — perfect for fans of Clue, Knives Out, and Only Murders in the Building!

When up-and-coming true crime podcaster Liza and her corporate financier wife Hanna head to a luxurious hotel in the Scottish Highlands, they’re hoping for a chance to rekindle their marriage – not to find themselves trapped in the middle of an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery with no way home. But who better to take on the case than someone whose entire profession relies on an obsession with all things mysterious and macabre? Though some of her fellow guests may consider her an interfering new media hack, Liza knows a thing or two about crime and – despite Hanna’s preference for waiting out the chaos behind a locked door – might be the only one capable of discovering the killer. As the bodies rack up and the stakes rise, can they save their marriage — and their lives?


Title : Murder Most Actual
Author : Alexis Hall
Format : eARC
Page Count : 302
Genre : Cosy Mystery/LGBTQIAP+
Publisher : Kobo Original
Release Date : November 9, 2021

Reviewer :  Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
Marriage on the rocks
Murders around every corner
Banter for days

Cosy mysteries aren’t really my thing but Alexis Hall’s books are totally my thing, so I thought I’d give this read a try. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

Murder Most Actual was purposely farcical and far fetched but the characters, particularly Liza and Hanna had you buying into the story. The dialogue and banter between these two was honestly hilarious and had me laughing out loud numerous times. I enjoyed the background depiction of a marriage stalled and their attempts to find their way back to common ground. The murders pretty much thwarted this plan though.

“Did you not hear the scream?”
“Yes, I heard the scream.” Hanna was giving her a what-the-fuck look.
“That’s why I’m staying in bed.”

The cast of characters were an eclectic mix to put it mildly with only Hanna and Liza likeable. As bodies began to fall, working out the perpetrator was on the one hand, simple and on the other hand, more complex than I thought. Expect to be stretched to ridiculous ends and just go with the flow.

I loved the chapter headings, cluedo-style. While this cosy mystery didn’t always float my boat, Alexis Hall brought his signature humour to the table and made me like it more than I would have without his wit and intelligence behind the pen.

Thank you to Kobo/netgalley for the early review copy.

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/murder-most-actual

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