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I’ve literally finished reading The Edwin Drood Murders about half an hour ago and I still have a big smile on my face. Strange right? I mean it’s a murder mystery, how can it make me smile? Well, for one, that’s the nature of cozies – even murders and the hunt for the killers are described in a lighter tone, which doesn’t involve much hair rising, nail biting and edge of your seat suspense.
However even more importantly, it takes a really good book to leave you smiling and thinking about it fondly once you’ve closed its (virtual) pages.
When I first got the two books (The Christmas Carol Murders) and The Edwin Drood Murders in my inbox with a request to review them, I had no idea what type of books they were at all. I kind of thought they’d be cozies, but that was the extent of it. I read and reviewed the first one in the series, and while I liked the book, the second installment literally blew me away – and that doesn’t happen all too often either, especially when it comes to cozies (I’m more of a hardcore serial killer/CSI type of mystery gal).
Let me first tell you that this is a very light and what I call a “cerebral cozy”. Even the first murder doesn’t happen until you’re halfway through the book. However I didn’t mind that at all. I was too busy reading about Simon’s and Zach’s love life and interesting relationship. I love those two together (and yes, if you haven’t read the first book in the series yet, they’re a gay couple). They’re both super sweet, the sparkles are still there even after a few months of domestic almost-cohabitation (Simon wants Zach to move in together with him, but Zach still values his independence, even if it’s really just a superficial one – afterall he spends more of his time at Simon’s home than at his own place anyway).
Speaking of characters I would have liked to see more of George, Simon’s loyal friend who only appeared towards the end of the book. He’s a very fun guy that you can’t but love and I really missed him and his witty remarks in this story.
Now I have to admit that I was never a big fan of Dickens. I read some of his books back in highschool because I had to, but they never really grabbed me the way contemporary books do. So why do I mention that? Well, let’s just say that while I had my Kindle app open on my iPad to read the book, I was also busy researching various things related to Dickens on my Google Chrome app at the same time. I really found the Dickens Junction community fascinating, and I have now a new-found respect and interest for Dickens himself. Especially for his last never finished novel, which the current book has much about at its core.
When I started this novel I wanted to figure out not only who the killer is, but also who would be one murdered in the first place. And I have to say I failed at both. Although had I known more about Dickens’ last book (the 15th apparently), I would have figured out at least the victim – one of them anyway. My bets were on Drabb, but alas, this just shows how bad a detective I am, even after reading thousands of mystery novels over the years.
So let’s see, this book involved two murders and three thefts and while it seems like a lot of action, it really isn’t. It is a rather slow paced novel, and while in a conventional mystery novel I’d resent that, here I found the pace very relaxing and enjoyable. Just perfect for Dickens Junction, the small corner of the world where all people are loved (gays too, since there is more than one gay couple featuring in the story, and there is a really harmonious relationship between them and the rest of the community), and where all people want is to keep the town in the Dickensian tradition that was first set by Simon’s granddad many years ago.
All in all, I loved this book, much more so than the first one. You can really see here how the author “grew” from the first book to the next and now I can’t wait to read the third one which sadly is still a full year away from reach – to be published last quarter of 2014. The next novel will be called The Our Mutual Friend Murders, and my first reaction when I saw this title was: It’d better NOT be George!
To learn more or order a copy, visit Amazon