Primary Genre(s): Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Published: 10 March 2019 by MIRA
Page count: 400
My Format: ebook via NetGalley
Cover: Unrelated to story
Would I recommend it: Maybe
Commission Link: Buy A Forgotten Murder
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
After solving two murder cases in their hometown of Lachlan, Florida, Sara Medlar, her niece Kate and their friend Jack need a change of scenery. Sara arranges for them to visit an old friend of hers in England. Upon arrival at Oxley Manor, a centuries-old estate that has been converted to a luxury hotel, Kate and Jack quickly realize that Sara is up to something. They learn that Sara has also invited a number of others to join them at Oxley.
When everyone assembles, Sara lets them know why they are there. Decades earlier, two people ran off together from Oxley and haven’t been heard from since—and Sara wants to solve the case. As the people who were there the night the two went missing, the guests find themselves cast in a live mystery-theater event.
In reenacting the events of that night, it becomes clear that everyone has something to hide and no one is safe, especially when the discovery of a body makes it clear that at least one of the people who disappeared was murdered.
Sara, Jack and Kate are once again at the heart of a mysterious case that only they are able to solve. But someone is willing to continue to kill to keep the truth about Oxley Manor buried, and none of the guests are safe.
One of my favorite books when I was much younger was A Knight in Shining Armor by this author. I was 18 or 19 years old when I read it and the book just resonated with me at that time. I’ve since reread that book and I found myself wondering why I loved it so much (not that it was bad, I think I just romanticized it a LOT). Since I really haven’t read any of Deveraux’s other books, I thought I would give this one a shot when I saw it available on NetGalley. Here are my pros and cons for A Forgotten Murder:
- I thought the mystery itself was intriguing. It felt a bit like Clue or an Agatha Christie murder mystery. The story had just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting without becoming convoluted.
- I thought the author did a reasonably good job of maintaining the individuality of the characters while revealing their relationships with each other and the murder victim.
- I loved the history aspect and, honestly, could have used more.
- Reasonable and generally believable ending.
- I did not understand the relationship between Jack and Kate. It felt stunted, weird, and sometimes even inappropriate. I never really felt like I got to know Jack, Kate, and Sarah in general. They were very one-dimensional.
- The writing was a bit choppy in my opinion. I found myself not sure who was talking from time to time. I even got a little lost occasionally regarding what was going on. Parts of the book lacked some cohesiveness in my opinion. There were times when it felt like random thoughts were thrown together to form paragraphs.
- Jack’s character was constantly trying to be witty and charming, but I found him to be awkward and clumsy at best. At worst, he was arrogant and narcissistic. I did not like Jack.
- Puck was underutilized.
- I did not like the weird reenactment thing at the end. Very odd.
I was unaware that this book is the third in a series. That probably explains some of my frustrations. I felt there like were some gaps in the story, particularly with regard to the relationship between Sarah, Kate, and Jack, and the previous books probably helped define that better. While I think that this book may be read as a standalone, I do think there will be others like me that feel like something is missing.
Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy A Forgotten Murder. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)