Monday, February 9, 2015


After the Great War Christie’s husband, Arthur came home and life has returned to what’s now considered normal. Christie’s writing career is in its early stages but she has gained a bit of notoriety. When a visitor to the vicarage is poisoned everyone expects Agatha to rise to the occasion. It does her absolutely no good to stress the difference between real life and fiction so she’s reluctantly drawn in. 

There’s a plethora of books out now featuring famous historical people, literary and otherwise, as protagonists. Some are hits and some are misses. MURDER WILL OUT has enough potential to be listed as a hit.

Agatha, Arthur, Rosalind, and Stokes have settled into village life. Arthur is spending a lot of time in London. All Agatha wants is to work on her new novel, though it’s beginning to feel a bit like pulling teeth.

Sylvia Ettridge’s visit with news of a death at the vicarage puts paid to Agatha’s plans. Despite her protests of not being qualified to investigate she’s drawn into the investigation.

On first starting MURDER WILL OUT there’s a strong feeling of melancholy. Whether this was pervasive in England at the time, perhaps an acknowledgement of all that had been lost and wasted, or emanates from Agatha regarding her marriage is up for grabs. As events progress the feeling lessens, becoming more hopeful and spirited. As Agatha is drawn deeper into the mystery and investigation the idea of Miss Marple is born along with a hint of the future Poirot waiting in the wings.

Will Agatha’s creative mental processes be up to the challenge of working out the who and why of an actual vs fictional killer? Will the police resent or appreciate her inserting herself? What will Arthur think? You can discover the answers to these questions and more by reading MURDER WILL OUT.  

Ms. Joseph’s skillful weaving of Christie facts into the fiction gives MURDER WILL OUT an authenticity and sense that it could, indeed, have happened this way. My only problem with MURDER WILL OUT lies in the solution. All the clues and details are not available to readers. Any good puzzle, cozies and other mysteries included, make every piece available to the solver. Where’s the fun in a puzzle with missing pieces? Hopefully the next installment of Ms. Joseph’s series remedies that problem by giving readers a fair chance to solve the mystery right along side Agatha.

3.5 stars

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