Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Book Review: The Murder of Twelve by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land (Murder, She Wrote #51)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong, page turning plot
Cons: Character relationships
The Bottom Line:
Trapped in a blizzard
With a killer on the loose
Page turning thriller

Weddings are Murder

When I describe cozies to those who haven’t read them before, I often compare them to Agatha Christie and Murder, She Wrote.  The two come together for The Murder of Twelve, which is a page turning read.

The blizzard of the century is bearing down on Maine, with predictions of three feet of snow in Cabot Cove.  Jessica Fletcher isn’t in any hurry to get back to her suite at Hill House, the hotel where she has been staying while her home is being rebuilt.  Instead, she is happy to help Sheriff Metzger figure out what is happening to the stranger found just outside of town, dead in his car.  At first, it looks like a tragic accident, but Jessica quickly finds evidence that it was murder.

When she does finally return to the hotel, she discovers that a wedding party has checked in.  However, the bride and groom are missing and the family can’t seem to stand each other.  Then the bodies begin to pile up.  What is happening at the hotel?  How does it tie in to the stranger in the car?

Make no mistake about it, this book reads much more like a thriller than a cozy mystery.  Or, more accurately, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.  There’s no foul language and the violence is kept to a minimum, but it is tense.

Now, that isn’t to say that this isn’t a good book.  I was very much caught up in the story and had to know what was going to happen next.  Jessica is kept very busy trying to stop a string of murders from continuing, and I couldn’t wait to see how she would do it.

With much of the book taking place at Hill House in the middle of the record storm, we don’t see as much of any of the series’ supporting players.  The focus of the book is on Jessica and the suspects, and they are more than enough to support this book.  I came to care for many of the suspects, which made me care even more about the outcome.

This isn’t to say that we don’t see some of the regular supporting players here, we just don’t see as much of them as we normally night.  In some cases, that helped cut down on the issues I’ve noted in their relationships in the previous books.  I will say, I am getting very tired of Harry McGraw’s one joke.  It’s time to do something different with that character if we are going to continue to see him.

The descriptions of the weather are excellent.  I was reading this book as the weather was finally starting to warm up for a Southern California spring, but it made me shiver with winter cold.  Considering how much I hate snow, it might not take much to make me feel cold, but still, I was very impressed with how much I could feel the cold seeping into my body.

All the complaints really are minor.  I couldn’t get through this book fast enough, and I was satisfied when I turned the final page.  The Murder of Twelve will keep you engrossed far longer than you had planned once you pick it up.

NOTE: I received an ARC of the book.

1 comment:

  1. This seems really fun and I love spending time with Jessica and the rest of the cast. I definitely agree that Harry could use a bit broadening of his character. I love him both in the book and the show but if he has too big of a role he gets a bit much. A little goes a long way in his current role.