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The Postscript Murders

by Elly Griffiths

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harbinder Kaur (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6194737,877 (3.74)102
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:"This droll romp is a latter-day Miss Marple." ??Washington Post
Murder leaps off the page when crime novelists begin to turn up dead in this intricate new novel by internationally best-selling author Elly Griffiths, a literary mystery perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie.
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should not be suspicious. Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing out of the ordinary when Peggy's caretaker, Natalka, begins to recount Peggy Smith's passing.
But Natalka had a reason to be at the police station: while clearing out Peggy's flat, she noticed an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy. And each psychological thriller included a mysterious postscript: PS: for PS. When a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book and its author is found dead shortly thereafter??Detective Kaur begins to think that perhaps there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
And then things escalate: from an Aberdeen literary festival to the streets of Edinburgh, writers are being targeted. DS Kaur embarks on a road trip across Europe and reckons with how exactly authors can think up such realistic crimes
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» See also 102 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Author recommended to my by my younger sister and really enjoyed this and one in a different series, too. Think I have some new mysteries to read. ( )
  bookczuk | Feb 8, 2024 |
I had originally picked this novel up more or less by chance and really enjoyed it. Since then I have (I think) read all of Elly Griffiths’ books (and as she is very prolific, generally publishing two novels a year, that is quite a lot of reading). I decided it to re-read it because her latest novel comes out very soon, and it features some of the characters from this one.

The book strays into similar territory to Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, (which I had read just a few weeks before my first reading of this), sharing its evocation of the traditional, ‘cosy whodunit mystery of the past.

Peggy Smith was in her nineties, so perhaps it was no surprise that she should be found dead in her favourite seat in her apartment situated within a sheltered housing scheme in Shoreham. Peggy was, however, an unusual woman, and had been cited in the acknowledgements section of dozens of crime novels written by a wide selection of authors. It seemed that a lot of writers of crime fiction had come to view her almost as a consultant, and she was famed within those circles for her ability to suggest new ways in which characters might meet their end, or how their former associations with criminal life might catch up with them.

Not everyone is convinced by the apparent normality of Peggy’s death, though. Her Ukrainian-born carer, Natalka, thinks that she had seen someone watching Peggy’s apartment in the days leading up to the death. But then, as we will discover, Natalka herself is far from normal. Indeed, she proves to be one of the most entertaining characters I have encountered for a long time.

Elly Griffiths brings off a literary coup with this book as, while constituting a paean to the traditional detective novel, she peoples it with a host of unusual characters, who challenge the very idea of whodunit clichés. Natalka is aided in her investigations by a former monk who, having resiled from his vocation now manages a shack selling coffee on the beach, and a lesbian Sikh detective who dreams that some day she might manage to escape from living with her parents above their corner shop, although she dreads revealing to them with her hidden life.

The plot builds slowly at first, with Natalka and Co struggling initially to convince the police that their suspicions have any basis at all. The pace picks up, however, and takes in a visit to a crime fiction festival in Aberdeen (which itself offers a stark contrast to its fellow seaside town of Shoreham).

Deftly plotted, and full of engaging, yet also plausible, characters, this is a hugely enjoyable book, and perhaps my favourite so far by Elly Griffiths. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jan 15, 2024 |
I read this one aloud to my wife and we both really liked it.

This is the second Harbinder Kaur novel and I'm glad because she's a fun character. A grumpy lesbian cop who lives with her annoyingly doting parents, Harbinder is a great central character, especially when the series conceit is having multiple perspective characters related to the story. She's got a sharp mind, working class sensibilities, and a sarcastic inner monologue.

The first book's perspective characters, mother and daughter Clare and Georgia, are mentioned several times. Clare and Harbinder have become quite good friends, and I'm still positive that Harbinder is nursing a crush on her. But the new perspective characters are great, each with a viewpoint as funny and compelling as Harbinder's.

