Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Murder Mystery Book Club by C.A. Larmer

 
First Line: Everything was ready.
 
Alicia Finlay's first book club experience was not a good one, but instead of giving up, she decided to form her own. Advertising the old-fashioned way (in the newspaper), she finds six people with a similar penchant for the writings of Agatha Christie to join her Murder Mystery Book Club.
 
The club has barely begun when one of the members goes missing. Concerned for the woman's safety-- especially since her husband isn't at all worried-- the club members begin their own investigation in order to find her and make sure she's all right.
 
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I was tempted by The Murder Mystery Book Club because it's a cozy mystery written by an Australian author and set in Sydney, Australia. It seems that writers in other countries are testing the waters of the cozy genre, and I have to admit that I'm curious. In this instance, C.A. Larmer has written an enjoyable, light-hearted mystery that has readers roaming the beaches and various neighborhoods of Sydney in their search for a missing woman.

The book has a varied cast of characters: Alicia Finlay, magazine editor and book club founder; her sister, Lynette, who works in a restaurant and is a first-rate cook; the handsome Dr. Anders whose interest in Agatha Christie lies in her use of poisons; Missy, the chatterbox librarian; Claire, the fashionista who owns a vintage clothing shop; gay paleontologist Perry; and Barbara, the miserable socialite. I found the group to be a strong one, and their varied personalities and strengths should bode well for an entire series. An added bonus is their sharing of information with the police. None of that amateur "I know better than the trained professionals" in this book.

Other factors making this book an enjoyable read: its ties to Agatha Christie's life and writing and Larmer's descriptions of various Sydney neighborhoods. There's very little Australian slang in the book, so readers not familiar with the Land Down Under shouldn't find themselves confused. I did find Missy's tendency to call people "possum" amusing, probably because that was my grandfather's nickname among his cronies. My favorite phrase in the book that I'll be using in the future? "I feel like a third nostril sometimes..." Love it!

If you're in the mood for an Agatha Christie-tinged, light-hearted read, C.A. Larmer's The Murder Mystery Book Club should be a good choice. Get that pot of tea ready!

The Murder Mystery Book Club by C.A. Larmer
(APA The Agatha Christie Book Club © 2014)
eISBN: 9780648800958
Larmer Media © 2021
eBook, 215 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 Murder Mystery Book Club mystery
Rating: B
Source: Purchased from Amazon.

10 comments:

  1. A book club and a mystery disappearance sounds really good.

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  2. I do like it when an author handles an amateur detective effectively, Cathy, without pushing disbelief. And a book club does sound like an appealing context for a story. You make an interesting point, too, about authors in other countries who are writing cozy mysteries. It's very interesting to see what they're doing. I may give this a try at some point, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I just find it so interesting that writers in other countries are trying cozies on for size.

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  3. Summer reading seems to call for cozy mysteries. This sounds like a good one.

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    1. There's a lot to like about it, Dorothy.

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  4. This one does sound good. I like the assortment of characters that are part of the mystery book club. Might check it out!

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    1. Of course, you have absolutely nothing else to read... ahem...

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  5. This reminded me of my pleasure in 'discovering' Charlaine Harris when I read the first Aurora Teagarden mystery (years before Charlaine wrote about vampires!).

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    1. I really enjoyed Harris's Lily Bard and Harper Connelly series.

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