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A Testament to Murder

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Suspenseful from the first page to the last, A Testament to Murder is perfect for fans of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Crooked House

A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize...

At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new he
Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Published February 18th 2019 by Canelo
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Kylie D
An intriguing mystery, set in the 1920s, with an interesting premise. Malcolm, a wealthy old man is dying, and with no immediate relatives he invites several distant relatives and former and current employees to his bedside at his Villa in the South of France. He then announces that he will change his will at midnight every night to a different inheritor, but not announce who it is, until the day he dies and the person listed inherits everything. So let the fun begin...

Next door neighbour Jasper
Gail C.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
My thanks to NetGalley and Canelo Publishing for providing me an advanced digital copy of A Testament to Murder by Vivian Conroy. A murder mystery that is stand-alone as opposed to being part of a series. Jasper, a retired police inspector, is called in to determine who murdered two of the guests who’ve been invited to spend a week with a dying relative.
The invitation to visit is not without strings. Once the family arrives they learn of their Uncle Malcolm’s plan to change his will every nigh
A dying billionaire invites nine people from his past to stay at the Villa Calypso with him and to learn who will inherit his wealth. This is a cue for murder as he plans to change who will inherit at midnight and if he dies during the following 24 hours that is who will be his heir. If he survives, that will be their chance gone. However, he won't reveal just who is named and they have to stay at the Villa to be given a chance to inherit.

The nine are people aren't his best friends or closest r
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Agatha Christie style murder mysteries
Hats off to author Vivian Conroy for giving us a fun 1920s Agatha Christie style mystery, replete with a cast of possible heirs cloistered in a mansion with an eccentric millionaire toying with his will. This is a fun quick read with twists and turns galore and multiple incidents to be investigated. It even has a Poirot style full reveal at the end with the interesting character of a retired detective Jasper who lives next door. I thought the book might be part of a series with the detective, bu ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy lovers looking for the offbeat
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford is a miserable, cruel misanthrope in possession of a great fortune and the Villa Calypso on the French Riviera. But none of his extended family and associates fares much better: his ne’er-do-well, drunken nephew Hugh with ridiculous artistic pretensions, Hugh’s shallow gold-digger American bride; Malcolm’s greedy ex-wife Cecily, who has remarried with Malcolm’s business partner and borne a possibly sociopathic son; Malcolm’s long-suffering but overbearing former secretar ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I begin with the story in this book, I have to give a bit of background from where I approach this tale. I am a fan of Agatha Christie's books. The people I have met over time who did not like her books were those who found the actual whodunit buried among the very avidly described characters and their foibles. This book has modelled itself on the format of the old classics but falls short when it comes to just that bit for me.I will explain that statement in more detail towards the end o ...more
Grace J Reviewerlady
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a cracking mystery - a real enigma!

At his villa in the French Riviera, Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford gathers relatives and people of importance in his life, informing them of his impending death and the bizarre way he intends to leave his not inconsiderable inheritance to one of them. As we get to know these nine people, circumstances become more and more bizarre, eventually leading to murder and the suspicions of 'whodunnit'!

I have read several of Vivian Conroy's novels, and she writes begui
Kelly Van Damme
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Let’s take a trip to the French Riviera, shall we! And while we’re at it, let’s travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties! Now we are where and when we need to be, let’s go and visit Uncle Malcolm! Although I don’t think it’ll be a nice visit… He’s a shrewd, manipulative and rather cruel old man, that one. He’s been very poorly lately, so poorly in fact, that he’s requested all his relatives and friends (if you can call them that) to come and visit him before he dies. And to make his last days ...more
Puzzle Doctor
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Complex plot but flawed. Full review at
J Fearnley
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.5*

“Never do anything yourself that others can do for you.” (Agatha Christie, The Labours of Hercules)

Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford brings together nine potential heirs to his vast fortune explaining he is ill, does not have long to live and informs them of his plan on how to determine who will inherit everything. Each one of the nine will have 24 hours as his heir and, should he die on that day, that person will inherit his entire fortune.

