The Festival Murders Book Review

The Festival Murders Book Review

Title: The Festival Murders (A Francis Meadowes Mystery)
Author: Mark McCrum
Published: October 1, 2018, Severn House Publishers
No. of Pages: 322
Cover Price: $17.95 Paperback, $7.51 Kindle

Bryce Peabody is known as a tough literary critic, and has made lots of enemies over the years, not only for his reviews, but also for his constant womanizing. He is excited to attend the annual literary festival at Mold-on-Wold, even though those enemies will also be there. Bryce is one of the featured speakers, and has plenty of dirt planned for his sold-out speech. However, in the first installment of the Francis Meadowes Mysteries, The Festival Murders, Bryce is found dead in his room and most, including the police and his new girlfriend, Priya, think it’s a heart attack or something like it. Meadowes is in the room next to Bryce, and takes Priya in because Bryce’s room is a crime scene; Priya helps him (although a published crime writer, Meadowes fancies himself as an amateur sleuth) in his investigation of the death. During the festival there is another death, and since Meadowes suspects that it is murder, he starts to look at Bryce’s death more closely.

One of the most charming things about this fun cozy is that it is set in England and the prose and characters are very English. There are some idioms that will be unfamiliar to US readers, but they are fairly easy to figure out, and the storyline and scenarios make readers want to visit this small English town, Mold-on-Wold. McCrum has done an excellent job of developing the characters, and throughout the novel there are several viable suspects. McCrum’s story keeps readers on their toes, and even though it’s a cozy, there is some suspense that builds throughout.

The Francis Meadows Mysteries are unique, and offer some fun reading. The Festival Murders is a fun read and will leave readers wanting to pick up the next installment.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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