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Death Comes to Marlow

by Robert Thorogood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Marlow Murder Club (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
26614102,333 (3.7)15
"It's been an enjoyable and murder-free time for Judith, Suzie and Becks - AKA the Marlow Murder Club - since the events of last year. The most exciting thing on the horizon is the upcoming wedding of Marlow grandee, Sir Peter Bailey, to his nurse, Jenny Page. Sir Peter is having a party at his grand mansion on the river Thames the day before the wedding, and Judith and Co. are looking forward to a bit of free champagne. But during the soiree, there's a crash from inside the house, and when the Marlow Murder Club rush to investigate, they are shocked to find the groom-to-be crushed to death in his study. The study was locked from the inside, so the police don't consider the death suspicious. But Judith disagrees. As far as she's concerned, Peter was murdered! And it's up to the Marlow Murder Club to find the killer before he or she strikes again..."--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book. I was distracted by a few phrases that seemed overused ("If I'm honest..." -- is that something British people say all the time or a quirk of this author?). Also the plot stretched belief a bit too much for me, even for a cozy mystery! Still, this was a quick and fun read with a charming setting and a likable cast of characters. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
I enjoyed 'Death Comes To Marlow' a little more than 'The Marlow Murder Club'. It seemed to me that the writing had improved: the exposition was smoother and the main characters were more nuanced, as if Robert Thorogood had gotten to know them better.

As with the first book, much of the humour comes from the dialogue between the three members of the Marlow Muders Club and plays on the different ways that they see and describe the world and the attention they pay to all the small markers of class and privilege that sit just beneath the surface of so many social interactions.

Becks, the vicar's wife and the one who best fits into the monied and titled world in which the murder takes place, got a little more air time and a little more backstory and the book was all the better for it. Judith has become a little less prickly but remains imperious and unstoppable and Suzie adds some earthy pragmatism and also got a little more development in her role as volunteer radio host on the local radio. I liked the DS Tanika Malik seemed to become an honorary member of the Marlow Murder Club this time around. The change at work that facilitated this made the plot more plausible and allowed the relationship between Judith and Tanika to become more personal.

I thought 'Death Comes To Marlow' had a much stronger plot than its predecessor. The locked-room puzzle at the heart of the mystery was ingenious and compelling and the way the big reveal was handled was original, and clever and helped further to build the relationships between the main characters. The plot was complicated and elaborate but required less suspension of disbelief than the first book. I also benefitted from having a plausible and interesting suspect pool.

It seemed to me that there was a clear subtext to this novel: Men are even dumber than they look but may still be dangerous. Women are smarter than they will let you see and can be just as dangerous.

Death Comes To Marlow' kept me entertained and deepened my engagement with the main characters. I'm now looking forward to the third book, 'The Queen Of Poisons' which is due to be published in January 2024 ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Dec 17, 2023 |
Smug to say I picked the killer early in this one! ( )
  Amzzz | Sep 12, 2023 |

*Happy Publication Day (U.S.)*
June 6, 2023

4.5⭐

The pre-wedding party of Sir Peter Bailey, a wealthy resident of Marlow ends in tragedy when the groom, who was in his sixties dies, after being crushed underneath a cupboard in his study. This was to be his second marriage, the first having ended in divorce. He was alone in his study with the door locked from the inside when the cupboard fell on top of him resulting in his death. His two adult children, friends, and acquaintances were in attendance at the party as were the members of the Marlow Murder Club - Judith Potts (after receiving a personal telephonic invitation from the now deceased Sir Peter despite not being previously acquainted) and her friends Suzie Harris, dogwalker and now also a radio host and the vicar’s wife Becks Starling. Judith is convinced Sir Peter’s death is no accident despite there being no obvious evidence of foul play. Judith being Judith decides to investigate. As Judith, Suzie and Becks proceed with their sleuthing, they find multiple people in and around the deceased gentleman’s life who have the motive to kill him. With multiple suspects to look into and plenty of surprises and red herrings along the way, The Marlow Murder Club have their work cut out for them. They find an ally in Detective Sergeant Tanika Malik, whose own doubts about the case are ignored by her superior officer, who returns after a long leave of absence and conveniently sidelines her.

Having previously read and enjoyed Robert Thorogood’s The Marlow Murder Club, I was eager to read the next installment and I was not disappointed! I loved the friendship and camaraderie between Judith, Suzie and Becks. Seventy-eight-year-old Judith is a force to be reckoned with! Observant, fearless and sharp- she still loves her crosswords and swimming the Thames in the nude (despite the winter chill). When she isn't out actively searching for clues with her friends, she diligently studies her makeshift incident board with her “thinking scotch”, trying to figure out how the different pieces of the puzzle fit together. Suzie is smart and comes up with the most creative (at times hilarious, but effective) ways to get information. Becks is perceptive and her knowledge of the community and everyday matters proves to be a great asset. The subplots with Judith and her cryptic crosswords, Suzie’s struggles and Beck’s keeping a secret from her friends and family are expertly woven into the primary narrative, without distracting from the core mystery of the plot. The mystery is very interesting and though the identity of the culprit might not be completely unpredictable (though I did change my mind a couple of times), I truly enjoyed the ending and was surprised more than once by the revelations that gradually came to light as the plot progressed.

With a good dose of humor woven into its cleverly crafted plot, consistent pace and cast of interesting characters, Death Comes to Marlow by Robert Thorogood is an entertaining and absorbing read. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to fans of the cozy mystery genre. Those who enjoy Agatha Christie mysteries would enjoy this one. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Many thanks to the author Robert Thorogood, Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for the digital review copy of this entertaining read. All expressions expressed in this review are my own. ( )
  srms.reads | Sep 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Thorogoodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pekkanen, HilkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Jack Thomas

(1941–2021)
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After the excitement of the previous summer, Mrs Judith Potts spent the winter returning to the more solitary rhythms of life.
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"It's been an enjoyable and murder-free time for Judith, Suzie and Becks - AKA the Marlow Murder Club - since the events of last year. The most exciting thing on the horizon is the upcoming wedding of Marlow grandee, Sir Peter Bailey, to his nurse, Jenny Page. Sir Peter is having a party at his grand mansion on the river Thames the day before the wedding, and Judith and Co. are looking forward to a bit of free champagne. But during the soiree, there's a crash from inside the house, and when the Marlow Murder Club rush to investigate, they are shocked to find the groom-to-be crushed to death in his study. The study was locked from the inside, so the police don't consider the death suspicious. But Judith disagrees. As far as she's concerned, Peter was murdered! And it's up to the Marlow Murder Club to find the killer before he or she strikes again..."--

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