Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Murder, She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood (Murder She Wrote #42) by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain

In the newest mystery in the USA Today bestselling series, Jessica Fletcher is invited to ring in the New Year with British aristocracy. Too bad someone’s about to end the life of the party....

Jessica Fletcher and her friend Scotland Yard detective inspector George Sutherland are invited to attend a New Year’s Eve Ball at Castorbrook Castle, thanks to her British publisher. Shortly after arriving in the idyllic English countryside, Jessica discovers the body of a lady’s maid in the garden.

While their host, Lord Norrance, his snobbish third wife, other members of the household, and party guests squabble over the tragic death in tight-lipped, perfectly mannered, thoroughly British style, family relations are strained as old wounds are reopened and cutting remarks are freely handed out. And that’s only during teatime!

As midnight beckons at the ball the next night, the earl offers a toast, complete with fireworks. But the merriment crashes to a halt when he falls ill and dies, apparently poisoned—and the number of suspects with a grudge against the lord of the manor sprouts like English ivy.

Now it’s up to Jessica and George to find the killer—or killers—before another corpse welcomes in the New Year.

If you like to travel but don't have the time or the wherewithal, come along with our favorite sleuth as she solves the next crime in the "Murder, She Wrote" series of mystery novels.  Publisher's Weekly has called Jessica Fletcher "today's Miss Marple," high praise indeed.  

In her latest exploit, Death of a Blue Blood, Jessica Fletcher discovers the body of a former nanny in the secret garden of Castorbrook Castle.  Nestled in the rolling hills of England's charming Cotswolds, Castorbrook is home to the Earl and Countess of Norrance who have extended an invitation to the Maine mystery writer and her good friend Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland to be guests at a gala New Year's Eve ball.  The much-anticipated and exclusive event is expected to be a glittering evening, at which 145 of the British peer's nearest and dearest will raise their glasses of champagne, dine on a gourmet dinner prepared by a celebrated French chef, dance to the strains of a famed society band, and be treated to a spectacular display of fireworks to usher in the New Year in grand fashion.  

Needless to say, everything doesn't come off quite as planned. 

Readers will join Jessica and George as they wander the dark corridors of the 300-year old castle, have tea in the elegant gallery, and visit the nearby village and its quaint pub, all in pursuit of a cunning killer.  Will he or she be found within the aristocratic family?  Be among the elite attending the ball?  Or perhaps have come from the overstressed, underpaid staff?  

2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of "Murder, She Wrote" in print, based on the popular television show which ran for 12 years.  Brought so beautifully to life on TV by the brilliant actress Dame Angela Lansbury, whose face appears on the cover of each of the books, there are 42 original stories (the 43rd already at the publisher) starring our intrepid modern-day amateur detective.  Other exciting locations in the series include San Francisco, New Orleans, London, the Florida Keys, Provence in southern France, colonial Mexico, Italy, a Caribbean island, British Columbia, a cruise ship making a trans-Atlantic voyage and many more.  And of course, Jessica Fletcher's beloved Cabot Cove.  Fans tell us reading the books is like being back on Sunday night, watching "Murder, She Wrote" on CBS with the whole family.  We can't think of a better compliment, and we hope you'll agree.  

Donald Bain
Renee Paley-Bain

Jessica Fletcher (born Jessica Beatrice MacGill, and writes under the initialed J.B. Fletcher) is a fictional character from the US television series Murder, She Wrote.

In keeping with the spirit of the TV show, a series of official original novels have been written by American ghostwriter Donald Bain and published by the New American Library. The author credit for the novels is shared with the fictitious "Jessica Fletcher". When the first novel in the series, Gin and Daggers, was published in 1989 it included several inaccuracies to the TV series including Jessica driving a car which she could not do as she never learned to drive. Due to fans pointing out the errors, the novel was republished in 2000 with most of the inaccuracies corrected.

As always, this series is entertaining and fun.  Death of a Blue Blood takes you on a journey through the lives of the British aristocracy as they celebrate the New Year.  Of course, the uptight, very private British make it extremely difficult for Jessica and George to investigate when the death of one of the British's own happens unexpectedly!  Together, they must search the clues to try and solve the mystery before someone else becomes a victim.  

Ah... Jessica Fletcher is at it again.  Always the thorough sleuth, it's a treat to watch her investigate the murder of a seemingly innocent person.  She's detail oriented, sharp witted and smart.  And it's a delight to watch her work with George as her right hand man.  I've always been a fan of this series, as it truly does showcase the kinds of mysteries that were written by some of the greats.  

And while this wasn't my favorite Jessica Fletcher novel, it was a quick read, very entertaining, and I enjoyed another adventure with two of my favorite sleuths.  

Rating:  4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own. 

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of Murder, She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

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holdenj said...

I've read a lot of these, they are always a solid read to pick up!

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