The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.
But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…
And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…
And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…
Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
An entertaining crime novel, best described within the book as ‘cosy crime’. A motley crue of amateur sleuths seek to solve the death of Peggy, something feels off and further deaths which are definitely suspicious appear linked and so cement this feeling. Set in the world of books, including reference to book bloggers and a literary festival this book held a certain appeal for this alone.
Following a cast of unlikely characters, we have Natalka – the carer who found Peggy, a cool character, hiding something, which makes her suspicious, but she links up with Edwin a neighbour of Peggy’s and Benedict who runs the local coffee shop. Together they ‘assist’ DS Harbinder Kaur in investigating exactly what has occurred. A supporting cast is well used, with several authors linked by their publisher plus the care agency that services the retirement flats were Peggy and Edwin reside.
This book was fun, it was highly readable and despite several deaths it felt quite light if a little far fetched – the number of deaths and the links to Russian criminal networks. That said there was lots here to keep me guessing and I must hold my hands up and confess I didn’t solve the murders.
Not necessarily for anyone seeking out serious crime fiction but this book reminded me a lot of the traditional murder mysteries and more recently of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I think if you enjoyed that book you will like this one and I wonder if these two books are the first of more of this type of crime writing.
This is the second book to feature DS Harbinder Kaur, however having not read The Stranger Diaries, this worked very well as a standalone and truthfully it wasn’t obvious at all that this was the second book about this detective, and I am not certain that these books are written as a series particularly.
About the Author
Bestselling crime author Elly Griffiths working in publishing before becoming a full time writer.
Her series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk and regularly hit the Sunday Times top ten in hardback and paperback. The series has won the CWA Dagger in the Library and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. There are twelver books in the series so far with number thirteen to be published in February 2021.
Her Brighton-based mystery series set in the 1950s and 1960s is inspired partly by her grandfather’s life on the stage and the war magician Jasper Maskelyne, who claimed to have spent the war creating large scale illusions to misdirect the enemy. One of the two leading characters in the series Max Mephisto is based on Maskelyne.
In 2017 she was the Programming Chair of Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival in Harrogate, the oldest and best-established crime fiction festival in the UK.
In 2018 Elly wrote her first standalone novel The Strangers Diaries. the novel was a top 10 paperback bestseller, selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and as a summer 2019 Richard and Judy book.
In 2019 Elly published her first children’s book in spring 2019 to great reviews with a second following in 2020.
Elly Griffiths lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their two grown children.
This is a social media blast celebrating publication of The Postscript Murders. Thank you to Ella at Quercus for inviting me to be involved and providing me with a proof copy of the book. Details below of others involved.