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Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery #1)
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Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery #1)

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3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,943 Ratings  ·  306 Reviews
From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blo ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published July 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

A light and pleasant entertainment, worth the eyeblinks.

I don't think I'll pursue the series unless the second one falls in my lap somehow.

But many a cozy reader will lap this up! Find out why at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.

Laura
Jul 07, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before you dismiss this as tacky light fiction, which I would have done if it didn’t appeal to my mania for country house murders, let me say that it had me laughing aloud on the first page. A dreadful old writer invites his offspring, all of whom loathe him, to his estate to celebrate his engagement to a glamorous socialite. It doesn’t take his kids long to dig up that she is suspected of murdering her first husband decades ago. The offspring would refuse their father's invitation (also malicio ...more
Ellie
Apr 09, 2011 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction, humor
I spent a delightful morning reading Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery by G.M. Malliet. I had to keep checking the date of publication (2008) because it was so reminiscent of my favorite mysteries of the 1930s. References of course to e-mail and the like kept startling me back into the time frame of the novel: now.

The structure of the story is the classic wealthy patriarch playing his (4) grown children against each other using his ever-changing will (& then upcoming nuptials) to ke
...more
Krob
Jun 16, 2008 Krob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wished that this book had been bettter.
a wonderful premise. A modern setting for an old fashioned plot, but it just didn't make it. I will read the next one, but if it doesn't improve, this author is history with me.
Rob
May 24, 2010 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While browsing in the Mystery section at my local book merchant, I came across this sublime debut from new writer, G.M. Malliet. Always a fan of the traditional English mystery, I was instanly intrigued and subsequently entertained. If Agatha Christie has been reincarnated, then she has come back in the form of G.M. Malliet, who has deftly captured the Dame's essence when it comes to constructing the perfect English manor mystery.
When a malicious and morally bereft writer of a popular mystery se
...more
Dagný
Aug 14, 2009 Dagný rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a disappointment. I had come across it many times when looking for mysteries and it is highly decorated, for example it received the 2008 Agatha Award. I kept reading in a trance of indignation; how can it go on and on and never become the least bit award-worthy, was it about to transform? (It did make a feeble attempt at retrofitting but it was just a facade)
I was curious about what made this book such a failure as opposed to success in my mind. For one thing, the characters are
...more
Kristine Kucera
Aug 29, 2012 Kristine Kucera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a typical murder mystery: the suspects sequestered in the mansion; the detective gathering them to identify the killer. It was an entertaining, fast-paced read. The only item keeping me from giving it five stars is how the mystery was solved. The detective used information that we readers did not have - making it impossible for me to make a decent guess. This won't keep me from reading another one, though. It was a fun, easy read!
Kyrie
Nov 01, 2014 Kyrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'd definitely read another book in this series.

I love the names - St. Just and his sergeant Fear. (Sound like awesome names for a pair of dogs.)

The plot got very confusing to me, but it all came out in the end, and yes, it was probably just as confusing to the detectives.

A more than curmudgeonly writer of cozy mysteries calls his equally unlikeable children and ex-wife to his mansion (castle?) to witness his second marriage. That's when the bodies start turning up.

The best parts were the bits
...more
Julie
Apr 19, 2016 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I listened to this while riding in the car, and for that, it was a decent book. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie's mysteries with limited suspects in a country manor house, and the shrewd detective attempting to determine who is lying and who just isn't telling quite all the truth, even to the final denouement in the drawing room. That, unfortunately, is where it all falls apart. "Data dump" doesn't begin to describe it. Add to that the fact that the author does not play fair (ie the detective lea ...more
Sian Wadey
I love a good 'twee' murder mystery, set in the countryside, normally involve a plodding village policeman and often based around a feuding family. Death of a Cozy Writer ticks all the boxes. Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a murder mystery writer who thrives on torturing his four vile children by threatening to disinherit them.
Despite their distaste for their father, when he announces a surprise engagement, all four children come running to their old family home. What follows in murder and mayhem
...more
Caroline
Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk, millionaire author of cozy murder mysteries, summons his 4 children to the castle for a family gathering. Having grown up under the tyrannical thumb of their father who constantly threatens them with disinheritance, none of the 4 dare disobey. But the announcement that Sir Adrian is not engaged to be married but has instead eloped and is already married, to a woman who was once suspected of murdering her first husband throws his 4 children into confusion and the alread ...more
Karen
Oct 24, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I wish I had read more of the reviews before I read the book. The publicity makes it sound like a real Golden Age mystery, but in fact it is more of a parody than a true example of the type. The characters are stereotypes and their motivations are obvious. The Great Detective doesn't even come into the story until about half-way through. He really doesn't have to figure out anything. We have already seen most everything at that point.

Other parts are well-written, and it did win an Agatha award,
...more
Hannah
Feb 14, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Death of a Cozy Writer was an "okay" read that fell a short of my expectations, but at least never went all the way to being disappointing. For all the humor and comfortingly familiar premise in the line of a traditional Agatha Christie novel, it just didn't have the same gripping suspense or an interesting detective character.

The biggest problem I had with this book is the author's decision to keep the main detective off-stage until about halfway through the story, by which time I was becoming
...more
lisa
May 12, 2013 lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of cozy mysteries and golden age detective fiction. So when I saw Death of a Cozy Writer as the Kindle Daily Deal a while back, I bought it without hesitation. Maybe there should have been some hesitation.

