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A Willing Murder

(Medlar Mystery #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  4,933 ratings  ·  602 reviews
New York Times bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux makes her debut in the world of mystery with a story of old secrets, deadly grudges and an improbable group of friends who are determined to uncover the truth regardless of the consequences...

Sara Medlar is a household name in romance, with millions of books sold. But lately, retirement has been boring her and she
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Mira Books
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  4,933 ratings  ·  602 reviews

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A Willing Murder by Jude Devereaux is a 2018 MIRA publication.

An impressive beginning for this new mystery series!

Kate wants to learn more about her deceased father, a man she never had a chance to know. To that end, she hunts down her father’s sister, Sara. To her surprise, Sara is a famous romance author, now retired.

After Kate manages to find a job in her Aunt Sara’s hometown, Sara invites her to stay with her at the old mansion she is re-modeling.

However, Kate is not Sara’s only guest. J
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: whodunit, 2018
I had a not-so-nice review typed up, but I’ve deleted it.

Here’s the gist: I love OG Jude and am willing to forgive her many things as a result.

I was almost on board with this story by the end, but I could NOT get past the protagonist obsessing about food being “sinful”. It just went ON AND ON. Find another way to show how “flawed” your otherwise perfect character is. Maybe don’t have her love interest tease her about needing to go to the gym after she eats a sandwich. So cringeworthy.

Food is a
Madison Warner Fairbanks
A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux

A murder mystery story. First in a series.
A fun read. Quirky character interaction. I actually loved how Sara, Jack and Kate bounce off each other. The three of them sitting on a couch together as they talk to suspects clearly shows how comfortable they are in each other’s space, yet they all find it necessary to go off to their own section of the house and do their own thinking. Intriguing personalities.
I’d like to read the next and see how they solve the next
Rebecca Kordesh
Sep 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a hard pass for me. Way too much in-story narration to explain away the plot points that didn't make sense and the very unrealistic things going on during a murder investigation. I was not engaged, I did not care about the characters (alive or dead) and was especially annoyed that the author felt the need to close the story with a "no the villain is really a bad person" bit instead of allowing the story to rest.
I'm also not sure what the tone of this was supposed to be--it was a weird
Shelleen Toland
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
Sara Medlar is a romance writer and she has been in retirement but is getting bored. She is remodeling a home she loved as a child. Her niece, Kate, is offered a job in her town and has asked to live with her until she has enough money to get an apartment.
When Kate gets there she finds out she isn't the only guest there. Jackson Wyatt is also living there. Sara has known Jackson just about his whole life. Kate thinks he is using Sara but it seems that things are not what she thought.
Then they
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: deveraux-jude
I had this book in my TBR pile since it first came out. When I started to see the reviews, I put it aside. Then, the second book in the series arrived and I knew I had to read it. However, I'm a "series from beginning to end" kind of gal, so I picked this up.

Well, this is another reminder to me to not always take reviews as gospel. Frankly, I would like to slap myself right now. I have always been a huge fan of Jude Deveraux and have read just about every book she has ever written. Yep, I need t
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won't say bestselling romance author Jude Deveraux has written herself into her first mystery, but the wonderful Sara Medlar character sounds familiar. If you read Deveraux' website, she's living in Florida, loves boxing and weightlifting, and drives a Mini Cooper. Sara Medlar is a retired romance writer, lives in Florida, boxes, lifts weights, and drives a yellow Mini Cooper. I hope Deveraux has as much fun writing the character as I did reading about her in A Willing Murder.

Sara Medlar bough
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I was reading I wrote a list of my thoughts which became a list of all the things I found wrong with this book. It includes everything from unnatural dialogue, baffling unfunny jokes, to fat/food shaming. Now that I've finished I realize this long, nit-picky list isn't going to help anyone decide to pick up this book or not. Instead I'm just going to say that this one was not for me. I know Jude Deveraux is a very popular romance writer and this is her first foray into the mystery genre. T ...more
Robin Loves Reading
An unlikely trio become a team of amateur sleuths in this first book in a new series by Jude Devereaux. Sara Medlar, an aging and rather prolific romance writer, has returned to her hometown of Lachlan, Florida. It is a huge home and before she knows it, she is sharing it. For starters, her first houseguest, Jackson Wyatt, is very special to Sara. He is the grandson of her one true love, and she loves Jack as her own. When Sara's niece, Kate, is offered a real-estate job in Lachlan, Sara gets a ...more
Alicia Proctor
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
3 Stars - what gives it 3 stars instead of 4? I did enjoy this novel - it was a quick read, there were not pockets of time where the story dragged, and god, I love the relationship between Sara, Kate, and Jack - the sarcastic joking and quips between one another are right up my alley. The one thing that bothered me as I started reading (and obviously still does) was how quick some of the character/relationship building happened - for example, Kate walks into Sara's home for the first time - hasn ...more
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well, it's not like her usual style of books at all. It was an OK mystery but I had pretty much figured out the mystery murderer ahead of time. No romance at all, which is odd for a Jude Deveraux book. Maybe the lack of romance is what turned me off? I don't know but I also got annoyed at the lame writing--not sure how to describe it but it came across as if it had been written by a child, with dorky references to romance and other aspects of the characters' relationships. The entire premise of ...more
Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!
It was a good read, but it was very predictable.
Mar 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
Having just completed the third book in this series, I need to start from the beginning. I fell in love with these characters and definitely need more Sara, Jack and Kate in my life!!!

