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Murder on the Cliffs

(Daphne du Maurier Mystery #1)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  491 ratings  ·  94 reviews
The storm led me to Padthaway.

I could never resist the allure of dark swirling clouds, windswept leaves sweeping down cobbled lanes or a view of the sea stirring up its defiant nature. The sea possessed a power all of its own and this part of Cornwall, an isolated stretch of rocky cliff tops and unexplored beaches both enchanted and terrified me.

It is not a lie to say I
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by St. Martins Press-3PL
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  491 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Dec 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
It doesn't sound like a bad concept--the young, unfledged Daphne Du Maurier finding herself involved with a mystery that features a sinister housekeeper, a handsome, brooding man, and a huge, mysterious old mansion on the Cornish coast. And so Daphne stumbles across a frightened young girl and a dead woman...
The problem is that it's so badly written! If you want a mess of dangling participles, misplaced modifiers, anachronisms, overwrought diction and misused words, this is probably for you. Som
Jeanne Adamek
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actually I really liked the book. According to all the reviews a lot of people didn`t enjoy this story. I found it interesting--maybe it was also a case of reading the story at the right time. Reading a book that is right at the time completely raises the interest factor, and in my case, so much so that I can recommend this mystery. ...more
Idril Celebrindal
Sep 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
I made it through two chapters but the writing was so completely terrible I just couldn't go on. Never mind that the main character (poor Daphne du Maurier, maligned by being presented as such an idiot) travels to a remote town on the Cornish coast for the sole purpose of visiting a specific abbey and then just wanders through the village and into the woods and wonders why that didn't suddenly reveal said abbey to her; never mind the at least five instances of tonal whiplash experienced in the f ...more
What a letdown! MURDER ON THE CLIFFS had so much potential -- gothic undertones, set in Cornwall, murder mystery, even featuring a young Daphne du Maurier. (REBECCA is one of my favorite books) To say it fell flat is an understatement. I labored through the first half, even though I was, quite frankly, bored, then skimmed through the rest to get to the ending. Daphne was a ninny, the writing was poor, the characters were uninteresting and dull, and there were confusing bits -- like that Lianne w ...more
"Like a wild animal, he stared out at the sea."

"'Lots of mischief,' Jenny laughed, her face suddenly somber."

"The drizzle transformed to droplets and the droplets to pelts." (Perhaps a pelt of a wild animal, staring out at the sea.)

This book is not good.
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Daphne Du Maurier read an article in the newspaper, The Times about an old abbey that is located on the Cornish coast. It dates all the way back to the Charlemagne era. Daphne loves rooting around and learning about the history of old places. She begs her parents to let her stay instead of going with them and trying to find a husband. Her parents agree on one condition…Daphne must stay with an old friend, Ewe Sinclaire.

While taking a morning walk, Daphne hears a woman scream. When she arrives at
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
The thought of a thriller with a literary bent, ie Miss Daphne du Maurier investigating the crime, pleased me and I was looking forward to reading it, especially as it had a strong Cornish background.

Whilst 'Murder on the Cliffs' is perfectly acceptable, it was a trifle disappointing as Daphne did not entirely come across as the bright spark that one would have hoped or expected. Her dialogue was somewhat stilted at times and some of the situations she found herself in would not have found favo
Jan 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Enjoyable story with high marks for atmosphere but I thought the writing style was a bit unpolished.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Golden Summer (May-September 2013)

Daphne Du Maurier has begged off another London season to spend some time in Cornwall, a desire her family just can't grasp, but reluctantly agrees to if she will stay with her mother's old nurse, Ewe Sinclaire, an inveterate gossip. Daphne has ambitions of being a writer and the lure of the windswept cliffs calls to her, as does the lost scrolls of Charlemagne watched over by the nuns at R
Janet Rosfeld
Jun 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
I've been reading quite a few books with mystery writers as the sleuths. Andrew Wilson's series featuring Agatha Christie and Nicola Upson's excellent series featuring Josephine Tey. Then I saw a book featuring Daphne du Maurier solving mysteries. "Rebecca" is one of my all time favorite books so I thought great. Not so great - where do I start -poor story development, clunky plot, bad grammar & syntax, no editing. Here's a sample of her dreadful prose -"I'd opted to take the walk through the wo ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was expecting something a little darker considering that this was a Daphne du Maurier mystery. It was simply a cozy mystery that takes place in a Cornwall village. The book itself seemed to be too long for the telling. If you don't think of Daphne as anyone but just Daphne then possibly this would have been a better read for me.

I had figured out who had killed Victoria a long time before the end of the book, I just didn't know the why. There were several possible reasons for that.

I am giving
Jul 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: gave-up
This is the first in a projected series with Daphne du Maurier as the protagonist. I was predisposed to like it but just couldn't get beyond the fourth chapter. I realize that the atmosphere is supposed to be melodramatic, but the writing just isn't that good. "Sea spray foamed at the mouth of the restless sea." Etc. Oh well..... ...more
Melanie Moore
May 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This novel is a mystery with Daphne du Maurier as the main character. She is the author of Rebecca, one of my favorite books and films. It is set in Cornwall and so far it does have a Rebecca feel to it. The mystery has just unfolded and I can't wait to see "who-dunit"! ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first of three mystery novels featuring young Daphne Du Maurier written by Challis. Of course Du Maurier was the author of the classic Rebecca and many other novels.

Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, (13 May 1907 – 19 April 1989) was an English author and playwright. Although she is classed as a romantic novelist, her stories seldom feature a conventional happy ending, and have been described as "moody and resonant" with overtones of the paranormal. These bestselling works were
Lora Elisabeth
3.5 stars - I'm not a fan of reading books that have real authors as a main character so I went into it with NO expectations that it would be written in the same vein or calibre as the real Daphne du Maurier. I thought of the main character, Daphne, as only a fictional character having no relation to the real Daphne.

I enjoyed the atmosphere and the mystery, and the fact that it was a clean book was a bonus.
However, it could've benefited from meticulous editors. Some sentences were awkward. Also
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the second murder-mystery novel I've read by Joanna Challis. I don't usually read who-done-it books but having read the third in the series (each book can be read separately, I started backwards, read the third one, was happily surprised and intrigued so then I requested the other one my library had which was the first in the series, unfortunately my library doesn't have the second one so it may be a while before I can read it) I was happily surprised. I really liked it and I loved the t ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
An intriguing story featuring a young Daphne Du Maurier as the supper sleuth. This story is meant to showcase how a young Daphne came up with her novel REBECCA... a huge dank foreboding estate, a sinister mysterious housekeeper and a handsome and moody Lord of the house. Like many of the books in this genre it pushed me to learn more about Du Maurier. The author of Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, The Birds... She also had connections to Peter Pan author JM Barrie. The story highlights a family of mea ...more
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this, and I did finish it just to see how it ended, but I won’t be pursuing the rest of the books in the series. The transitions were terrible, when they existed at all, it jumped back and forth between first and third person, and it appeared almost to be a draft, not edited for publication. I love the idea of it, but it just wasn’t well executed.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, british
Because the book was written from the point of view of Daphne du Maurier, I believe the author tried to write in the style of du Maurier. It just seemed to be trying a bit too hard. It was the first in the series so it may improve, but it didn’t really work for me.
Very odd word-choices. Did she sit with a thesaurus?
Thin mystery, unbelievable shifts.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I felt like the book bogged down in the middle. Started out great but...
Deann Doolittle
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Very reminiscent of Phyllis Whitney. Good read!
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
A bit silly, but uncomplicated and unpretentious which was a breeze after struggling through The Milkman
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
As soon as I heard about Joanna Challis’ murder mystery series, which features Daphne du Maurier as an amateur detective, my interest was piqued. I just had to get my hands on the first book, Murder on the Cliffs and I feel that it ties in marvellously with my du Maurier December project.

Before I purchased Murder on the Cliffs, I decided to take a look at a handful of reviews, merely to see how the book was received. I hadn’t heard anything about the novel before, and was interested in the opini
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Mom wanted this one so I got it for her for the holidays. I’m not overly fond of mystery series that use authors as the protagonist. I’ve seen Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, the Alquonquin Club, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and now this one brings us Daphne du Maurier. It was probably the best of the aforementioned bunch.

Young Daphne has gone to Cornwall to research an old abbey’s scrolls, staying with Ewe Sinclair, her mother’s old nurse. She has a love of Gothic architecture and wants to use it to wr
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Murder on the Cliffs is the first in a promising new mystery series by Joanna Challis. Daphne du Maurier is a young inspiring author who, instead of staying home to pursue a husband, as her mother would like, decides to take on an adventure by staying with her mother's old nanny. It doesn't take long for her to find adventure, as she discovers a dead body shortly after her arrival to Cornwall. Not only does she discover the dead body of a young woman, who she later finds out is named Victoria, b ...more
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
In her attempt to capture the mood and impact of the romantic gothics produced by Daphne du Maurier, Joanne Challis has given us a rather flimsy and shadowy imitation of one of Ms. du Maurier's more famous works, REBECCA.....which itself was Ms.du Maruier's reworking of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

All of the ingredients are there. The young Daphne, enamored with old buildings and ancient history, unwittingly pulled into the lives of the Hartley family whose grand mansion holds a plethora of sec
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"The storm led me to Padthaway.

I could never resist the allure of dark swirling clouds, windswept leaves sweeping down cobbled lanes or a view of the sea stirring up its defiant nature. The sea possessed a power all of its own and this part of Cornwall, an isolated stretch of rocky cliff tops and unexplored beaches both enchanted and terrified me.

It is not a lie to say I felt drawn out that day, led to a certain destiny...

So begins this new mystery series featuring young Daphne du M
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I am embarrassed to admit that I've never read anything by Daphne Du Maurier, but reading Challis' mystery has made me strongly desire to remedy that. Many thanks to Lance and the folks involved with the Omnimystery Book Tour for Joanna Challis' breathtaking first book in her Daphne Du Maurier series. I'm excited to be a part of this tour!

I could not put this book down. The writing was breezy and flowed beautifully and I couldn't help but get wrapped up in the mystery and the characters involved
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Joanna Challis, a lover of old houses, wild English gardens, and dusty bookstores, lives and writes in Australia, but her heart resides on the cliffs of Cornwall. She is the author of the Daphne du Maurier Mysteries.

Other books in the series

Daphne du Maurier Mystery (3 books)
  • Peril at Somner House (Daphne du Maurier Mysteries #2)
  • The Villa of Death (Daphne du Maurier Mysteries #3)

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