Murder and intrigue on the Arabian Sea…
When Rose Beckingham sets sail for England in the summer of 1926, she brings more than souvenirs from her years in India. She carries the memory of a family tragedy and a secret so terrible it could destroy the new life she hopes to build in London.
But Rose isn’t the only passenger aboard the RMS Star of India with something to hide. Halfway across the Arabian Sea, death strikes and a murderer begins a deadly game only Rose can hope to end.
With a mysterious Frenchman haunting her steps, can Rose outrun her past? And can she stay alive long enough to decipher the clues left by a taunting killer? Or will murder call again before the first port?
NOTE: This is the first of the three cozy mysteries to be shared this week. It is also my least favorite. Read on for more info…
Every summer I find myself desperate for new books that fulfill the following criteria:
1. summer mystery
2. fun story
I can feel you roll your eyes, but hear me out. I am a fan of dark thrillers and deep-thinker stories, but lying on the beach sand under a blazing sun in 100+ degree heat is not the time to be reading that stuff. No. I want to read a light fun story where, typically, our quirky female heroine captures the bad guy before afternoon tea. These types of stories are perfect for reading while listening to waves crash on to shore. I specifically search for these stories (hence the theme week) and found A Subtle Murder.
I was disappointed. A Subtle Murder wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t that great. I almost always feel guilty writing these types of reviews, but in this case…I know Blythe Baker could have done so much more.
The plot was good. It was well developed and planned out. I liked Rose Beckingham: her past, her secrets, and her personality. But that was where my enjoyment of the story ended. Nothing else seemed to be developed past the initial draft stage. The setting needed more description. The supporting characters were rather one-dimensional, with their negative traits overshadowing any positive attributes. I can not remember any of their names and I just finished the book last month!
I know Blythe Baker is a decent story teller, because I easily found myself drawn to Rose and her journey. She did a decent job writing that one specific character. And yet, here I am giving A Subtle Murder a resounding meh. This is my main issue with cozy mysteries. They are typically published while still needing one to two good draft edits where the author works on developing the background ‘fluff.’
I’d like to say I am tempted to continue the series just to find out what happens to Rose….but let’s be honest…I won’t be reading the next book in the series.
Are you a Blythe Baker fan? Does the series get any better? Do you have any vacation themed mysteries I should check out instead? Hit me with up any info you have!