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Book Review of The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

  28 Mar 2021 |    3 minutes  |   Paul Mitchell

Book cover of The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Title:  The Marlow Murder Club
Author:  Robert Thorogood
Date Published:  7 Jan, 2021
Genre:  Mystery and Suspense
Publisher:  HQ
ISBN:  9780008238247
Pages:  352
Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Marlow Murder Club synopsis (from GoodReads)

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.

Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

My Review

The Marlow Murder Club is a charming murder mystery from the pen of Robert Thorogood. Beginning with the death of Stefan Dunwoody witnessed by Julia Potts, taking an evening dip in the Thames. Although the local police are looking into the murder, Detective Sergeant Tanika Malik, temporarily in charge, has no experience of this kind of investigation. As a result, Julia takes it upon herself to begin examining the death of her neighbour.

During the investigation, she finds that Stefan had an altercation with local action house owner Elliot Howard at Henley Regatta. However, Elliot has a cast-iron alibi, appearing on camera all the way through choir practice at the local church. Two more murders have since taken place with links to the first killing, but neither victim have any association with Elliot.

It’s while investigating the deaths that Julia meets Becky ‘Becks’ Starling, a vicars wife, and Suzie Harris the local dog walker who knew the second victim. So here we have the main characters: Julia is a seventy-seven-year-old crossword compiler for various national newspapers and what could be described as a force of nature. Becks is a somewhat reluctant member of the team. From the outside, she could be seen as timid but there’s something underneath that exterior. Suzie used to walk the second victim’s dog and has since taken ownership of it. She lives alone in a partially finished house and seems to know everyone in Marlow (at least by sight). She’s not backward in coming forward.

The writing is delightful, Marlow is a sleepy little town where you wouldn’t expect to see any criminal activity let alone three murders! The author has given us plenty of the twists and turns that you would expect to see in a murder mystery along with a few clues and red herring.

The characters themselves are wonderful, they each bring something to the group. I particularly liked Judith who is the brains and the force behind the team. Being a crossword compiler gives her a unique ability to see clues slightly differently, someone who thinks outside the box. She also has a few skeletons in her own closet…

Final Thoughts

As you can probably guess, I enjoyed reading The Marlow Murder Club and am hoping we see more of these ladies in the future. Fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club will find this right up their street.


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