Death of a Cozy Writer (St. Just Series #1)

Death of a Cozy Writer (St. Just Series #1)

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by G. M. Malliet
     
 

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Winner of the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious

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Overview

Winner of the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow – a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet... who was once suspected of murdering her husband.

Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset – least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk – an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?

Death of a Cozy Writer was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2008, nominated for a Left Coast Crime award (the Hawaii Five-O for best police procedural), short-listed for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel.

G.M. Malliet's Death of a Cozy Writer won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel and a silver medal for the IPPY awards in the category of Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

When millionaire and mystery author Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk sends out wedding announcements to his ex-wife and children, the family descends on Waverly Court, their father's large estate in Cambridgeshire. Family tensions soon break out into murder, and Detective Chief Inspector St. Just and Sergeant Fear are called in. In her series debut, Malliet, who won a Malice Domestic Grant to write this novel, lays the foundation for an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery, although the plot lacks direction and could have used a few more red herrings. Traces of humor add to a story enhanced by the detection skills of St. Just and Fear. This will appeal to Christie fans and readers who enjoy British cozies.


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
Detective Chief Inspector St. Just finds himself with a pretty puzzle when a father and son are murdered in a snow-shrouded Cambridgeshire manor house. The family of wealthy mystery writer Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk have arrived in response to a shocking wedding invitation. Long divorced from his first wife, he delights in keeping his unloved heirs on edge by constantly changing his will. Upon their arrival, they learn that he has already married beautiful, aristocratic Violet Winthrop, who Ruthven, his oldest son, announces was accused of murdering her first husband. Although Ruthven has usually been his favorite, Sir Adrian does not seem unduly upset when he is found brutally murdered in the wine cellar. As for his remaining children: self-absorbed George arrives with a girlfriend as stunning as she is pregnant; Albert is an actor with a drinking problem; and Sarah seems to take pains to remain unattractive while she writes successful cookbooks. In addition, the household includes a private secretary, a cook, her son the houseboy and an ancient gardener. When Sir Adrian is at last fatally stabbed in his study, St. Just looks among the houseguests and staff for the guilty party. As so often turns out in English country-house mysteries, the answer lies buried in the past. Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement.
From the Publisher
"Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement." - Kirkus Reviews
"Fans of English detective work will welcome Malliet's droll debut, the first in a new series." - Publishers Weekly
"In her series debut, Malliet, who won a Malice Domestic Grant to write this novel, lays the foundation for an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery." - Library Journal
"This tale cleverly adds modern touches to an Agatha Christie style classic house mystery." - Mystery Women Magazine
"Almost every sentence is a polished, malicious gem, reminiscent of Robert Barnard...the book is perfect for the lover of the classical detective story or the fan of great sentences." - Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"Malliet's skillful debut demonstrates the sophistication one would expect of a much more established writer. I'm looking forward to her next genre-bender, Death and the Lit Chick." - Mystery Scene Magazine
"The connections made by St. Just are nothing short of Sherlock Holmes at his most coherent. A most excellent first mystery!" - Midwest Book Review
"Readers who enjoy all things British, as well as a good whodunit, will find these novels just the ticket." - Free Lance-Star
"G.M. Malliet's Death of a Cozy Writer is a delightful homage to the great novels of Britian's Golden Age of Mysteries, which lasted from about 1913 to the beginning of World War II: a time when Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh's writing careers were in full bloom." - Nancy Pearl, KUOW-FM
"All in all a delightful read." - Book-Blog
"The mystery was complex and satisfying, with several unpredictable twists, and St. Just and Fear are likeable but funny investigators." - On My Bookshelf
"A good old fashion whodunit that Agatha Christie would have been pleased to claim as her own." - Alibi Books
"Try Ms. Malliet's prize-winning debut for a classic cozy set in modern times." - Fresh Fiction
"Good mystery, characters, descriptive phrases, and resolution. Malliet could have a great series on her hands." - The Mystery Bookstore
"[T]his novel delivers exactly what you hoped it would: a new packaging of the old formula, and a very enjoyable read." - Gumshoe Review
"Death of a Cozy Writer is a book anyone who cut their teeth on Agatha Christie's mysteries will treasure. I read it once for the story, and plan to read it a second time just to savor the language. It's that good." - Cozy Library
"In the beginning, Death of a Cozy Writer will entertain readers with its characters, setting, and board game-like features, but in the end will captivate them with a compelling denouement in a familiar gathering of the suspects in the drawing room." - Mysterious Reviews
"Humor, red herrings, and a few unlikeable characters make this a very enjoyable cozy." - Des Plaines Public Library, Staff Picks
"I've found a reason to read genre mystery again. You have, too." - Bookish News, Possibly of Interest
"Death of a Cozy Writer, G.M. Malliet's hilarious first mystery, is a must-read for fans of Robert Barnard and P.G. Wodehouse. I'm looking forward eagerly to Inspector St. Just's next case!" - Donna Andrews, award-winning author of Some Like it Hawk
"Death of a Cozy Writer is a romp, a classic tale of family dysfunction in a moody and often humourous English country house setting. A worthy addition to the classic mystery tradition and the perfect companion to a cup of tea and a roaring fire, or a sunny deck chair. Relax and let G.M. Malliet introduce you to the redoubtable Detective Chief Inspector St. Just of the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from him!" - Louise Penny, author of the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries
"Wicked, witty and full of treats, G.M. Malliet's debut novel has the sure touch of a classy crime writer. More, please!" - Peter Lovesey, winner of Crime Writer's Association and Malice Domestic Lifetime Achievement Awards
"The traditional British cozy is alive and well. Delicious. I was hooked from the first paragraph." - Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of Her Royal Spyness
"A house party in a Cambridgeshire mansion with the usual suspects, er, guests - a sly patriarch, grasping relatives, a butler, and a victim named Ruthven (what else?) - I haven't had so much fun since Anderson's 'Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy.' Pass the tea and scones, break out the sherry, settle down in the library by the fire and enjoy Malliet's delightful tribute to the time-honored tradition of the English country house mystery." - Marcia Talley, Agatha and Anthony award-winning author of Dead Man Dancing

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738712482
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Series:
St. Just Series, #1
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
158,620
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

G. M. Malliet worked as a journalist and copywriter for national and international news publications and public broadcasters. Winner of the Malice Domestic Grant (Death of a Cozy Writer), Malliet attended Oxford University and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge.

Malliet's first novel Death of a Cozy Writer was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2008, nominated for a Left Coast Crime award (the Hawaii Five-O for best police procedural), short-listed for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel.

Death of a Cozy Writer won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel and a silver medal for the IPPY awards in the category of Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

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