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Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (A St. Just Mystery Book 1) by [Malliet, G.M.]
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Death of a Cozy Writer: A St Just Mystery (A St. Just Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Length: 297 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement."" - Kirkus Reviews
""Fans of English detective work will welcome Malliet's droll debut, the first in a new series."" - Publishers Weekly
""In her series debut, Malliet, who won a Malice Domestic Grant to write this novel, lays the foundation for an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery."" - Library Journal
""This tale cleverly adds modern touches to an Agatha Christie style classic house mystery."" - Mystery Women Magazine
""Almost every sentence is a polished, malicious gem, reminiscent of Robert Barnard...the book is perfect for the lover of the classical detective story or the fan of great sentences."" - Deadly Pleasures Magazine
""Malliet's skillful debut demonstrates the sophistication one would expect of a much more established writer. I'm looking forward to her next genre-bender, Death and the Lit Chick."" - Mystery Scene Magazine
""The connections made by St. Just are nothing short of Sherlock Holmes at his most coherent. A most excellent first mystery!"" - Midwest Book Review
""Readers who enjoy all things British, as well as a good whodunit, will find these novels just the ticket."" - Free Lance-Star
""G.M. Malliet's Death of a Cozy Writer is a delightful homage to the great novels of Britian's Golden Age of Mysteries, which lasted from about 1913 to the beginning of World War II: a time when Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh's writing careers were in full bloom."" - Nancy Pearl, KUOW-FM
""All in all a delightful read."" - Book-Blog
""The mystery was complex and satisfying, with several unpredictable twists, and St. Just and Fear are likeable but funny investigators."" - On My Bookshelf
""A good old fashion whodunit that Agatha Christie would have been pleased to claim as her own."" - Alibi Books
""Try Ms. Malliet's prize-winning debut for a classic cozy set in modern times."" - Fresh Fiction
""Good mystery, characters, descriptive phrases, and resolution. Malliet could have a great series on her hands."" - The Mystery Bookstore
""[T]his novel delivers exactly what you hoped it would: a new packaging of the old formula, and a very enjoyable read."" - Gumshoe Review
""Death of a Cozy Writer is a book anyone who cut their teeth on Agatha Christie's mysteries will treasure. I read it once for the story, and plan to read it a second time just to savor the language. It's that good."" - Cozy Library
""In the beginning, Death of a Cozy Writer will entertain readers with its characters, setting, and board game-like features, but in the end will captivate them with a compelling denouement in a familiar gathering of the suspects in the drawing room."" - Mysterious Reviews
""Humor, red herrings, and a few unlikeable characters make this a very enjoyable cozy."" - Des Plaines Public Library, Staff Picks
""I've found a reason to read genre mystery again. You have, too."" - Bookish News, Possibly of Interest
""Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet's hilarious first mystery, is a must-read for fans of Robert Barnard and P.G. Wodehouse. I'm looking forward eagerly to Inspector St. Just's next case!"" - Donna Andrews, award-winning author of Some Like it Hawk
""Death of a Cozy Writer is a romp, a classic tale of family dysfunction in a moody and often humourous English country house setting. A worthy addition to the classic mystery tradition and the perfect companion to a cup of tea and a roaring fire, or a sunny deck chair. Relax and let G.M. Malliet introduce you to the redoubtable Detective Chief Inspector St. Just of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from him!"" - Louise Penny, author of the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries
""Wicked, witty and full of treats, G.M. Malliet's debut novel has the sure touch of a classy crime writer. More, please!"" - Peter Lovesey, winner of Crime Writer's Association and Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement Awards
""The traditional British cozy is alive and well. Delicious. I was hooked from the first paragraph."" - Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of Her Royal Spyness
""A house party in a Cambridgeshire mansion with the usual suspects, er, guests - a sly patriarch, grasping relatives, a butler, and a victim named Ruthven (what else?) - I haven't had so much fun since Anderson's 'Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy.' Pass the tea and scones, break out the sherry, settle down in the library by the fire and enjoy Malliet's delightful tribute to the time-honored tradition of the English country house mystery."" - Marcia Talley, Agatha and Anthony award-winning author of Dead Man Dancing

From the Back Cover

"Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet's hilarious first mystery, is a must-read for fans of Robert Barnard and P.G. Wodehouse. I'm looking forward eagerly to Inspector St. Just's next case!"

~~ Donna Andrews, award-winning author of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much

"The traditional British cozy is alive and well. Delicious. I was hooked from the first paragraph."

~~ Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of Her Royal Spyness

"Wicked, witty and full of treats, G.M. Malliet's debut novel has the sure touch of a classy crime writer. More, please!"

~~ Peter Lovesey, recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Crime Writers' Association and Malice Domestic

Death of a Cozy Writer is a romp, a classic tale of family dysfunction in a moody and often humourous English country house setting. A worthy addition to the classic mystery tradition and the perfect companion to a cup of tea and a roaring fire, or a sunny deck chair. Relax and let G.M. Malliet introduce you to the redoubtable Detective Chief Inspector St. Just of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from him!

