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Death of a Cozy Writer

(St. Just Mystery #1)

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3.39  ·  Rating details ·  2,741 ratings  ·  398 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.

When Detec
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Paperback, 297 pages
Published 2009 by Midnight Ink Llewellyn (first published July 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,741 ratings  ·  398 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.

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Laura
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
Ellie
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fiction, 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
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Rob
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
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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. :-(
Leslie
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.
Hannah
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
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writer...
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.
Dagný
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
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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
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Krob
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.
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
Karen
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,
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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!
Selah Pike
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!
Maria
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
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Phoebe
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
lisa
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
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Renita D'Silva
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant
☺Trish
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. ...more
Jackie
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The characters were forgettable
Zen 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.
Lori McD
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
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Hannah
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.
Bonnie Ainsworth
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This book wasn't my cup of tea but I'm willing to give the other two books in the series a chance.
Caroline
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
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
Kyrie
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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Patricia
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Initially, I really liked certain things about the book like the author's descriptive style. I never really liked the characters, except St. Just and then the author did not really "flesh him out." I did think the tone of the story was negative which is something I don't enjoy. However, the low rating came at the end of the book, where I had the feeling the end did not match in anyway with the rest of the book. While I'm all for endings you can't predict, I dislike endings like this that seem to ...more
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.
Gerry Welsch
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Frustrating mystery that ends up in the parlor with all suspects gathered together. Facts not known to the reader are used by St. Just to identify the killer.
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G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just and Max Tudor mysteries as well as the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE. She lives on the East Coast of the US but all of her books are set in the UK, her home away from home for part of every year.

She received an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and did further graduate work at Oxford University. Upon her return to the US,
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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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