Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet

Where was I when G.M. Malliet won the Agatha Award for Best First Mystery Novel? Death of a Cozy Writer is everything a traditional mystery should be. It's a satisfying book, in the tradition of Agatha Christie. I've already bought the next two books in the series.

Malliet has combined all of the satisfying elements of an English locked-room mystery. Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk, a wealthy man because of his own cozy books written in the style of the Miss Marple stories, is also a totally dislikable man who delights in tormenting his grown children by changing his will any time someone in the family displeases him. Now, informing all of them that he's about to remarry, he invites the entire family to his manor in Cambridgeshire. And, as he acknowledged smugly, his additional information "set the cat among the pigeons," and he was happy. And, even a subsequent murder did little to disturb Sir Adrian's happiness. In fact, he was delighted when the police informed him that someone in the household was a killer. Just like in one of his mysteries!

But, Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just isn't a dithering police officer. St. Just's assistant, Sergeant Fear, admired his superior. St. Just is a large man, "Walking reassurance that the great British public was safe in his large, capable hands....His demeanor was genial, disarming, and entirely effective in getting witnesses to say more than they intended." St. Just also has a policeman's solid instincts, and he knows there is more trouble brewing in the house.

I found St. Just's investigation and solution entirely effective, and satisfying. Malliet has written a sound, wonderful traditional mystery. As a fan of the genre, I can't give it any higher praise. At the moment, there are two sequels to Death of a Cozy Writer. I hope G.M. Malliet and DCI St. Just have a long, successful career.

G.M. Malliet's website is http://gmmalliet.weebly.com

Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet. Midnight Ink, ©2008. ISBN 9780738712482 (paperback), 312p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I bought my copy of the book.

13 comments:

Kay said...

I liked this book very much. I'm looking forward to continuing with the series.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love this series, too. :) And I met Gin at Malice...she's a lovely person as well as being a good writer.

Book Bird Dog said...

Haven't read this series. Love the title.
Book Bird Dog

Lesa said...

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, too, Kay. Time. I need time! First, I have a couple other books I need to get through.

Lesa said...

Elizabeth,

That's an extra pleasure, isn't it? It's nice when the author is a pleasant person as well.

Lesa said...

Book Bird Dog,

If you like Agatha Christie type mysteries, you'll like this one. I really liked St. Just.

Anil P said...

I've loved reading Agatha Christie's books. This one should be interesting.

Lesa said...

A little slow starting, Anil, but I really liked it, and I liked St. Just.

Bev Stephans said...

Oh Lesa, you do tempt me to increase my TBR pile. This book sounds fascinating. Agatha Christie is one of my all-time favorite mystery writers.

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Lesa said...

And, my sister liked the second book even better than the first, Bev, so we both have books to look forward to reading. (Am I tempting you even more?)

Kris said...

I love the idea of this one..one of the characters being a cozy writer himself. How fun!

Lesa said...

I enjoyed it, Kris. And, I'm really looking forward to the next one. It's supposedly set at a mystery convention.