Natalka is a bisexual Ukrainian math nerd working as a carer in Shoreham. She's clever, outgoing, brusque yet friendly, and also deeply afraid that her brother was killed in the war. Benedict is a former monk who quit because he wanted to fall in love and subsequently opened a small coffee shack on the waterfront. He's an absolutely adorable character, an actual cinnamon roll. The third is Edwin, a gay octogenarian who spent a career at the BBC and is lonely rounds out the characters. These three are a lively bunch and the switching perspectives gives you real insight into their personalities.

I hope there are more in this series because both books have been fun, twisting murder mysteries that have left me satisfied with the ending and eager for the next. ( )
  xaverie | Apr 3, 2023 |
Digital audiobook narrated by Nina Wadia
3.5***

This is book two in the series featuring Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur, but it can easily be read as a stand alone.

A 90-year-old woman is found dead by her caretaker. It’s a peaceful scene; Peggy Smith’s body is sitting in her usual spot – a chair by the window where she liked to watch the goings on of her neighborhood. But Natalka, an immigrant from Ukraine, gets suspicious when she finds a stash of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy, “murder consultant.” Then an armed intruder arrives as Natalka and her friend are trying to clean up Peggy’s flat, and, at gunpoint, steals one of the books, and the author of the stolen book is shortly found murdered! So, the case gets the attention of D.S. Kaur.

This is NOT a cozy, as there is a true detective at the center of the investigation, but Natalka and two cohorts (Benjamin, a former monk who runs the local coffee shop, and Edwin, Peggy’s 80-year-old neighbor) run a sort of parallel investigation that (mostly) helps Harbinder solve the case.

I really enjoyed this. It’s not a traditional hard-hitting detective novel, nor is it a sweet and quirky cozy mystery. Instead it is a brilliant composite of those subgenres. I liked the relationships between these characters, how they came together and pulled apart; how they countered one another’s theories, and supported each other’s efforts. And I liked learning something about Harbinder, a gay 30-something detective, who still lives at home with her parents. I want to know more about her.

I also rather liked the supporting cast of Natalka and Benjamin and want to know more of their story, but from what I read of the synopses of the other two books in the series, they don’t appear again. Spin off?

As for the main reason I like mysteries … I was kept guessing right to the end, and that’s a good thing. This is the first book by Elly Griffiths that I’ve read. It won’t be the last.

Nina Wadia does a find job of narrating the audiobook. I don’t think I’ve heard a narration by her before and I’m impressed with her talent for voices. I’ll have to look for more of her audios. ( )
  BookConcierge | Apr 2, 2023 |
Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur investigates the seemingly unsuspicious death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition who had a very extensive collection of crime novels, each one dedicated to her and each containing a mysterious post-script.

While Harbinder was doing the police work, 3 other people who were friends of Peggy, the 90 year-old, did their own amateur sleuthing. There were likeable characters and nice relationships between them but the plot seemed predictable and similar to other stories I’ve read. I’ve enjoyed several books from Griffiths’ other 2 series but I was a little disappointed with this one. ( )
  gaylebutz | Feb 22, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Griffiths, Ellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guilluy, VincentTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MarthaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovács, AngelaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lauenblad, AneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wadia, NinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
‘Jove and my stars be praised. Here is yet a postscript.’

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

‘Do you feel an uncomfortable heat at the pit of your stomach, sir? And a nasty thumping at the top of your head? . . . I call it the detective-fever.’

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
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For Rebecca Carter
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The two men have been standing there for eighteen minutes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Mystery. HTML:"This droll romp is a latter-day Miss Marple." ??Washington Post
Murder leaps off the page when crime novelists begin to turn up dead in this intricate new novel by internationally best-selling author Elly Griffiths, a literary mystery perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie.
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should not be suspicious. Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing out of the ordinary when Peggy's caretaker, Natalka, begins to recount Peggy Smith's passing.
But Natalka had a reason to be at the police station: while clearing out Peggy's flat, she noticed an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy. And each psychological thriller included a mysterious postscript: PS: for PS. When a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book and its author is found dead shortly thereafter??Detective Kaur begins to think that perhaps there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
And then things escalate: from an Aberdeen literary festival to the streets of Edinburgh, writers are being targeted. DS Kaur embarks on a road trip across Europe and reckons with how exactly authors can think up such realistic crimes

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