Hello my bookish loves!
Today’s review is for British Murder, a cozy mystery compilation by writer Leslie Meier. I’ll be honest, when I requested the ARC (yes, this was an ARC provided to me), I had noooo idea this was a compilation rather than a single book. It contains two of Meier’s previously-published works English Tea Murder and British Manor Murder. These are part of the Lucy Stone Mysteries series, and there are quite a few of them, by the looks!
So, yes – I did (yet again) read another book out of order, only this one isn’t anywhere near the front of the line. I don’t even know where these two books fall in the series, but they read like established characters so I am going to go right ahead and assume there are a number of stories prior to either of those contained in the British Murder duo-tome (do you like that term? I don’t know if it’s original, but I like it. You heard it here).
Now: the stories.
Despite being about an American woman who sort of stumbles across and helps to solve murder mysteries, these books obviously take place in Britain, and those elements have been done well, even if it does seem a little like a tourist visit at points (particularly English Tea Murder, which is set in London). I don’t have a huge problem with this, but it does detract from the development of the mystery a little when the descriptions of landmarks and other sites of interest get rather lengthy.
There are some cliches employed throughout the book, but honestly, again – not all that concerned about it. They aren’t out of place and don’t detract from the plot. On the plot of both novels, I will say that they were pleasant enough to read and the denouement played out fairly well. I did twig to the offenders fairly early on for the first book, and around the middle of the story for the second, but if you do like cozy mysteries I think this series would do you fine. It isn’t necessary to have read the prior books in the series, as I haven’t and I was able to catch on to who everybody was and what all was happening easily and quickly.
The only thing that really stopped be gelling with this series, I think, was maybe the writing style? Which is nothing at all against the writer, this is just something that happens occasionally. I will say this for Meier: she does an excellent job at writing a character that truly pissed me off, that character actually being the best friend of the protagonist of the series, Lucy Stone. Sue Finch (the best friend) annoyed the hell out of me for two books straight, and that speaks well of the way the character has been written.
If I come across the series, I’ll probably give them another try as I do like the premise (I really like England, ok?) – I think I have just been spoiled with my reading choices of late. And, well….this series doesn’t come with recipes. You know how I feel about cozy mysteries and recipes.
Hope your weekend is going well, lovelies!
Disclaimer: An electronic copy of this book was provided to me through Netgalley in exchange for a review. As you should know by now, the provenance of a title has no bearing on my opinion of the book itself.
Image credit: from the publisher web page.