Reviewed by Chris Longmuir
One of the books I read and commented on for the Cosy Crime section of my own nonfiction book Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution, was Murderer’s Fête by Roger Keevil. This was a classic detective mystery with touches of humour. I liked the play on names. There was an Inspector Constable, and a Sergeant Copper. The lady of the house, who was also a Justice of the Peace, was Lady Lawdown. The solicitor was Robin Allday. There was also an author whose pen name was Jake A Rawlings, and she wrote books about a schoolgirl magician, Carrie Otter. The titles of her books were Carrie Otter and the Photographers Stain, Carie Otter and the Half Boiled Pants, and Carrie Otter and the Deadly Pillows. This play on names added a light touch and made the book resemble a parody, although the plot followed the lines of the classic or traditional murder mystery.
The setting was one that is in frequent use in Midsomer Murders type mysteries. There was the village of Dammett Worthy, the parish church, and Dammett Hall, the home of Lady Lawdown, where the action takes place. Everyone in this book had secrets, and while it was comparatively easy to guess some of the secrets, the plot was sufficiently convoluted to keep me guessing.
The book was well written, edited, and formatted. It started life as a dinner theatre murder mystery which didn’t surprise me. I found it an easy, non-taxing read with good, natural dialogue, which would be ideal for reading on a journey or relaxing on a beach.
(excerpt from Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution)
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