HQ| 7 January 2021|347 pages| Kindle review copy via Netgalley| 2.5*
I hadn’t read any of Robert Thorogood’s books, but I thought I’d enjoy The Marlow Murder Club based on the blurb. It begins well. Seventy-seven year old Judith Potts is happy with her life, living in an Arts and Crafts mansion on the River Thames, although there are hints that there is something in her past she wants to forget. It’s the height of summer, in the grip of a heatwave, and Judith decides to take all her clothes off and go for swim in the Thames. She was enjoying herself when she hears a shout from her neighbour’s house on the opposite riverbank, followed by a gunshot. Later, when she goes to investigate, she finds him, dead in the river, with a bullet hole in the centre of his forehead.
It’s set in Marlow, which is what attracted me to the book as it’s a place I know quite well. The main characters are Judith, Suzie and Becks, who together discover who killed Stefan. They’re all quirky personalities with secrets they’re keeping hidden. Detective Sergeant Tanika Malika leads the police team and eventually when more bodies turn up she agrees that the three woman can help with the official investigation.
The Marlow Club Murder is a ‘cosy’ murder mystery, easy to read and fast paced. Judith is a crossword compiler, who writes cryptic clues so I really enjoyed that aspect of the book, and the relationship between her, Suzie and Becks is well-drawn. But there is quite a lot of repetition as Judith and her friends go over the evidence that they’ve gathered several times and the solution to the murder mystery is easy to predict. The ending is very rushed and let down by convenient coincidences. Overall, I think it’s light, easy reading that is quite entertaining, and the relationship between the three women is what kept me reading to the end of the book.
My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for my review copy.