May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I found this to be a well-crafted mystery with believable characters, a quickly paced plot and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the reveal. I am on the wait list at my local library for the second book in this series.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Way too slow. It seemed like the entire plot hinged upon people not telling each other things. (view spoiler)Never warmed up to Kate. It was SO STUPI ...more
Rob Banks
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can tell this author is usually a romance writer but she wrote a nice mystery. I thought I knew the murderer fairly early but there were some surprises at the end. It’s written with characters and back story that will allow for additional books. I heard Jude talk about her book at ALA and she described a strong backstory to really set this up for a lot of potential future books. It was a fun read.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jude Deveraux fans!
This book is Jude Deveraux’ first foray into the mystery category. Jude Deveraux’s A Willing Murder (A Medlar Mystery #1) has her readable writing style, well-defined main characters, and a 20 year old murder to solve. The likeable threesome become amateur sleuths who find themselves in over their heads, but their determination to right a 20 year old wrong is stronger than their missteps or a warning from the from the local police chief ‘to back off’. It will be interesting to see where Ms. Deve ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

A Willing Murder is the first book I’ve read from Deveraux, and when I finished I was happy that I gave this little murder mystery a try.

The story stars shortly after Kate Medlar moves herself to a little town in Florida with her very reclusive and mysterious Aunt. Sara is an author, and wants to keep to her self, that is until she receives a second house guest, Kate. This little town if Lachlan has some secrets that it would like to keep buried.

Kate is a real estate agent and has big hopes of
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly let me say Jude Deveraux is a new author to me. This book appealed to me in part that it was set in FLORIDA, U.S.A. While it isn't Murder she wrote it is a tribute to the amateur sleuth.

The prologue sets the mystery up beautifully. There is a sense of malice and a righteousness in the act but an enduring threat of evil that persists into the present day.

Lachlan is a fictitious township within the Fort Lauderdale area in Broward County. A great setting for the elements the author wants t
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I can't believe this was written by Jude Deveraux. She was one of the first romance writers I read and am pretty sure I have read everything she has ever written. The voice in this one is no where near her usual voice. It is billed as a mystery but it's more of a cozy -- which is fine. I enjoy cozies - they're usually fun reads with quirky characters and entertaining plots. This one started out sort of in the cozy mold but the writing was just bad. I figured out who did it almost immediately. I ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jude Deveraux, one of my favorite authors of historical (and some contemporary) romance, has decided to make a foray into the world of cozy mysteries.

A Willing Murder has well thought out characters, complicated family relations, and a town where every seems to be in two camps. While the mystery was a little simple, it was nicely thought out. A fun entry for the genre.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Jude Deveraux needs to stick with romances because her first mystery was just a mess. It should have been called “Three Idiots Try To Solve A Murder”. That would be a perfect description of this book.
Kaitlyn Dunnett
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I liked the characters in this first in a series enough that I'll probably read the next one, if only to find out more of the backstory, but a couple of times I misread a section because a character was being sarcastic and I took their comment seriously, missing the few words that clued in the person she was talking to. The ending was a bit rushed, with a TSTL moment and inadequate explanation for how the "good guys" got to a certain location. I've filed this under "cozy" but it's closer to a "t ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The author's move to contemporary mystery is a fun venture. The start is less cohesive than a solid murder suspense, but the plot tightens and moves forward. The witty dialog mentioned by some reviewers seemed to be more awkward than entertaining at the first, but that too smooths out and becomes part of the cohesive story line.

A fun read with the murder resolved satisfyingly but not the relationships. More to come?

Pub Date: 18 Sep 2018 by HARLEQUIN - MIRA (U.S. and Canada)
Samantha Miller
Jul 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
I hate to be this way, but this was one of the worst written books I’ve ever read. It was all so unbelievable and choppy with the dialogue that I couldn’t wait for it to be finished. The annoying banter between Jack and Kate, the almost creepy relationship between Jack and Sara, and the complete but irrelevant focus on calories.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was an easy relaxing read. The ending wasn’t unexpected. The characters were interesting but I would have liked knowing more about main character’s father. Or what caused the family conflict. These were issues left unresolved.
Dawn ♥ romance
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
I enjoyed this story with plenty of action that moved right along. Although there really wasn't much of the typical romance involved, I particularly liked the interaction between the main characters. I did suspect the bad guy but had enough doubt to keep it interesting. Kate is offered a job near a newly discovered Aunt so stays with her at the same time recuperating Jack is also in residence. ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes I get a little nervous when one of my favorite authors writes a different type of book then they're used to writing; I'm afraid that I won't like it, but I usually do. This is one of those instances. I've read all Jude Deveraux's romances, but was nervous I wouldn't like her new series, mystery books.

This a great book. I loved the characters, but would have loved to learn more about Kate's father and his relationship, with his sister, Kate's Aunt Sara. I also wish that Kate and Jack
Lady Delacour
For the most part
I found the story
entertained me.
Listened with TTS.
Cleanish with Adult
and Foul Language.
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Jude Gilliam was born September 20, 1947 in Fairdale, Kentucky. She has a large extended family and is the elder sister of four brothers. She attended Murray State University and received a degree in Art. In 1967, Jude married and took her husband's surname of White, but four years later they divorced. For years, she worked as 5th-grade teacher.

She began writing in 1976, and published her first bo

Other books in the series

Medlar Mystery (3 books)
  • A Justified Murder (Medlar Mystery #2)
  • A Forgotten Murder (Medlar Mystery, #3)

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