Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Death Writes by Andrea Carter Book Review

About the Book:

A local author dies on stage at a literary festival. Ben O’Keeffe has to sort through his complicated estate—and find his murderer while she’s at it.

Solicitor Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe and her boyfriend Police Sergeant Tom Molloy race to Dublin after hearing that some strangers had moved in with Ben’s parents. When they arrive, only Ben’s parents and their strange lodger remain, but come morning the lodger has left. Not wanting to leave them alone, Ben persuades her parents to come and stay with her in Inishowen.

In Glendara, preparations are underway for Glenfest, Glendara’s literary festival. Phyllis Kettle, the local bookshop owner, is especially pleased to have persuaded Gavin Featherstone, the local best-selling recluse writer, to take part.

The festival begins, and an eager crowd awaits Featherstone’s appearance on stage. He is unexpectedly engaging, but when he stands to read from his new book, he stumbles and keels over on the platform.

Ben discovers that she holds Featherstone’s will at the office, drafted by her predecessor. Soon, she’s drawn into a complicated legal wrangle over the man’s estate involving his family and the assistant who lived with him.

But nothing can yet be resolved, as a killer cannot inherit from their victim—and Gavin Featherstone’s death was a murder.

My Review:

I have read a few in this series and have liked them. Ben is a good amateur sleuth though she does have the help of her detective boyfriend. Carter does a good job of providing us with a number of suspects. Some may have a grudge against the author. Some may have financial gain from his death.

I like how Carter gives us good descriptions of the setting. One gets a real sense of place. I also like the additional plot element dealing with wills. The murdered man had two wills so some issues must be clarified. Also, Ben's parents seems to have written a will under the influence of a questionable individual. Carter gives us a good picture of all the issues a solicitor must address.

Readers who like an Agatha Christie style mystery will like this one. Although it is part of a series, it reads well on its own.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Andrea Carter grew up in the midlands of Ireland, studied law at Trinity College Dublin, and worked as a solicitor on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, where she ran the most northerly solicitor’s practice in the country. Following that, she moved to Dublin to practice as a barrister before turning to write crime novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin.

Death Writes is the sixth in the Inishowen Mystery Series. Carter’s first book, Death at Whitewater Church, a winner of the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, was followed by Treacherous StrandThe Well of Ice, Murder at Greysbridge, and The Body Falls. She has been the recipient of two Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary Awards and a Dublin City Council Bursary Award. The series is being adapted for a television crime series to be titled “Donegal—The Inishowen Mysteries.” Andrea Carter lives in Dublin with her husband, documentary maker Geoff Power.

Oceanview Publishing, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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