I don’t want to give away the entire plot, so my summary will be brief. This is the story of the Beauclerk-Fisk family, whose patriarch, Sir Adrian, is a cozy mystery writer. He manipulates his four children—Ruthven (the heir apparent), George, Albert, and Sarah—with frequent changes
...more
Kim Kaso
Aug 11, 2015 Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like to start a new book on Sunday nights as I settle into bed, listen to Hearts of Space on the radio, and I love when I can settle into something comfortable as Monday looms on the horizon. I started this book and startled myself and my husband by bursting out laughing, and found myself reading passages aloud which made us both start chuckling. So glad to have found this author and am enjoying both of her series.
Grey853
Sep 10, 2010 Grey853 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dalia
Oct 13, 2014 Dalia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book contains some of the most tortured, complicated sentences ever written, and that is not a compliment. You can see the writer trying to be witty. I was hoping more characters would be killed as they were so unsympathetic.
Selah
Feb 15, 2015 Selah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, an interesting, though not entirely satisfying cozy. The writing and plot were uneven, but I enjoyed St. Just and Sergeant Fear. The narrator, Davina Porter, was excellent!
Tasula
Dec 26, 2014 Tasula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read to the end because I wanted to find out who the murderer was, but I really didn't think it was well written, and I didn't like any of the characters.
Alisha Natasha
I gave this book 3 stars because it really is just a light, fun, book. I was not disappointed, but I was also not wowed off of my feet. GM Malliet has a beautiful way of describing, and getting her point across to the reader. Her writing, to me, is very regal, and she pulls the 'Brit lingo' off very well.
I liked the plot, but I was hoping for a bit more of an explosion on the ending. I had definitely put the book down whilst reading it, and it had not gripped me to the point of sleepless nights
...more
Alice
Mar 13, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
1st St. Just "No one reigns innocently--Saint-Just

pg 49--... What isn't impossible, once all the impossibilities are excluded must be possible.

pg139--St Just remembering the many troubled abandoned children ... Part of the problem seemed to be that if at too young an age you lost the voice that taught you right from wrong, danger from safety, you never learned to internalize the necessary restrictions.

pg 147 Albert wondered if his moral compass were constantly being reset by the last part he had
...more
Nancy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Lee
I recently read a review of the third book of this series which caught my interest and, as is my wont, I search for this first of series first.

I enjoyed the very slow build up at the beginning where the author went to great lengths to introduce us to the characters. Being one who likes to pronounce names in my head as I read a book, this one had me searching for the pronunciation of 'Ruthven' ( actually Rivven to rhyme with driven).

The storyline was good and for the most part ran along quite smo
...more
Jennifer Storm
Dec 18, 2014 Jennifer Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking at some of the other reviews I surmise that cozy mysteries are not for straight-laced mystery readers. This book is a true cozy, full of witty language, it is downright funny. The writer has strewn the book with elaborately and humorously conceived metaphors that give the reader a clear glimpse into the peculiar world her characters inhabit.

Cozies make no bones about it: they are about the setting, the characters, and the entertaining dialogue above plot development. We cozy readers ret
...more
Michael Brown
New series, author and detective for me. A cozy mystery writer is one real worthless person. He has ruined the lives of his wife and children but makes tons of money with a series of books that seem to rip off other writers' characters, plots and stories in general. About half way thru the character and plot set up we get a murder. Enter the chief inspector and his crew who are like several other British series well defined by previous unrecorded events. They clues are there but well hidden in c ...more
Janet
I'm very glad I came across this first book in a series I'm looking forward to reading. DCI St. Just and Sgt. Fear are such great characters, and immensely likeable. As they wade through the many suspects in a country house, we see how good they are at seeing right through to the heart of people.

Sir Adrian is a writer of cozy mysteries, he's also an insufferable jackass. His four grown children despise him even as they still yearn for his fatherly approval. His ex-wife walked out on the whole f
...more
Lisa
Apr 18, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Want a 2-1/2 star rating for this one. It really was OK...amusing at some points, disappointingly drawn-out at others. I found the start fascinating, in that this is the St. Just series, but you don't see the Detective Inspector till quite a bit into the story. For this reason, I may give the series another go at some point. Perhaps it was the Beauclerk-Fisks who turned me off.
**SPOILER ALERT Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is setting his ridiculous family up for a surprise of epic proportions. Honest
...more
Mmyoung
Apr 15, 2014 Mmyoung rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I understand that this book can be read as an affectionate homage to the 'traditional cozy murder' but in this reader's opinion it serves better as an example of the shortcomings, limitations and frustrations of that particular style of book.

The writing style itself flat and uninspiring. The narrative voice meandered from limited omniscient to shifting limited individual p.o.v.s without any sense of these shifts being motivated by more than the writer's need to impart some information while with
...more
S.M.
May 18, 2014 S.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how to say this well enough, but there was just too much text for the sake of having text. Most of the characters were exaggerated a little too much exhausting the "cute english country side village" characterization allowance.

The revealing-all conversation between Ruthven and Albert was WAY too long and unrealistic for two sparring siblings. Sarah was introduced and then thrown to the side. The book started out with all the siblings consorting and then entirely focused on St Just w
...more
Donna Crow
Mar 31, 2010 Donna Crow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the way the camp opening with stock characters quickly became an engaging tale with people I cared about. I want to read more by this author.
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G.M. Malliet writes crime novels for Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books. The first book in her Max Tudor series is the Agatha-nominated WICKED AUTUMN (September 2011), which received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Library Journal and the Boston Globe also named it a Best Mystery of 2011: "Sly humor rivals Jane Austen’s."

WICKED AUTUMN also has been chosen by Shelf Awareness book review
...more
More about G.M. Malliet...

Other Books in the Series

A St. Just Mystery (3 books)
  • Death and the Lit Chick (A St. Just Mystery, #2)
  • Death at the Alma Mater (A St. Just Mystery #3)

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