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on November 8, 2016
The book had an interesting plot. However, the writing was often disjointed to the point where I flipped back to see if I'd missed a page. The characters had potential, but were not very believable.
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on August 9, 2016
Brian Kavanagh' s book impressed me with its simplicity of prose, lucidity of characterisation, tautness of storyline and a surprising denouement. A gripping murder mystery which keeps the reader hooked till the very end.
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on June 8, 2016
This is the third of his books I've read and I enjoyed it immensely. This, like the others, was a quick read, interesting enough to secure my seat on the couch. I'm off to buy another!
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on June 6, 2016
What a great new cozy mystery set in England. Capable of Murder is a Belinda Lawrence Murder mystery first in a new series. Really love the small English town and set of characters. Only problem is that in a small town people love to get into everyone's business. Belinda finds out quickly about small town life.
Belinda Lawrence is from Australia but is called to England because of a letter sent from her Great Aunt Jane. She goes to her house in the small town of Milford just outside of Bath only to find her dead! She is not totally convinced that she died from a fall like law enforcement keeps saying. She begins to try and find out information on her recluse Aunt. Belinda is shocked to find out that she is the only relative for her Aunt's house,land, and assets. She has a big decision to make, will she stay or go back to Australia?
This is where things get a bit more complicated. She meets not one but two very handsome men who seem to be vying for her attention. Are they trustworthy or are they just after her for her finances and much more??? Days after meeting her two callers her home is broken into and it appears that nothing is taken but someone sure was looking for something. Then when a second murder occurs in the small town Belinda realizes she maybe in great danger. Love the plot to this book as well as the Old English charm. So cozy up to a fire and sit back and be amazed at all the twists and turns coming your way.
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on April 18, 2016
...if this book had been in the hands of a capable storyteller! ...with real characters, real relationships, intriguing mystery about a Capability Brown gem of a garden. Sigh...not here, sadly.
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on November 17, 2014
Good, entertaining, easy read. Take it to the beach. Can be finished in one day. Not an edge of your seat story though.
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on August 12, 2014
I wouldn't rush out to buy the next book.
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on January 5, 2014
Australian author Brian Kavanagh has given us a novel in the tradition of the “cosy” English murder mystery with some interesting historical material at the core. It's the first I have read in the Belinda Lawrence series.

This book is very well written and edited. The author’s fluent succinct prose often gives us sharp little snatches of visual description that make the narration quite vivid.

The story gives us two murders—one at the outset and another about half-way through—in a tiny village in England’s West Country. And would you believe the motivation behind them derives from a passion for gardening, of all things?

The protagonist, Belinda Lawrence, is strongly etched through her behaviour and thoughts. Born in England, raised in Australia before returning to her birth-country in early adulthood, she impresses us with her youthful intelligence, perspicacity and feisty attitude. At the same time she’s sufficiently sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to arouse our sympathy and concern for her well-being.

Most other characters—each drawn sharply—give the reader enough reason for suspicion, thus scattering red herrings liberally as we negotiate this mystery. The solution was a real surprise to me due to a couple of well-crafted twists in the narrative.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable novel. I'm not normally a fan of the genre, but this one has persuaded me to put the rest of this series of novels on my reading list.
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on August 30, 2013
Belinda Lawrence receives an envelope from her Great Aunt, whom she has met only once, telling her that she has something important to say to her and requesting that she visit. When Belinda gets to her great aunt's house, she discovers her aunt's decaying body at the bottom of the staircase. the police rule it an accident. While she is there she meets her aunts solicitor who informs her that she has inherited a sizable amount of money and is now the owner of the house. She begins to suspect that maybe it was not an accident. the letter is postmarked two days after the death. She comes back to the house after meeting with the solicitor to find that it has been ransacked. The more she asks about her aunt, the more she is convinced she was murdered. The story is set in Bath in England and the writing has a decided British style and tone. A delightfully entertaining book.
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on August 17, 2013
I have dragged my heels on writing a review for this one -- for a specific reason. When I started reading I was busy enjoying the vocabulary and location and little differences between the characters from those in the US. The story was very good, and included a true mystery with plenty of red herrings and suspicious actions. I wasn't particularly conscious of the change when it moved from 'good little story' to 'holy cow, I can't put it down', because the pace was so smooth it just sucked me right in. But what I really find outstanding is that several days after completing the book, and in fact having read another book in the meantime, I still have those characters and that location on my mind. That is such a rare quality. I admire the author's ability to weave it into the pages. Great job!
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