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The Festival Murders (A Francis Meadowes Mystery)
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The Festival Murders

(Francis Meadowes #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  26 reviews
When a fellow author is murdered during a literary festival, crime writer Francis Meadowes determines to discover who killed him.

At the start of one of the English summer’s highlights, the annual literary festival in the pretty little country town of Mold-on-Wold, famous critic Bryce Peabody is found dead in his bed at the White Hart Hotel. At first it seems as if fif
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Severn House Digital
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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Dawn Michelle
This COULD have been such a great book. It really could have. Alas, it was not.
It starts out very slow, at a Literary Festival [think Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival] where you have an aging, cynical, not-so-nice, harsh literary critic, who is about to drop a bombshell, along with his MUCH younger "new" girlfriend {not his open marriage "wife" or the girlfriend he has on the side when he is with her <--are you confused and lost yet? You should be} and an entourage of some pretty crazy characters,
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you go into this book expecting it to be ridiculous, then you'll probably come out with a higher star rating than I'm affording it. It's not that it's bad. Some of it I enjoyed. But it just fell on too many points for me.
1. The female characters. They're really not great. And the male characters' reactions to them & treatment of them is also not great.
2. The writer turned detective - I sort of liked Francis, but honestly, there is no way any detective would give so much information, or access
Claire Huston
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good start to a new mystery series. 4/5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

This is an entertaining whodunnit. Francis Meadowes gradually becoming the centre of the story, in the role of crime-writer-turned-sleuth, worked well because it gave him a plausible reason to know the details of police procedure. When pondering the circumstances of the murders he tries to imagine they are in one of his plots, particularly when it comes to drawing up a list of suspects. This reminde
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The middle aged critic was not well loved, especially by his women, but there was no evident reason for him to be murdered. If it was a murder. The second death was assuredly murder but, again, where was the motive? The mystery writer becomes his own chief character and potters around investigating in his own way. While it does get a bit draggy occasionally, it's still a good whodunit!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Black Thorn via NetGalley. Thank you!
S.J. Higbee
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a foot-to-the-floor action-packed read, full of chases and gun battles, this isn’t it. This is one of those murder mysteries where there is a dead body which sparks our sympathetic protagonist into deciding to track down his killer… I liked the steady parade of suspects, who all had reasons of their own to wish Bryce dead and the sudden shift in pace and urgency, when there is another death. McCrum is good at giving us a steady drip-feed of plausible, three-dimensional cha ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book.

I loved the fact that this mystery was set at an English literary festival. What better place to have a mysterious death and investigation. My only problem is that I prefer to have the police as the main investigators, instead of a mystery book writer, as is the case here.

When an unfriendly book critic turns up dead, the police and the main character start the process to determine if it was from natural causes or
Laura Salas
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great start to a new series. I liked crime writer Francis Meadowes, and I found the plotting and characterization complex and engaging. I did have an idea who the killer was, but I wasn't sure. And I had no idea of the motivation, though when it was all explained at the end, it made perfect sense! Some wry humor and stabs at the literary world and TV celebrity were a good counterpoint to the serious crimes happening. I will say the very long scene where everything is explained at the end felt... ...more
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, fiction, whodunnit
Not a bad read, but it did seem a bit convenient that all the suspects talked freely to the crime writer character. And as for actually whodunnit - I guessed very early on. The motive was the problem and I felt the motive was just not credible enough for me. All a bit over the top. The classic 'everyone gathered in one room to hear whodunnit' at the end was also stretching the credibility. I'd prefer to go back to Hercule Poirot for such an ending.
(I would also prefer that authors describe what
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Festival Murders is an okay murder mystery. It is a quick read that would be good for a beach read or a pallet cleanser book. There was nothing new and exciting about it because it felt like a mix of between Midsomer Murders and Death in Paradise. You have the multiple deaths like in Midsomer Murders and the collect everyone together for the reveal that ends each Death in Paradise episode. So if you enjoy those shows give this one a read.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lala G
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really liked the literary festival theme. Very like Hay. A bit ponderous in places and I worked out who dunnit about half way through, but a light hearted fun read.
Arnita Medina
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
It is a first in this series. I enjoyed it. It had just enough mystery to keep me interested. I look forward to reading more of this series.
Pip Jennings
A good who dunnit. Fun read.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a series featuring middle-of-the-road crime writer Francis Meadowes, whose own novels feature the retired forensic science professor George Braithwaite and his ‘feisty wife and sidekick Martha’. At a literary festival in the quaintly named Mold-on-Wold, somewhere in deep Englandshire, a suitably heady mix of superstar writers rub shoulders with the not-quite-so-famous wannabes. Mark McCrum, himself an ‘insider’ – if we can call him that? – shamelessly name drops everyone and ...more
Sonja van der Westhuizen | West Words Reviews
Which author wouldn't want to kill off an obnoxious, nasty book critic? Since murdering book critics is generally frowned upon in real life, authors can liberally use their books as an outlet to eliminate as many negative reviewers as they see fit. Mark McCrum uses this opportunity in The Festival Murders.

