For the past nine months Jillian White has been out of work. Before this she worked as a videographer for the BBC. An American, she is married to a fault-finding man who has aristocratic roots. Her marriage is spiraling down the plug-hole.
Her husband is constantly critical and fault-finding. Their love life non-existent.
I have heard such glowing praise for this author, that I was expecting to like this book more than I did. The cover and the blurb were very enticing, but I found that they were both somewhat misleading.
I expected an Agatha Christie type mystery set in an idyllic location – what I got was a modern “Big Little Lies” type novel complete with status snobbery, infidelity, and back-stabbing.
The book’s beginning held great promise with a body found near a riverbank. From there it evolved into a one woman’s investigations into the murder of her neighbour. However… she digresses so much off topic that I almost forgot at times about the murder she was supposedly investigating. She intends to write a book about the murder and investigation with the hopes that it will revive her career.
The setting was ideal and picturesque. The murder victim was an unlikable woman who garnered little sympathy.
This novel was written using a single narrator. The sleuth, our narrator/protagonist, Jillian White, came across as shallow, judgemental, and condescending. When I should have felt sorry for her (when she was treated badly by her husband), all I could think was that she deserved it.
I did enjoy some of the humour within the book, though at times I found it held a nasty edge.
I had feared that this would be a 2 star read for me, but then at about 80% through the book, it really picked up with more attention given to the murder and the causes behind it. The last few chapters brought my score up to 3 stars.
I liked the writing, so would read another book by this author to see what all the fuss was about. However, I cannot heartily recommend “Weycombe” as a must-read.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Midnight Ink via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9780738754260 360 pagesand this book counts toward my #FFRC2020 challenge to fill the “title is the name of a place” requirement
G.M. Malliet is the Agatha Award-winning author of the St. Just mysteries, the Max Tudor mysteries, the standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE , and numerous short stories collected in crime anthologies or published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Strand.
Agatha Christie is the main inspiration for her writing. Her modern-day favorites include Ruth Ware and Tana French.
She grew up in a military family (Air Force) and has lived in a dozen states including Alaska and Hawaii and in countries ranging from Japan to the UK. Wherever she and her family lived, their house was full of books.
Along with five Agatha and three Anthony nominations, she’s been shortlisted for the Macavity, Left Coast Crime, IPPY, Daphne, David, and Dilys awards. The audio version of her second novel (Death and the Lit Chick), read by Davina Porter, was a 2014 Anthony nominee. Among other nominees was winner JK Rowling.
Her series from Macmillan’s Minotaur imprint featuring Max Tudor, a former MI5 agent turned vicar of a small English village, debuted in the autumn of 2011. Film rights to all seven Max Tudor novels are under option.
Her standalone suspense novel WEYCOMBE appeared in October 2017. She donated $5000 of the proceeds from sales of the book to the American Red Cross, to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters.
She is a former at-large board member of Sisters in Crime National and a member of Mystery Writers of America (Mid-Atlantic Chapter), International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.