The Last Word

Mariner. Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780063374720. $27.99. M
Griffiths’s (Bleeding Heart Yard) new stand-alone title features an unlikely sleuth duo. Ukrainian-born math whiz Natalka Kolisnyk and octogenarian Edwin Fitzgerald run a successful detective agency in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, but still long for a big, juicy case to solidify their firm’s reputation. They get that and more when local romance author Melody Chambers turns up dead. Her grown daughters suspect their mother was murdered by her younger husband, but Edwin finds links to an obituary writer who predeceased his subjects and to Battle House, a slightly creepy writers’ retreat in a local manse. Edgar goes undercover with Natalka’s boyfriend to infiltrate the retreat. But as other writers begin turning up dead and clues overwhelm them, Natalka turns to police detective Harbinder Kaur, protagonist in another series by Griffiths, for help. Navigating the twists and turns of this bevy of literary bodies requires all their detecting skills.
VERDICT This satisfyingly twisty cozy from the author of the marvelous Ruth Galloway mysteries will be utter catnip for current Griffiths fans and will have new readers begging for more.
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