Author: Robert Thorogood
Published: January 2021 by HQ
Category: Cosy Murder Mystery, Book Review
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.
Seventy seven year old Judith Potts was very happy with her life, living alone in an Arts and Crafts mansion on the banks of the Thames. She’d inherited the house from her great aunt, along with a modest portfolio of shares. Although she didn’t need to work, Judith had a job she loved, compiling crosswords for a national newspaper. No doubt her life would have carried on in this way but for the small matter of a murder.
The day Judith’s life changed began as normal, but the continuing heatwave was beginning to take its toll. She regularly goes skinny dipping in the river in all sorts of weather but the thought of cool water in the relentless heat held an even greater appeal. During her swim she hears a shout, and then what she believes to be a gunshot, coming from a neighbour’s house on the opposite bank.
Judith swam back to the centre of the river, desperately looking for someone who could help. Where were the dog walkers or canoodling couples when you needed them? She couldn’t see anyone. There was only one thing for it. She turned and swam for home as fast as she could.
The police seemed to find nothing amiss but Judith is convinced something has happened to her neighbour and resolves to find out what she can. Then there’s another murder.
Aided and abetted by her new found friends, dog walker Suzie and vicar’s wife Becks, the trio have some valuable input for DS Tanika Malik as they uncover possible suspects and evidence, while taking some risks along the way.
Robert Thorogood has created a colourful, diverse and delightful cast of realistic characters to people this cosy and humorous mystery. Judith is well known for her eccentricity and doesn’t care in the slightest what people think. Becks tries to be the perfect vicar’s wife but feels she’s lost her sense of self, and Suzie is a down to earth, what you see is what you get sort of person. All three benefit from the friendship in different ways.
There’s depth to the story and I appreciated how the women were depicted, in keeping with their situations and character traits. I really enjoyed reading it and look forward to book two.
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Robert Thorogood is the author of THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB, a brand new murder mystery series set in Marlow in Buckinghamshire.
Before then, he created DEATH IN PARADISE for the BBC and has also written four standalone Richard Poole murder mystery novels.