Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB by Robert Thorogood.
Publication Date: 7 January 2021
Publisher: HQ (HarperCollins)
To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.
Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…
Set in the village of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, I was first attracted to THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB by the location. I am fairly local to the area myself and Marlow really is a charming location for a novel – a beautiful and lively (pre-2020 pandemic!) historic village on the edge of the River Thames.
The three amateur ‘detectives’ are an absolute hoot! Septuagenarian Judith Potts is a wonderful character. Marlow’s equivalent to Miss Marple, she lives alone in a run-down mansion on the banks of the Thames where she passes her time writing crossword puzzles and swimming in the river. Intelligent, determined and seemingly fearless, there is no doubt that Judith is a formidable woman and certainly someone I would want as an ally rather than an opponent. There really is no stopping her when she has an idea in mind and a murderer in her sights! Dog-walker Suzie and vicar’s wife Becks, are the perfect side-kicks and the three of them make a pretty formidable team. The dialogue between the ladies is witty and fun, and they really are a quirky and very appealing crime-fighting trio. The other character of note is DS Tanika Malik – a good copper with the patience of a saint. She quickly learns that there is little point in trying to stop Judith’s antics!
I was completely drawn into the story from the very first chapter, it really is very compelling and has all the elements I expect from a good whodunnit – deftly plotted with an interesting cast of suspects, some good clues, a number of red herrings and a tenacious detective. The story progresses at a good pace, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the very last. I also loved the dark humour running throughout, this book really is great fun.
THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB is witty, well-plotted and hugely entertaining. The book really is an absolutely delight and one that I would happily recommend. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m pretty confident that fans of a good whodunnit will love it as much as I do! I believe this is the start of a new series and I really hope that is the case, I cannot wait to read more adventures from Judith Potts and her friends.
Huge thanks to HQ Stories for sending me a review copy of THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB and inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC One TV series DEATH IN PARADISE. He was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1972. When he was 10-years old, he read his first proper novel – Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House – and he’s been in love with the genre ever since. He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and an increasingly cranky Bengal cat called Daniel.
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