The Postscript Murders

The Postscript Murders

eBook - 2021
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"This droll romp is a latter-day Miss Marple." andamp;#8212; 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 . . .
Publisher: 2021
ISBN: 9780358419181
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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May 30, 2021

This one deserves more than five stars! I loved it and have added it to my "favorites" list. The premise sounds good and the book really delivers. When 90-year-old Peggy Smith dies, Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur assumes it was natural causes due to her heart condition. But her caretaker, Natalka, is suspicious since Peggy was an active woman for her age, as she walked and swam several times a week. While cleaning out the flat, Natalka discovers an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy (PS: for PS - now you know the reason for the book's title), and soon afterwards a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book. When several crime novelists appear to be the victims of a serial killer, Natalka and a few of Peggy's neighborhood friends decide to help the police solve the murders.

I couldn't put this book down. Author Elly Griffiths not only provides tantalizing clues and red herrings, but most chapters end with a "What??!!" - someone you don't expect just walks in the room, the lights go out, a telling fact is revealed, someone receives a revealing note, another murder is discovered, a cryptic text is read - all kept me turning the pages.

Aside from the riveting plot, the intriguing clues, and the clever references to books, the characters are so well drawn and believable. Griffiths gives each of them a backstory with family, varied experiences (retired BBC announcer, Ukrainian refugee, former monk, murder mystery novelists, retired spies) as well as longings, hopes and dreams. It turns out this is the second novel featuring Detective Kaur, which means I'll soon be reading Griffiths' Edgar Award-winning The Stranger Diaries. In case you need further encouragement: run, don't walk, to get a copy of The Postscript Murders. I highly recommend it!

Apr 22, 2021

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths is the second instalment in the DS Harbinder Kaur series but it easily reads well as a standalone. A ninety-year-old woman dies in her home of what is believed to be natural causes. She was an avid fan of mystery novels and their authors and collected many volumes of these books. The young woman who was her carer becomes suspicious of the circumstances of her demise and relays her fears to Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur. Soon, crime writers begin dying in odd ways. The investigation will take the reader from Sussex to Aberdeen to Edinburgh and back. Cozies are normally not my favorite genre but I stayed with this one. The characters are well-developed and the fact that The Postscript Murders reads like an old-fashioned mystery (Agatha Christie comes to mind) kept me turning the pages. This genre is a departure for Elly Griffiths but she does cozies justice. Highly recommended. Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Mar 17, 2021

I just read The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway, #12), and spent most of the book wanting to slap some sense into Ruth. I was really glad that Harbinder was a fresh character with totally different issues. Most of the book is narrated in first person, so it is a bit jarring when a few paragraphs have to be told in past tense. There were several passages that made me stop and think, and there were a few events that made me flip back a few pages to clarify the "facts," so a bit more work that a quick read or a light read, but totally worth it. I wouldn't classify this is a page turner or a can't put it down, but it the same high quality as the Ruth series as far as plot and character development. There is a bit more mystery and no archeology, in case you want to be warned. The two gay and one fluid character do make demands on the reader--to judge or not to judge--and show how not very far we have come: from men going to jail for being gay a decade ago to women still afraid to tell her parents she isn't gong to be bringing home a man.

Mar 09, 2021

I gave this novel by Elly Griffiths only two stars. I would give her Ruth Galloway novels, of which I've read all, five stars. I didn't expect this to be anything like her RG series, but it was so disappointing to me I didn't even finish it. I read half and felt that was a fair trial for any book. Didn't even seem like the same quality of Elly Griffiths' previous writings. Mainly, it was just so lackluster, slow and boring.
Fortunately, a new Ruth Galloway book is due in June, so I'm happily waiting for that.
I take no pleasure in negatively reviewing her book, but this is how I felt about it, for what it's worth.

Feb 25, 2021

In 2018 this author gave us The Stranger Diaries, a creepy & entertaining story that introduced DS Harbinder Kaur. She was more of a secondary character but with the arrival of this book, she steps into the shoes of MC. Not only is she up to the task, her unique voice is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this literary murder mystery.

It all kicks off with the death of Peggy Smith, a 90 year old woman living in quaint-sounding Shoreham-by-Sea. She’s found by her care giver Natalka, sitting in her chair by the window & surrounded by her beloved mystery books. It’s sad but hardly a shock, right? Well….

It’s just that she was absolutely fine when Natalka popped in that morning. And there’s the small matter of the business card on the table that refers to Peggy as a “Murder Consultant”. Maybe Natalka better talk to someone.

Luckily, her visit to the police station gets her a meeting with DS Harbinder Kaur. Neither one can know it yet but it’s the beginning of a strange, deadly & entertaining adventure, Because sudden death doesn’t stop with Peggy. Pretty soon, mystery authors who were acquainted with the little old ‘murder consultant” by the sea begin keeling over at an alarming rate.

In short order, Kaur has several investigations on the go & whether she wants it or not, she’s also got outside help. Three of Peggy’s friends decide to act as Kaur’s eyes & ears. It’s not exactly an illustrious crew….a mysterious/gorgeous care giver (Natalka), an ex-monk turned coffee guy (Benny) & a fastidious OAP (Edwin). It’s like belonging to a really weird book club. But oddly enough, Harbinder is kind of enjoying it.

So you’ve probably figured out this is not another gritty thriller. It’s more than that. As events lead police, Kaur & her team of misfits on a dash across the UK, many references are made to well known mystery/crime writers & their work. There’s definitely a golden age vibe to the story, albeit with a decidedly modern edge & more humour. Intricate plotting, compelling characters, smart dialogue & plenty of dry wit makes this an engaging read.

At the centre of it all is Harbinder Kaur, a 30-something gay Asian cop who lives with her parents. I really like this character. She’s such an intriguing mix with one foot in the traditional Asian community of her parents while the other is firmly planted in her modern reality of being a cop. Several characters take turns narrating from their POV but hers is the primary voice. And it’s one full of intelligence, determination & dryly observant humour.

Plenty of red herrings keep you guessing as to who is behind it all while a variety of secondary characters add colour & depth to the story. I really enjoyed this & look forward to seeing how Kaur & her colleagues develop in the next one. Highly recommend for fans of Agatha Christie & Anthony Horowitz’ Atticus Pünd series.

Feb 21, 2021

Peggy Smith was a murder consultant. By the age of 90 she had shelves of books in which mystery authors had thanked her in their Dedications or Acknowledgments for her assistance -- once for "the murders." Peggy is dead. Her carer Natalka smells a rat and gets local coffee shop owner Benedict (a former monk) and neighbor Edwin to help her sniff out the killer. The local police are at times find this little band useful and at times annoying. Our friend Harbinder is back after helping solve the case in 'The Stranger Diaries.' Harbinder's family is so sweet and supportive. It was a joy to spend more time with them. Our little mystery-solving gang makes a trip to Aberdeen and I love a road trip. With a varied group of authors in the plot we get a glimpse at the many facets of the mystery-writing industry. That was intriguing. I found it a bit difficult to dive in at first, so not a five star read for me. RIP Peggy Smith. You helped solve your own murder as you would have wanted to.

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