Now, this is just what the doctor ordered… a healthy dose of humour all wrapped up in a good old fashioned murder mystery. Today I am talking about The Marlow Murder Club, the first in a new series by the author who created Death in Paradise, Robert Thorogood.
The Marlow Murder Club
by Robert Thorogood.
To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.
Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…
Some of you may have realised by now that I am rather a fan of Agatha Christie and her wonderful murder mystery tales. I am currently binging on David Suchet’s wonderful Poirot courtesy of Britbox and am slowly working my way through Agatha;s book. I also adore the TV series Death in Paradise and very much enjoyed listening to the audiobooks of all four books DIP written by Robert Thorogood. Therefore I jumped at the chance to read and review the first in his new mystery series… and oh what a joy it was.
Judith Potts is, to my mind, a modern day Marple. She is clever, independent, courageous and mostly unflappable. She is also a seventy-seven year old lady who creates crossword puzzles and regularly swims in the river Thames at the bottom of her garden. I warmed to her immediately and for me she was the absolute star of the show. Robert is very good at creating characters, especially ones that are slightly bonkers (in the nicest possible way). I love that he focuses on the strange foibles that inhabit us and makes us so wonderfully unique. It is a great strength in his storytelling.
But then there is also the wonderful plots he creates too. There really is no hanging around as the book kicks of off with Judith witnessing a brutal murder of which at first she is not taken seriously. However its not long before an actual dead body soon turns up. With a stretched, overworked police force struggling to find resources Judith decides to take matters in to her own hands and begins to investigate the murder herself. In the course of her investigation Judith discovers new friends – in the form of Suzie and Becks – and dark secrets and wrongdoings that go back years. It’s not long until the body count begins to rise.
Robert does a brilliant job of drip feeding the clues with a few red herrings thrown in for good measure and the list of suspicious characters grows. The climax brings it all to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion and I must say I romped through this in lightning speed. it was an absolute delight and a very welcome piece of escapism. I imagine the Audiobook will be wonderful too so I might well add that one to my list. If you love a good old cosy crime story with plenty of humour and engaging characters then I think you will be thrilled with this. I can’t wait for the next in the series (and possibly a TV adaptation!?)
Thank you so much to the lovely team at HQ Stories for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and supplying me and a review copy through Netgalley.
Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC One TV series DEATH IN PARADISE. He was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1972. When he was 10-years old, he read his first proper novel – Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House – and he’s been in love with the genre ever since. He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and an increasingly cranky Bengal cat called Daniel.