Vivian Conroy draws outrageously wonderful character
Alexia Cambaling
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

A Testament to Murder features a group of people invited to a villa in order to witness the dying days of an eccentric billionaire. There, as they arrive, he gives some the hope of being the sole heir to his fortune. This includes his ex-wife, the new wife of his nephew, and his old secretary. In the process, buried secrets are revealed and things take an unexpected direction.

It’s set in the 1920s and you can really see some Gilded-age styl
Jennifer Young
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, thank goodness. The Golden Age of crime fiction is back.

Agatha Christie (people tell me) is passé in these days of gritty crime, but I have a fondness for the gentler, more cerebral crime fiction from the period between the wars. In Vivian Conroy’s A Testament to Murder, the first in a new series featuring retired London detective Jasper, the genre is back with a bang.

The premise upon which the plot rests is as clever and irresistible as any I’ve met. Billionaire Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford is
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Today is my stop of Vivian Conroy’s blog tour and I have a review for you, a mystery in Agatha Cristie style, A Testament to Murder. Many thanks to Ellie and Canelo Books and don’t forget to visit all the other stops on this amazing blog tour.

An old rich man is dying. He is all alone. Only members of his staff and distant relatives. He finds no one suitable to inherit his fortune. So, he decides to play a game.

He gathers all of them. Every single one of them wants his money. Every evening he wri
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘”It has begun,” he said to the men, a strange satisfaction in his voice.’

Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford, a wealthy man nearing death, invites several members of his family to his villa on the Riviera and sets a cunning plan: at the stroke of midnight each night he will change his will, leaving everything to one of the assembled guests and staff, the name being changed each night. No-one will know who has been chosen on any given day. Will someone be ruthless enough to commit murder on the possibility
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review can also be found on my blog

This book was always a bit too much. The hated dying family patriarch who is playing a game with his will? Not uncommon in mysteries. But the game being “I change my will every day and leave everything to one person” instead of constant threats of disinheriting and allusions to maybe mentioning certain people? A bit too much. The prospective heirs who all want the money and all have major – often exaggerated – character flaws? Not uncommon at all. But when
My thanks to Canelo for an eARC via NetGalley of this cosy mystery set on the Riviera during the 1920s. It was clearly an homage to the work of Dame Agatha Christie.

The very wealthy Malcom Bryce-Rutherford has summoned his would-be heirs to his villa on the French Riviera. He is dying and has a rather twisted plan to decide which one of the nine possible heirs will inherit his entire estate. With tension running high it isn’t long until there is a murder. Malcolm seeks the assistance of his nei
Diane Hernandez
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A terminally ill man calls his family and friends together to compete for his entire fortune in a Testament to Murder.

Malcolm invites his ne’er-do-well nephew, Hugh, and Hugh’s gold-digging American wife, Patty, for a weeklong visit to Malcolm’s extensive estate. Malcolm’s ex-wife, Cecily, and his ex-partner, Howard, along with their 16-year-old son, Kenneth, are also invited. Theodora, his former secretary, also joins the party.

After everyone arrives, Malcolm announces that he is dying. He plan
Diah R
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
A Testament to Murder was thiiiisss close to being as good as Agatha's books, but it fell short. Let me tell you why.

First, the supposed detective/police/whathaveyou was not likable. I would rather have the other character as the detective or none at all.

Second, I felt cheated by some information that were found but undisclosed before the revelation.

Third, when the plot thickened with a murder, author made it rained with murders or attempted murders. It was a bit much for my taste and not enoug
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nine heirs and one billionaire. You know there is going to be trouble. Wherever money accumulates very seldom will you find the heirs amicable. This is one difficult bunch of people -relations and outsiders and all heirs to the particular frame of Malcolm's will.

It seems that Malcolm is actually inviting someone to murder him. One attempted murder, two murders, three incidents which are not murder but almost there puts a lot of tension within one house whose inmates are prohibited from leaving t
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Received this ARC from NetGalley, so thank you for the opportunity.

You can really tell where Conroy got her inspiration for this one. The book screams Hercule Poirot, the ending especially (don't worry, you don't see it coming). I have a soft spot for Agatha Christie-like murder intrigue and the premise of A Testament to Murder felt just like that. You know, the multiple people gathered together, someone dies, everyone could have a motive type deal.

