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

(St. Just Mystery #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,874 ratings  ·  411 reviews
From his eighteenth century English manor, rich Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mysteries and disinherits his four spoiled children in turn. At an engagement dinner, he announces his secret marriage to beautiful Violet, once charged with her husband's murder. Within hours, eldest son and hated appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace.

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Paperback, 297 pages
Published 2009 by Midnight Ink Llewellyn (first published July 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  2,874 ratings  ·  411 reviews

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Richard Derus
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
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.

Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, humor, favorites
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 keep t
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Sian Kerr
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
Dawn Michelle
Do yourself a favor and skip this series and just stick with her Max Tudor series [WHICH is delightful]. This was not delightful, had a not-so-great narrator and the story generally was meh [and while I am not a prude, this had more language than I was expecting and seemed gratuitous for a cozy mystery]. The end was good and somewhat unexpected so that helped keep it at 2 stars, but I generally feel like I totally wasted my time. :-(
While the solution to this mystery eluded me until the 'big reveal', I found certain aspects of it fairly obvious. Plus the whole Beauclerk-Fisk menage struck me as caricatures; I guess this was meant to be humorous but it didn't tickle my funnybone.

Davina Porter did a good job narrating.
Contemporary family setting for this mystery with the solution centred in events and relationships of the 1950s has siblings as well as detectives scurryinging throughout England and Scotland to disclose the murderer.
Aug 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Kristine Kucera
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 04, 2015 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!
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dame Christie fans who enjoy humorous mysteries.
Of course I had to check this out from the library when I randomly pulled it off a shelf: a back cover blurb by Cozy Library recommends this to "...anyone who cut their teeth on Agatha Christie's mysteries..."
CAST - 3 stars: I liked that a "Cast of Characters" appears before the book opens. But here, this raised a red flag as 23 people are named, usually indicative of 'striving for word count' in this genre. Open a Dame Christie book and you'll find, say, a C
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Brenda Deuel
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
I had a hard time getting into this book.
Debbie Maskus
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I have read G M Malliet many times, thoroughly enjoying the Max Tudor series. Death of a Cozy Writer, a St Just Mystery, lacked the zest of the Max Tudor series. G M Malliet brings many interesting subjects into her stories through her characters. I adore how Malliet introduces her characters at the beginning of her books, and this story has discussion questions at the end, which is always a delight. All the characters bring faults as well as strengths, and vivid sex scenes and graphic violence ...more
This was a very fun read. This is my first experience with G.M. Malliet & I thoroughly enjoyed the way the mystery unravelled. With two grisly murders, a manor house, blustery weather & the appearance of some well placed cats, I was completely swept up in this story. I'm a big fan of British mysteries in general and this one kept me page turning & guessing up to the last. Also, there are some truly funny though macabre moments along the way. I often stopped to highlight, laugh & tell myself it w ...more
Oct 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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,
Kim Kaso
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy
I bought this a while back because of three things:
1. Cover art included a fountain pen.
2. The word “writer” in the title.
3. The cover blurb sounded good.
There are explanations behind the first two, but they don’t tie to this review.

Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a writer of a long series of best-selling cozy mysteries. He is also a pompous, egotistic snob who delights in pitting his children against each other with threats of their inheritance and frequent changes in his will.

Ruthven (pronounced
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This is another of those random selections from the library, the audio version. I have mixed feelings about this book. I was peeved that the book was 35% gone before anything happened. The first third was just to set up the whole crime scene, introducing the characters and their horrible personalities. I don't think I liked any of them, mainly because the author was setting them all up to be suspects, and there wasn't a likeable one in the bunch.

The plot was so full of motives and side-motives
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, mystery
I kept wondering if I'd started with book 1 in this series, because the author gives no backstory at all to her detectives, except for dropping occasional hints about them. And we want to know more about them both. Murder calls them in, after the eldest son of Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is found dead. Family drama and simmering emotion mire Sir Adrian's children, and this time the announcement of his engagement hits especially hard. Malliet gives the reader absolutely no crumbs, and readers who l ...more
Renita D'Silva
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Death of a Cozy Writer by G. M. Malliet (I really enjoy her Max Tudor mystery series) is an intelligent & intriguing murder mystery with plenty of suspects to go around. My only criticism is that this story reads more like a British mystery set in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century than one set in present-day England. Loved the ending, though.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The characters were forgettable
Zen Ghost Bookworm
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Adorable. Don't know if I've ever said that about a book before. Brought back memories of reading Agatha Christie when I was a child. This had a great sense of humor to it, sarcastic and cheeky. ...more
3-3.5 stars

I'd rate this book higher, but I considered it a "cheat". The author withheld valuable clues from the reader or presented clues (such as old photos) that the reader couldn't see and weren't described fully, so there was no way to truly solve this mystery. The readers have to sit back and allow DCI St. Just to do it for us. Not my favorite way to read a mystery.

My other reticence in reading this book was that I got the impression from reading the book's description that this was set in
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author G.M. Malliet kicks off a series featuring Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Fear. Death of a Cozy Writer operates as both a British cozy and an affectionate send-up of the cozy mystery genre. While many compare this novel to the cozies penned by Dame Agatha Christie, there are similarities to several other beloved mystery mainstays.

The self-centered and malicious Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk invites his four dysfunctional children to an engagement party, ma
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This is one of my favorite set-ups, but it just didn't play out. ...more
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G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just mysteries, the Max Tudor mysteries, the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE , and numerous short stories collected in crime anthologies or published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Strand.

Agatha Christie is the main inspiration for her writing. Her modern-day favorites include Ruth Ware and Tana French; her TV favorites range

Other books in the series

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

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