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Murder at the Rocks

(Alistair Fitzjohn #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,605 ratings  ·  136 reviews
When Laurence Harford, a prominent businessman and philanthropist is found murdered in the historic Rocks area of Sydney, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is asked to solve the crime quickly and discreetly. After barely starting his investigation, uncovering a discarded mistress and disgruntled employees, a second killing occurs.

Meanwhile, Laurence’s nephew, Nicholas Har
Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published June 13th 2011 by Amazon Digital Services (first published June 7th 2011)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,605 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Number 2 in a series of which I had already read #1 and#3. Not sure how that happened but it didn't matter since each story is individual and not much happens between books to progress the main characters.
Alistair Fitzjohn is of course the principle character. He is a likeable man who works his way fairly and honourably through all the evidence in order to eventually arrest the correct guilty parties. He likes orchids and classical music and he misses his deceased wife very much. Unfortunately,
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn has been delegated to solve the murder of Laurence Harford. Laurence was found in a lane way that runs beside his business in the Rocks in Sydney. Working on the case with him is Detective Sergeant Betts together they set out to investigate the crime at hand, but they quickly learn that Laurence was not a well liked man so narrowing down their suspects could be a little harder than they first thought.

The further they investigate, they discover that Lau
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written, fast paced cozy crime set in Sydney. When a wealthy businessman is found murdered near his jewellery business in the rocks area of Sydney DI Alistair Fitzjohn is sent to investigate. What he finds leads him on to discover past crimes and cover-ups and a family's darkest secrets. Well told story, the only negative being that the characters were a bit underdeveloped. It was almost as if the story was rushing along at such a pace that the author didn't have time to flesh out ...more
Stephen Clynes
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Laurence Harford is found murdered outside his business in Sydney, Australia. Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn is on the case to solve the crime.

This novel is the second in the series but can be read as a stand-alone. Sadly it is very similar to the first novel in the series. Again the novel is split between the police investigating the crime and a family member, this time the victim’s nephew, getting to the bottom of this cosy mystery.

In this pedestrian tale we once again have Alista
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn has been handed a murder case which is very high profile, because the victim, Laurence Harford, is part owner of a huge jewellery and diamond business in the Rocks area of Sydney. When DCI Fitzjohn and his offsider, Detective Sergeant Betts arrive at the murder scene, which is in the lane beside the business, he was struck by the particularly gruesome manner of death, quite obviously not an accident!

As their investigation progresses, Dr Nicholas Harford, nephew
Terri Lynn
I adored this book!!! I hope this author will write a hundred more mysteries and obviously I now have to seek out the book that came before this one.
Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn has to solve the mystery of who murdered Laurence Harford. Harford was such a jerk, the question was really who wouldn't want to kill him? He had been cheating on his wife for years , he bullied his late brother Edward so much the man had a heart attack. he is trying to challenge Edward's will to rob Ed's son Dr.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Fitzjohn mystery that I've read and I must say it was fairly enjoyable. Considering the dirtbag uncle that was murdered, it's a shame someone like that even deserves to have their killer brought to justice considering all that he did throughout his life which I shan't get into here as it'd spoil the book for you. I will saythat some of the secrets took a bit too long to be brought out; I can understand and appreciate creating anticipation and keeping the reader on the edge of t ...more
Lee Holz
Murder At The Rocks is a well-written police procedural with a complex plot and has rounded, engaging characters. I haven’t given it a higher rating because it’s not the sort of murder mystery I like very much and I see it as a responsibility to say as much for readers with similar tastes. There’s one too many sealed letters and locked lockets for me. They strike me as being deus ex machina plot devices when used multiple times. Unfortunately, I missed this aspect in the book description. I regr ...more
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mysteries
Lets see we have blackmail, family secrets, dysfunctional family and to top it off a murder. The family secrets start to come out as you go along and the locket is known, but there is no key. Fitzjohn does not get along with his superior and skates by. Between the twists, taking care of flowers, and solving a murder I suspected almost everyone a long the way at certain points. This book is a must read as you will not want to put it down.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give it 3 1/2, but thought it was worth rounding up to 4. This was a clean read and held my interest. I've always enjoyed a good mystery, but it's usually hard to find one that isn't filled with smut. My biggest complaint with this book was I found it hard to keep all of the characters straight. It took some interesting twists and turns along the way! I felt comfortable enough with it to let my "tween" read it. ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The plot developed at a pace sufficient to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing . The characters came to live and draws you into their fictional wild.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, mystery
I read this because it's set in Sydney, Australia, a place I love. Particularly The Rocks, so it was great to read references to places I know and have been. Most of the characters feel real and genuine, and the writing is easy to follow.

However, the mystery suffers from having a paint-by-numbers feel, where there are a lot of elements that seem included because a mystery *should* include characters that are red herrings, etc. The funny thing is that pretty much all the characters are essential
Nicholas Harford returns to Sydney from an extended overseas trip to find that his estranged father has died. He inherits almost everything, to the chagrin of his unpleasant Uncle Laurance with whom he shortly has a major fight. Unfortunately, Laurance Harford is murdered that same evening and Nicholas becomes the prime suspect.

Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn is assigned the case. Fitzjohn is a lonely widower and very competent detective who struggles to find the murderer mainly due
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like a mystery with a lot of twists and turns and a surprise ending this is the book for you. Dr Nicolas Harford returns home after a sabbatical from his teaching job at the university to find his father Ed had been ill and died. He had left after having a disagreement with his father and was sad he hadn't been able to reconcile with him. Knowing he was dying his father had written him a letter reconciling their differences and disclosing that should his estranged brother Laurence try to ...more
Rhonda Powling
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an easy to read, but satisfying, police procedural, set in Sydney and environs. It fits neatly into the “cosies” genre, with a little of everything in the mix; family secrets, a dysfunctional family, blackmail and murder. The plot was nicely paced to keep the reader interested in finding out the culprit amongst a cast of many characters, all of whom seem to be less than forthcoming when questioned by Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Betts. It does ...more
Blair H. Prigg
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fasten your seatbelt!

What a good ride with Fitzjohn and Betts. This tireless pair barely takes time to eat and sleep in their endeavor to solve the murder. The author does a fantastic job of writing to keep you guessing who is guilty in a story that flows at a fast pace. At the very end the guilty character is finally revealed with a total surprise in the last paragraph of the mystery.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a free book so I didn't know what to expect. I ended up reading it all day. I found the characters well written and the plot just convoluted enough to hold my interest. Sometimes I got the characters confused as there were a fair number tangentially involved. But I enjoyed it sufficiently to consider reading more of the series.
Parts were predictable and somewhat formulaic. But overall there was a certain charm to the book. Good beach read.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cut above cosy

The author herself places this book in the "cosy mystery" genre but I would say there's more to it than that. A thoroughly enjoyable police procedural, with many a twist and turn before the bad guys are exposed. I found the main characters quite sympathetically written (their speech sometimes a little stiff and formal across the board regardless of their role). A decent read though, and an engaging mystery.
I wasn't enthralled with the first book in the series but I thought I would give #2 a chance. However, it did not get better for me. I feel there are many people who would be charmed by the old-fashioned feel and decency evident in these mysteries, but they simply are not for me. I am doing any further reading on Alistair Fitzjohn although those of you who like the cozy feel might warm up to him more than I. ...more
Liz Etnyre
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good one! Reads a bit like an Agatha Christie - helped along a bit by people just not using their cell phones enough!! A bit formulaic - similar issues for the main character (deep dark family secrets about parentage) but still a decent read. These mysteries stand pretty well by themselves, but I think reading them in order helps you know the recurring characters better. Will move on to book 3.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plenty of Intrique

Plenty of intrigue in this mystery. You're taken through twists and turns with soon to be 2 murders, and several suspects. I won't give it away though I figured out some answers along the way & others were revealed. It gets a bit slow moving in some spots, but it's well worth it.
J Barkess
Oct 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
What a let down ! !

I down loaded this because it was supposedly set in the rocks, a place I have visited. However, it could have been anywhere, there was nothing of the atmosphere of Sydney.
The plot was flimsy and boring and there were so many unconvincing characters I forgot who most of them were supposed to be and were they fitted in the story.
William Mc Callum
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent reading

A very will written romantic mystery.The characters are interesting and will developed. The story line is very complicated with lots of misdirection leading to the unexpected conclusion. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys will written romantic mysteries. Enjoy reading 2020☺
This was an agreeable traditional murder mystery, with well drawn characters. I was sad that there wasn't a stronger sense of place for the historical Rocks district of Sydney that gives the book its title. ...more
Trudi Berglin
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kept one guessing

An excellent convoluted mystery. For a millisecond, towards then end, I thought Nick would be shown as the murder of his Uncle. And I was very happy when Nick didn't even think about turning down his inheritance.
Sue Henson
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a well written exciting book. Kept you reading to find out what happens next. I will read the others in this series now. Very enjoyable book with mystery, crimes, drama and some romance for good measure.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good story. I was kept guessing. Plenty going on and lots of twists and turns.

Love the relationship between Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn and Sergeant Betts. A good murder mystery which I enjoyed. Now want to read the first in this series.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The second book I've read by this author. It was okay but there were just too many unnecessary characters and red herrings. The plot was somewhat convoluted for my taste. However, I will read another because I do like mysteries without blood, gore and sex. ...more
Mr Geoffrey Hopkins
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing

First time I have read any of the Fitzjohn mysteries. Terrific read, the characters are well fleshed out and the plot is subtle. Would say if you like a well written,thoughtful and engrossing novel then read this.
Lisa Ezzell
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mystery from beginning to end

This story has more twists and turns than ANY curvy lane throughout all of Australia. You’ll enjoy every switchback but pay attention to the details because every one of them count.
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Jill Paterson is best known for her popular Fitzjohn Mystery Series. Set in the city of Sydney and its environs, it features DCI Alistair Fitzjohn. A police officer of the old guard, Fitzjohn's methodical, painstaking methods are viewed by some as archaic. Nevertheless, over the years, they have brought him success as well as the respect of all but one of his colleagues; Chief Superintendent Grieg ...more

Other books in the series

Alistair Fitzjohn (8 books)
  • The Celtic Dagger (Alistair Fitzjohn, #1)
  • Once Upon a Lie (Alistair Fitzjohn, #3)
  • Lane's End (Alistair Fitzjohn, #4)
  • Deadly Investment (Alistair Fitzjohn, #5)
  • Poisoned Palette (Alistair Fitzjohn, #6)
  • The Fourth String (Alistair Fitzjohn, #7)
  • Rose Scented Murder (Alistair Fitzjohn #8)

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