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Posts Tagged ‘cosy murder mystery’

Every Christmas I like to read a Christmas themed book, and this was my choice for this year.

Set in 1935, Daphne King is an agony aunt at a local newspaper in London, but dreams of being a serious journalist. When she is sent to do a fluff piece interviewing the director of a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol being performed at the Theatre Royale, matters take a serious turn when the lead actor dies on stage, apparently of a heart attack. But Daphne suspects that there is more to the death and decides to investigate.

All I wanted from this book was an easy enjoyable read, and on that level it definitely delivered. However, there were a few things that niggled at me slightly. The characters were all caricatures, and the females particularly were almost cartoonish. I did like Daphne though and would like to see more of her in future stories.

The story itself was fun with plenty of twists and turns, and enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing, and it was a pleasant enough way to pass some time. Other than that, I don’t have a lot to say…if you’re looking for a meaty serious read, this is not it. If you’re looking for a fun diversion (think Agatha Christie but really really ‘lite’) then this might be something you would enjoy.

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This is the second in the Gourmet Detective series of tv movies, starring Dylan Neal and Brooke Burns, and which are based on the books of Peter King.

In this instalment, the titular detective Henry Ross once again finds himself teamed with Detective Maggie Price, when they investigate the murder of a journalist at a luxury spa. Naturally there are several possible suspects, and it is up to Henry and Maggie to sift through the evidence and uncover the killer.

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Year of release: 2015

Director: Scott Smith

Writers: Peter King (book series), Dawn DeKeyser, Dylan Neal, Becky Southwell

Main cast: Dylan Neal, Brooke Burns, Crystal Lowe, Patrick Sabongui, Stefanie von Pfetten, Devon Weigel, Brendan Penny, Steve Valentine

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Genre: Cosy murder mystery

Highlights: Charming and undemanding fun throughout, chemistry between the two main characters, mystery kept me guessing until the big reveal

Lowlights: None for me, but those who like their films gritty and realistic might want to pass on this one

Overall: Good fun, perfect to unwind on a lazy weekend

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This is the third instalment in the cosy ‘Murder She Baked’ mystery series. Melanie Quinn opens a bakery opposite Hannah’s own bakery and the two women become rivals not only in business, but also possibly for policeman Mike’s affections. As viewers of the previous two films will know, Hannah has an unfortunate habit of finding dead bodies and when she discovers Melanie lying murdered, Hannah herself is in the frame for the killing!

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Year of release: 2016

Director: Kristoffer Tabori

Writers: Joanne Fluke (novel), Teena Booth

Main cast: Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison, Barbara Niven, Gabriel Hogan, Michelle Harrison, Roark Critchlow, Anne Marie DeLuise

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Genre: Mystery, cosy murder mystery

Highlights: I finally worked out who was Mike and who was Norman!! (Hannah’s two potential love interests look too alike to me), these films are just generally comforting and undemanding viewing, if entirely unbelievable. Alison Sweeney is eminently likeable.

Lowlights: Entirely unbelievable!!

Overall: If this is a genre you like, then I recommend these films. If you like your films gritty and hard hitting, maybe give these a miss. I will say that I thought this was the best one in the series so far.

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