A Meditation on Murder

After finishing ‘Song of Achilles’ I was in pursuit of a cosy crime or thriller that I could curl up with. Trouble was, I just couldn’t seem to settle on one and ended up wandering from book to book. This went on for a ridiculous amount of time until eventually I stumbled, quite by chance, on the Death in Paradise series. So long story short, I downloaded the first book on to my kindle (at this point, I did have my doubts), grabbed a mocha, curled myself up on the sofa and began to read. As per usual, I was most pleasantly surprised and before I knew it, I was completely hooked.

Right from the start, the murder was a puzzling one and grabbed my attention. The more clues that were uncovered, the more complicated it got. From clues that didn’t make sense to those that seemed too obvious, a mystery ensued; one that seemed impossible at times. Occasionally, the mystery dipped a little and the voices seemed to get monotone. However this did not last for long at all and did not detract away from the enjoyment of the puzzle. The writing style was not by any means perfect or skilful; it was rather simple and at times repetitive in explanations. Again, although a little frustrating, it did not take anything away from the pleasure of the mystery.

Despite being cantankerous at the best of times, Detective Inspector Richard Poole made for a brilliant protagonist. His grumpiness was almost endearing, as were his interactions with his team, especially Camille. It felt good to be able to see Richard’s more vulnerable side as the writing gave a proper insight into his mind.

“ Because in my experience when it comes to murder, there’s no such thing as a coincidence”

His team were made up of interesting characters and it was nice that each member had their own skill set which had been utilised to various degrees. At times it was disappointing as it was felt that Richard was doing all the work and his team were under utilised. But, given that this was the first book in what looks like a series, it was understandable.

The scorching heat and gorgeous scenery bled through the pages and the whole set up was appealing. Small details had been mentioned that added to the atmosphere and authenticity. The end scene was crafted beautifully where Richard reveals the murderer and how it was done. This was very much reminiscent of Poirot.

In a nutshell, this was a brilliant cosy murder mystery with all the right elements melded together to make an intriguing puzzle. It was a delightful read and I cannot wait come back to the rest of the series at some point. In the meantime, I think I’m going to give the TV series a go!

Saz

P.S. I once met an astronaut who was claustrophobic. Turns out he just needed some space 🙂

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