~~ Louise Penny, author of the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries


Product Details

  • File Size: 1638 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (July 8, 2008)
  • Publication Date: July 8, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001JEPVSM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,567 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let us begin this review with a blunt declaration: G.M. Malliet can WRITE. And, more vitally, she can tell a story.

The plot of Death of a Cozy Writer revolves around a wealthy, aging aristocrat's will, a storyline harkening back to Kyd's Spanish Tragedy and Shakespeare's King Lear. Ms. Malliet's novel's central conceit is a British detective procedural that gently skewers the Cozy mystery sub-genre within an English country house setting. Familiar ground, brilliantly re-traversed. Moreover, Malliet manages to honor the sacred concord between mystery writer and reader by faithfully observing the requisite genre conventions, but in her own quirky, tongue-in-chic style.

The author uses the early chapters to depict the various characters with wit and unusual insight. She then deposits them at the nimbly executed meal en famille, a model of nuanced familial interaction and serial revelation. Once the estimable DCI St. Just and obligatory sidekick are introduced into the mix, the pace quickens and the reader is catapulted into a dizzying vortex of misdirection, surprise, and, echoing Greek tragedies, recognition and reversal. So sure, so authoritative is Malliet's grasp of character, plot, and convention as she propels the intricate plot to conclusion, I felt I had witnessed a display of narrative virtuosity equal to that of any first rate mystery writer's very best work.

Appetite whetted, I avidly await the gifted G.M. Malliet's next literary outing. Perhaps she will even include a "Death of an Amazon Reviewer" book in this promising series. Hmmm, I better hide the cutlery......
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Format: Paperback
#1 St. Just mystery. Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is a writer of cozy British mysteries, and he's also an absolute beast. Pompous, phony, and cruel to his family, frequently changing his will in favor of whichever of his children has momentarily pleased him (or displeased him the least), he decides to have some real fun by inviting his four children to his wedding. They are aghast of course, seeing a threat to their inheritances, but they all head toward his manor, figuratively attempting to elbow their way into his favor and hopefully talk him out of this marriage to an obvious gold digger. (It takes one to know one!)

Then Sir Adrian drops the bombshell that his marriage is a done deal, that he and Violet are already man and wife and that his will has (yet again) been changed--but he doesn't say how. Shortly thereafter, Sir Adrian's eldest child Ruthven is brutally murdered, and it's not long before he follows his son to the afterlife. Just about everyone has motive to kill one or another of them, so who dunnit?

I admit that I was surprised by the ending, but to be honest, I didn't much care by that point. The book started very slowly, and I nearly gave it up since by the time I hit page 100 (1/3 of the way through the book) there had not yet been a murder, nor had we met DCI St. Just, our intrepid hero. There was just too much set-up, and in reflecting back, the set-up didn't really give many clues to the murderer. Once St. Just entered the scene, things did improve. I like him, and Sgt. Fear too, and wish that his character had been more developed. There is some wry humor that I found amusing, but the overall package of this book was just mediocre to me and it felt like it was "trying too hard." I will likely read the next one, but I've deleted it from my wishlist and just added it to my library list. If St. Just develops further in that book I would say the series has promise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was expecting a better read with all the good reviews. This one is barely readable and really not worth the price.

The characters are fairly well drawn but none of them are likeable which makes the reader less interested from the beginning. The plot was very unbelievable in many, many places and the ending was like a giant plop that ended up on the last pages, with no real way for the reader to anticipate it. I won't be searching out more by this author since it was like I was working as I was reading on waiting for something to be interesting.

Usually a cozy will also have humor but that was another aspect I did not find, even dry humor. This is more of a dark cozy I guess. That is not at all what I was expecting.
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Format: Paperback
G.M. Malliet is a professional journalist and copywriter with degrees from Oxford and

Cambridge Universities. DEATH OF A COPYWRITER is her first mystery and has already garnered the Malice Domestic Grant and the Romance Writers of America 2006 Stiletto Award in the thriller category.

Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk is as phony as his title. He has also produced one of the truly great dysfunctional families. He is ensconced in his eighteenth-century Cambridgeshire manor, and has married a woman who was accused of murdering her first husband for his money. He delights in using Violet to torment his grown-up children, all of whom have their own foibles. The result naturally turns to murder, and it is up to Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Fear, from the Cambridgeshire Constabulary to sort out the mess. The servants also have their own secrets to cover up, and the result is a jolly investigation marked by hilarious dialogue and commentary:

"The poor bugger really was dead, and he'd been dead awhile. St. Just thought it was little wonder the man who said he was his brother was in such sad shape. The body in the wine refrigerator or whatever it was called was a mess, the skull thoroughly crushed in. The face, itself, however, was intact: In profile, it retained the aristocratic, pampered visage of what the coroner would undoubtedly describe was a well-nourished, middle-aged man."

Malliet writes this little "cozy" with a sense of humor and an eye towards thoroughly confusing the reader. The connections made by St. Just are nothing short of Sherlock Holmes at his most coherent.
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