Bryce Peabody, hated book critic and serial philanderer, attends the Mold-on-Wold literary festival with his latest, younger girlfriend, Priya Kaur. Before he exposes certain members of the lit
Roxx Tarantini
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"He was the literary world’s number one hatchet man, the guy to whom all the others looked to set the agenda."

A literary festival.   A gaggle of authors, some of whom have pasts that are inextricably entwined.  When the first dead body appears, it could easily be chalked up to natural causes.  But when the second one is found, it starts to look "dreadfully suspicious".

Francis Meadowes is a crime fiction writer who has the rather good - or was it bad - luck to be right at the scene of the first c
Laney Estel
BOOK: The Festival Murders
AUTHOR: Mark McCrum

Tried a new mystery series. And I really wanted to like it. But unfortunately I did not. The male characters were pretty eye rolling in their actions and the females were not that deep or complex. The story dragged quite a bit. I don’t like to give negative reviews, so I will leave it with this: I did not expect the ending.

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):
At the start of one of the English summer’s highlights, the annual literar
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cozy mystery set at a literary festival in England. I was attracted to the synopsis of the book, and I really liked the protagonist Francis Meadowes. I also liked the author's writing style. However, I thought the story moved along a bit too slowly at times.

I had a couple of issues with the story though. I couldn't quite figure out how Meadowes got away with asking all those questions. You would expect people to just tell him to mind his own business. Also , it seemed sort of odd that
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I quite enjoyed this, I suppose. It dragged occasionally, but did a good job of setting up the various characters so you remembered who they each were and what their backstory was. The identity of the murderer was satisfactory and clued enough for the reader to have their suspicions.

On the other hand, the author didn't really address why the various suspects were happy to answer Francis' questions, or why the police were so happy t
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Mark McCrum's debut mystery novel. The setting of the mystery is a literary convention and begins with Bryce Peabody, a book critic, who is about to go to hear Dan Dickson read from his new novel. Mr. Peabody had written a brutal review of the novel. The main character, Francis Meadows, writes crime novels. After Mr. Peabody is found dead in his room, Francis decides to investigate Bryce's possible murder. As Francis goes around talking to fellow writers, he learns that there are many pe ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a new series. Overall, I enjoyed this book, it helped fill my British mystery gap while waiting for the new season of Midsomer Murders. I enjoyed all of the little literary references and many of the characters were well-written and memorable. At time the plot didn't move as quickly as it could have and I would have liked the female characters to be a bit more developed. I look forward to seeing what crime Francis Meadowes happens upon in his next mystery. ...more
This is a lovely series and this book was one of the instalments.
I loved the great description of the atmosphere of the festival, the well thought and fleshed out characters, and the setting.
The mystery is solid, full of red herring and twists, and it kept me guessing till the end. The solution came as a surprise.
I can't wait to read the next instalment.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A snarky mystery packed with famous literary names, set at a book festival. A famous critic dies, followed by a journalist, and a mystery novelist decides to play detective. Lots and lots of mostly tedious confessional passages by the other characters and an extremely long monologue by the author-cum-detective at the denouement. Catty and misogynist and ageist; not something I'd recommend. ...more
Heather Bennett
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
the Festival Murders is a slow cozy mystery with unlikable snarky character. It has a great premise and could have been so much better.
Michelle Debnam
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good story with description and background for all characters involved in the plot, a well written read that does not confuse with lots of minor plots
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