HQ | 7 January 2021 | 352 pgs
77-year-old Judith Potts is single and lives alone in a mansion inherited from her late aunt, Betty. Judith is happy with her life; after all she doesn't have to report to anyone and she can drink whisky anyhow or anytime she likes. She passes her time setting crosswords for the national newspapers and life doesn't get much better until one evening changes her life thereafter.
On that fateful evening, she is out swimming in the Thames and she hears shouting from her neighbour's garden, followed by the sound of a gunshot. She then reports what she's heard to the police, hoping they'd send someone to investigate but they don't believe her and thought she might have heard wrongly. Afterall, Marlow has a low crime rate and it is not often they'd come across a serious crime, let alone a murder case. But Judith trusts her instincts and decides to investigate for herself. Her determination has paid off as she eventually finds her neighbour's body but the police thinks there's a possibility between the case of an accident and a suicide attempt.
Judith didn't want to argue with the police and their disbelief has further fueled her determination in solving the case more. She is soon joined by the neighbourhood's dog walker, Suzie, and the prim and proper Vicar's wife, Becks. Together they formed "The Marlow Murder Club". What begins as a simple sleuthing soon becomes their "full-time job" as they realise they may be dealing with a serial killer when another body is found. Together with DS Tanika Malik (who's come to acknowledge their individual abilities eventually), they'll soon learn that some residents aren't who they seem to be and that one day the past would return to haunt no matter how one keeps it quietly.
This book was a delight to read. Perhaps that's a wrong word to use considering this is a book about murders, but I loved the author's prose (serious yet humorous at times) and most of all, the various cast of characters that make this mystery so much intriguing through their dialogues and their characteristics. Judith was a remarkable character; she was a true hero (yes, she does wear a cape sometimes) and I liked it that she's feisty and opinionated and doesn't allow anything (or anyone) to bring her down. Her friendship with Suzie and Becks made me smile; and then there's DS Malik who brings in some conflicts to the story through her own issues and how she and the trio work together to crack the case. I also liked it that the mystery was multi-layered and like Judith's crossword puzzles, you need to think from various angles and other possibilities, too. As you can tell, I enjoyed this book and I'm glad to note that a sequel will be published in December 2021 (source).
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