Title: A brush with death
Author: Richard King
Publication date: 22 of September 2016
What the blurb says
‘When famous author Ovid Holmes is murdered in his apartment, bookshop owner and wannabe sleuth, Sam Wiseman, finds himself drawn into the investigation. As he teams up with Detective Gaston Lemieux once again, the investigative duo have their work cut out. When they find an old newspaper article relating to a murder in the art world twenty years ago, they realise that Ovid’s research for his latest novel could have something to do with his own death. And as they delve deeper into the case, they uncover criminals who will do anything to stop their secrets from getting out . . .’
When Sam’s partner and friend, Jennifer, called him in the middle of the night asking for his help he knows something is wrong. When he arrived he sees that her boyfriend, a famous mystery novel author, has been murdered just when he was answering the doorbell and she was waiting for him in the living room. Soon after is discovered that the author has been investigating a 20 year old murder. A case that was never solved. Could this have something to do? Is Jennifer in danger?
I went into this book when I read the blurb and said perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and it was something that I needed to check. This is the second book in ‘The booksop mysteries’ and I read it without having read the first one without problem.
Overall it was a book I enjoyed as I liked to put all the pieces of the puzzle together as it had more to do with deducing that with forensics.
They are a lot of characters in the book. We have the main ones (Sam, Jennifer and Gaston) and then we have all the suspects or people working or related to them.This meant that I had to pay attention to know who the author was talking about.
The story is told from the point of view of Sam, which is something new to me as I am used to read the POV from a female character rather than a male one. He is the co-owner of a bookstore. He is intelligent, curious and afraid of commitment and eager to get himself in the murder investigation, which he does constantly.
We also have Jennifer the co-owner of the bookstore. I wasn’t very convinced with her character. I mean, she found her boyfriend murdered and she doesn’t even react. I didn’t feel her emotions were real, so couldn’t relate to her character.
Gaston, the police detective in charge f the investigation of Ovid’s murder. I enjoy the parts were he was present and his remarks, as he was one step ahead of everyone else’s. Really reminded me of Poirot.
An author murder because he was investigating an active murder occured years ago, could this have something to do with his own murdered?I was sucked right in just reading the blurb. The book starts right off with the murder of Ovid (so no spoilers), but afterwards I felt like the rhythm of the story felt flat. We followed Sam and how he tries to put the pieces together but for me it was like we weren’t moving forward until he meets with Gaston.
There were nice unexpected twists, and I did like the end. All very tied and still feeling that it wasn’t clearly closed (you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean). One of the things that I liked the most was that in this case technology and forensics did little to catch the killer, in the end all was reduced to the power of deduction of Gaston. As with the great Agatha Christie the detective got to reunite all suspects and explained his deductions and how he got to it, and who the killer is.
I wasn’t much into the writing style. It was too decorated with too many descriptions, whenever a new character or place was introduced the author dedicated a good page or two to describe every single detail, which made the rhythm of the story decreased.
A really nice addition to the story is the inclusion of what the murdered author wrote about the book he was writing and how he thought the case went down. It told you a part of the old case that otherwise we couldn’t have known.
Have you read it?
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review