Originally published: 1 October 2020
Author: Elly Griffiths
Published by: Quercus
Genre: Murder mystery
Length: 368 pages
Reading dates: 29 September – 2 October 2020
PS: thanks for the murders.
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.
I was expecting this book to be more of a gritty crime thriller, having not read any books by Elly Griffiths before, but actually it is probably a bit more cosy crime. When 90 year old Peggy is found dead, to begin with no one is suspicious apart from her Ukrainian carer Natalka, after all she was an elderly woman with heart problems. She soon manages to convince Edwin, Peggy’s elderly neighbour and Benedict who owns a coffee shop opposite Peggy’s accommodation that there is something not right about her death.
They discover that Peggy was a lover of crime fiction and that many of the books she owned included dedications to her. They find a business card with Peggy’s name and a description of her as a “murder consultant”. It turns out she used to help authors come up with unusual murders that they could write about in their books. When one of these authors is found dead, not long after Penny’s funeral, it becomes clear there may be a link. Natalka, Edwin and Benedict, decide to travel to a literary crime festival in Aberdeen to try and speak to other authors that used Penny’s services, thinking there might be a connection. Meanwhile DS Kaur although at first sceptical, soon sees there might be something in it after all.
I really enjoyed The Postscript Murders. I liked that it was set in a bookish world of authors, agents and publicists (we bloggers even get a small mention) and I liked that although there were several deaths, none were very gruesome and the details weren’t lingered on. The book was more about the relationships between the characters, all of whom seem to thrive as they try to track down a murderer. I especially liked that it was set in my home town of Shoreham by Sea – it is quite exciting to see the place you live featured in a novel!
The book is told from the point of view of Natalka, Edwin, Benedict and Harbinder, a really eclectic group of characters and I really liked getting to know them and see them develop as the book progressed. At times I felt some of the plot points were maybe a little far fetched but I’m willing to let it slide as I enjoyed the mystery element of the novel and had no idea who the murderer was.
I believe this is the second book to feature DS Kaur (the first being The Stranger Diaries which I actually have unread on my shelves) but this felt like a standalone novel. I enjoyed her writing – the pacing was good and there were humorous elements too. I’d definitely like to read more of her books.
Thank you to Quercus for my gifted proof copy for review as part of the blog blast. Don’t forget to check out these other awesome bloggers!
About the author:
Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk. 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. Her Brighton-based mystery series is set in the 1950s and 1960s. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist, and their two grown children.