I nearly gave up on this in the first few pages, and what an error that would have been. Anna Celeste Burke is an American writer specializing in cosy mysteries, so why did I almost stop reading Murder at Catmmando Mountain? Chapter one introduces narrator Georgie Shaw who works in PR at tourist attraction Marvellous Marley World, based on the cartoon characters of tycoon Max Marley. The action starts in chapter two and that’s when the fun starts. Early one morning, a body is found. Not just any body, a dead body. The body of Mallory Marley, obnoxious daughter of Max Marley. Lying next to the body, and dipped in Mallory’s blood, is Georgie’s scarf. Georgie, who recently moved to the PR department from Food and Beverage rather than take retirement, is forced to consider her life in a new light. Is one of her colleagues trying to frame her? Homicide detective Jack Wheeler, who reminds Georgie of James Garner in The Rockford Files [watch out for the American detective references], makes being a suspect easier for Georgie to deal with, though she does have an alibi as the transponder in her car was clocked by a state police camera at the time of the crime. But other clues linking Georgie to the crime continue to appear.
All the time I was reading this book, it reminded me of the comedies of Carl Hiasson, the Florida journalist turned novelist who wrote the hilarious Lucky You, Skinny Dip, Native Tongue and Basket Case. I liked Georgie from the beginning, and her Siamese cat Miles. This is comfort reading, easy, it was fun eliminating the suspects one-by-one and choosing the wrong one.
This is a read-in-one-sitting novella, 178 pages, and I would have liked it to be longer. The last chapter is a summary of how the case is solved, and it would have been more dynamic to read the action.
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If you like this, try:-
‘The Cornish Wedding Murder’ by Fiona Leitch
‘Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death’ by MC Beaton
‘The Killing of Polly Carter’ by Robert Thorogood
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Costume cats, a real cat & murder: MURDER AT CATMMANDO MOUNTAIN by @aburke59 #bookreview http://wp.me/p5gEM4-23B via @SandraDanby
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