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Gin and Daggers: Complete & Unabridged by…

Gin and Daggers: Complete & Unabridged (original 1989; edition 1993)

by Jessica Fletcher (Author)

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2228109,528 (3.65)6
Jessica Fletcher is off to London to deliver the keynote address at a mystery writers convention. She's also looking forward to seeing her mentor, Marjorie Ainsworth, who's hosting a party on her estate to celebrate her latest book. But a routine business trip becomes murderous business--when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed to death in her own bedroom...… (more)
Title:Gin and Daggers: Complete & Unabridged
Authors:Jessica Fletcher (Author)
Info:Isis Audio Books (1993)
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Murder, She Wrote: Gin & Daggers by Donald Bain (1989)


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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Mystery writer Jessica Fletcher from the United States attends a writers' convention in London where she becomes the main suspect in the stabbing death of her dear friends and popular author. The author then slowly unwinds the mystery behind the murder.... ( )
  prasadkaladi | Aug 30, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 8, 2022 |
Knowing that Murder, She Wrote seems to be such an institution in the world of cozy mysteries, I had high expectations coming in. For reference, I haven't actually seen any of the TV episodes before, but I feel like they would be a good pre-requisite for this book.

Perhaps I should have lowered my expectations because this wasn't a super satisfying read for me.

I get the sense Bain expected that many of his readers would already be familiar with Jessica Fletcher and her friends, which is definitely fair at the time given that the TV series came out first. However, this doesn't quite work for newbies to the series like me.

I kind of feel like I've been plopped into a world I don't quite understand. If you told me that this was a book from the middle of a series, I would have believed you! I think more development of Jessica and her background would be necessary to help new readers familiarize themselves with the series, but fans probably won't need these reminders.

This is a mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie, with a big cast and lots of twists and turns, which made for a fun read. However, I felt that the book ended way too abruptly. Because there were so many threads in the mystery, the book could have benefitted from spending more time on the end so as to wrap everything up neater.

If you're already a fan of Murder, She Wrote or you want to find out more about this series, I'd recommend giving this book a shot at your local library. Otherwise, I don't think I would recommend this book.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
( )
  mintlovesbooks | Feb 24, 2022 |
Part of my 2020 GR challenge is to (re)read the entire Murder She Wrote series, or at least the entirety of what I consider canon, in series order. My review of A Date with Murder is the most popular GR review I've written to date, and will give you some indication of why I consider Hook, Line and Murder the end of this series.

This is the first book in the series, originally published in 1989, when the show was still on the air. There are a couple of rough places, where its obvious the author didn't quite have a 100% handle on the canon bible, but for the most part this is a delightful story. I thought Mr. Bain got a good grasp of Jessica on his first go, as well as some of the important secondary characters. His major misstep was with Mort Metzger, the Cabot Cove sheriff starting in Season 5. Mr. Bain characterizes him as a complete country bumpkin, the sort who'd wear his sheriff's uniform even on vacation. The Metzger character in this book is certainly closer to Amos Tupper than the Metzger from the show, who was infamously a New York City cop married to a Marine who retired from the force and took the sheriff's job in Cabot Cove as basically a retirement job. He's very streetwise, and tends to call Jessica "Mrs. F." None of that is present in this book.

The plot of this novel is that of a classic locked room/country house mystery. Jessica, along with a select group of other people, is invited to Ainsworth Manor on the eve of the International Society of Mystery Writers annual meeting. Marjorie Ainsworth is the greatest living crime writer, but her health is declining, and there's a rumor swirling around that she didn't actually pen her latest novel, the titular Gin and Daggers. Marjorie is brutally murdered in her bed, and the local country bumpkin inspector has pegged Jessica as the killer because a precious piece of her jewelry was located in the room where Marjorie was killed.

Luckily for Jessica, Scotland Yard quickly takes over the investigation, led by the indomitable George Sutherland. George and Jessica strike up a friendship as they share notes on the murder, and both find that their attraction runs much deeper. This is a rather clever nod to the MSW pilot episode, "The Murder of Sherlock Holmes," and mercifully, things turn out much better for George than they did for Preston Giles!

Of course the murder and the notion of Jessica as a prime suspect generates headlines upon headlines, and eventually Mort and Seth arrive from Cabot Cover, basically as moral support. It was nice to see them on the page, especially considering Jessica's only friend in London is Lucas Darling, a supremely irritating man who's the publicity-hungry secretary of the ISMW. If he'd turned out to be the murderer, I wouldn't have been one bit surprised, tbh.

I really enjoyed this book, watching Jessica go about solving her dear friend's murder in her methodical, logical way. She is up against quite the cast of characters, not the least of which was Marjorie herself. Her acid tongue was felt even in the afterlife, and the reading of her will was absolutely hilarious. There is a second murder (of course), a bit of misdirection, and a grand reveal that is worthy of the TV show that inspired this series.

I noticed some canon mistakes, beyond the characterization of Mort (who is almost always referred to as "Morton" for whatever reason).

*The very first page seems to insinuate that Jessica can drive a car, though later in the book she ruminates on why she doesn't.
*Jessica doesn't start writing until after her husband's death, whereas in this book it's implied that Frank "kept the fridge stocked" while she labored over her stories.
*Jessica considers herself a "hunt and peck" typist, whereas there are numerous scenes in the show that prove she is very fluid at her typewriter.
*Jessica is pretty damn judgmental in this book, especially of others' looks. I raised my brows at that, though this trait is not nearly as bad here as it is in Jon Land's versions of the novels.

All in all, this is a fine start to the MSW novel series: we have an interesting murder, a new love interest in the form of George Sutherland, and cameo appearances by Cabot Cove faves Mort and Seth. I did guess whodunit before the end, though the motive surprised me (I thought it was weak; there were certainly better reasons why the person who committed the crime did it than what was offered). I thought the tourist's guide to London descriptors was a bit overdone, but it was fun to get a peek inside the Yard's "Black Museum" at the end. ( )
  eurohackie | Jan 10, 2020 |
Entertaining read especially if you like cozy murder mysteries. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bain, Donaldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, LoreleiReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Jessica Fletcher is off to London to deliver the keynote address at a mystery writers convention. She's also looking forward to seeing her mentor, Marjorie Ainsworth, who's hosting a party on her estate to celebrate her latest book. But a routine business trip becomes murderous business--when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed to death in her own bedroom...

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