I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Star Rating: ★★★✰✰
A murder-mystery where the main character (and suspect) is a murder-mystery writer, you say? Count me in!
Mystery writer Charlee Russo is having a fairly normal day, or so she thinks. A phone call to say her agent is dead rocks her world in more ways than she could have imagined. Because not only has her agent been murdered, but she’s been murdered in the exact way that Charlee describes in her latest manuscript. A manuscript that only a handful of people have read, all of whom are her friends and family, making everyone she cares about, including herself, a suspect.
Charlee is determined to clear her name and those of her friends. But the more she delves into her agent’s last few days, the more she has to come to terms with the fact that one of her friends is a murderer. But which one?
A Great Hook
Fiction Can Be Murder grabbed me before I’d even started reading. The premise of this book has everything I love: a writer, a murder, a bunch of suspects, and the promise of loads of twists and turns. And once I started reading, I wasn’t disappointed.
This book doesn’t mess about; it starts straight into the murder, which I love. I hate a story that faffs about at the beginning, waiting ages to get into the action.
You’re introduced to the majority of the characters (and therefore suspects) early on as well. Most of them are part of Charlee’s writing group, which she’s attending when she gets the phone call. There aren’t too many people to keep track of either, which was handy. I hate to admit it, but I do sometimes find it difficult to keep up when a whodunnit has 75 different suspects, all with different but equally plausible motives.
Suspension of Disbelief
I did find myself shaking my head in disbelief a few times during the story. I thought it was a bit hard to believe that Charlee would be able to go around questioning everybody in the way that she does (she makes a list of all her suspects/friends and questions them each herself about there alibis and motives). Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m a suspect in a murder, I’d be doing my best to keep my head down and stay off the police’s radar.
I also found the ending a bit rushed. Everything is explained very quickly, and I’m still not 100% sure what happened to Charlee’s father (a memory that comes back to Charlee a few times throughout the book).
An Enjoyable Murder
But to be fair, the book is enjoyable enough that you don’t mind these small niggling things. The ending, while quick, is satisfying and makes sense in the wider context.
The book doesn’t take itself too seriously either, so it’s easy to like it. Considering it’s about a horrific murder, it’s quite fun and makes you laugh at parts. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for an entertaining read that isn’t too taxing but still keeps you guessing.
I’ve also heard rumours that it’s the first in a series, so I’m excited about the prospect of more Charlee Russo books.
Fiction Can Be Murder is available from Midnight Ink on 8th April 2018