Writing: 3.5/5 Characters: 4/5 Plot: 4/5
Another fun, twisty mystery by Elly Griffiths of Ruth Galloway fame — number 3 in the Harbinder Kaur series. Harbinder — our 38-year old diminutive Sikh lesbian — has just made Detective Inspector and is now in charge of a London based Murder Investigation Team.
A great first line (in the prolog) appears to be a confession of guilt for a decades old murder. This is rapidly followed by the school reunion of a high achieving group of friends who were all affected by that long ago death. The long awaited “fun” evening ends in the death of one the group — his body found in the school bathroom with cocaine dust around his nostrils.
A nice, convoluted mystery with plenty of interesting characters. What I found particularly fun was Harbinder’s inner monologue regarding her new subordinates, witnesses, potential suspects, and surprising love interests. While always behaving professionally and never losing her cool, we are treated to her irritation regarding arrogant attitudes, bimbo responses, and one particular subordinate’s oft repeated macho stances. I thoroughly enjoyed this insight into an honest and human interior in contrast with a professional and impassive exterior.
Thank you to Mariner Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on November 15th, 2022.
Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on March 2nd, 2021.
Plot: 3/5 Writing: 3/5 Characters: 4/5
Crime novelists keep turning up dead in this second Harbinder Kaur novel by Elly Griffiths. The first to go is Peggy Smith — resident of Seaview Court in Shoreham and murder consultant to the literary stars. While our 35-year old lesbian, Sikh, still-living-at-home detective grumbles her way through the case, she is aided (against her will) by a beautiful Ukranian carer with a history of cybercrime, an ancient BBC producer, and an ex-monk turned coffee shop owner, shyly looking for a woman with quirks.
Griffiths’ books always grow on me — they can start off kind of klunky, but I always get involved and want to finish. I like the characters, and although these are definitely cozies with a capital C, there are enough surprises to keep me going.
I do prefer the Ruth Galloway series — this book felt like it was written a little more quickly, had more filler, and was slower paced than some of her previous books. On the other hand, I’ve had many Galloway books which see the characters fully develop, and I am personally more interested in the details of forensic archeology than I am with literary murder writers. There are a lot of fun crime fiction references (both book and film) that I enjoyed.