The part that fell flat for me, however, was t
Jane Hunt
I looked forward to reading this story, as I love murder mystery and especially those written in a similar style to Agatha Christie’s stories. This book delivers in every way.

The plot is clever, fast-paced, full of twists and has numerous suspects, all with motive and opportunity to commit murder. The setting on the French Riveria is ultra glamorous and epitomises the era, the story is set in.

The detective, Jasper, is charismatic, yet mysterious. When you look back at the story you learn very li
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are lots of Agatha Christie echoes in this 1920's cosy crime mystery. Set in the French Riviera, the scenery is lush and the isolated mansion perfect for the story. The eccentric Malcolm has summoned a selection of his nearest and not so dearest to attend him whilst he dies. Promising to name a different person each day as his heir, he sets the scene for one and all to consider murder. Will anyone take the bait? As the suspense builds as each day passes, the body count begins to rise.

Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford ,a very unpleasant and very sick man,has invited several guests,both family and,well not exactly, friends to his beautiful house on the French Riviera. He announces to his puzzled audience that he will draw up a different will every day. If he dies the person who is mentioned in that " daily" will inherit the whole estate. Of course there are risks,not in the first place for Mr. Malcolm himself but also for the beneficiary. If Malcolm dies he or she could become the numb ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A Testament to Murder was highly entertaining and suspenseful. A murder mystery set in the 1920’s begins with a game of chance as Malcolm wagers his life as well as the lives of his closest friends and relatives with an offer that is both dangerous and too good to refuse.
A Testament to Murder is a classic, “who done it” that leaves you wanting more. I thought Vivian Conroy’s use of imagery and character development was exceptional and set the stage for a perfect mystery novel. I found this
Stacy Walton
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh how I love a good cosy mystery to get the brain ticking and the mind working overtime in amateur detective mode. I must say that Vivian's writing style is utterly charming and engaging. The story wrapped me up in an instant with it's twists and turns on every page, encouraging me to lay blame at each character's door in turn.

The plot was fast flowing and full of exciting moments and cliff hangers and I found that I was reading in haste to get to the all important 'who dunnit' reveal.....and w
Lel Budge
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Uncle Malcolm is dying, he calls his family and various acquaintances to his side at his Villa on the Riviera. There he tells them of his plan......he’s going to change the beneficiary of his will at midnight every will know whose name is on the document.....if he dies during that 24 hours, then the person named will inherit everything.......a spiteful, devious plan.

Malcolm’s neighbour, Jasper, is a retired Scotland Yard detective and the French police allow him to investigate th
I received an ARC of this from NetGalley, in return for an unbiased review. Thank you for this opportunity.

The positives - the plot is a really good premise. An old man apparently dying, gathering all his potential beneficiaries together and changing the sole beneficiary name on his will at midnight each day - but none of those gathered know if it’s their day or not. Lots of potential reasons and motives for each person.

The negatives - the characters need a little polishing. I understand you nee
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books, for me, that's hard to criticize not because it is completely bad or overwhelmingly good but rather "just okay" in a slightly soggy-bottomed kind of way. I edited my way through the book to be honest. I’ll dive in: here's a sentence from the second chapter -"He narrowed his eyes against the bright sunshine that seemed to make everything glitter and shine." 1) Don't use shine twice and 2) Did the bright sunshine falsely make things glitter and shine or did it actually ...more
This is set up as a quintessential English country house (or vacation house) murder. A cranky, old, very wealthy, dying man invites nine potential heirs and tells them that he is going to be choosing one person every night at midnight to be the beneficiary of his will. No one will know who it is but each day, someone might end up being his sole heir, or being written out of the will. He is setting up the perfect scenario for someone to be murdered.
And someone is, but it's not the old man. Throug
Nina Kells
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I received an ARC of this from NetGalley and Canelo Publishing, in return for an unbiased review. Thank you for this opportunity.

I have read Vivian Conroy's Lady Alkmene cozy mysteries and I loved them so I persevered with this book. It feels to me that the author is trying to make the leap from cosy mystery writer to series mystery writer on par with Agatha Christie or Georgette Hayer but it doesn't work. The first half of the book is basically the inner monologue of seven characters who keep r
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