An unexpectedly full social calendar in the month of October left me needing books that wouldn’t require me to invest too much in them. Naturally, I reverted to my comfort genre a.k.a. murder mysteries.  

The most unsatisfying read was unfortunately the one I had been the most excited for. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty was average at best (Big Little Lies just set the bar too high). The characters were quite interesting, and the setup was appealing. That sentence sounds extremely bland as I’m writing it even, but I can’t think of anything more positive to say. Nothing wrong with the book per se, but nothing worth recommending either.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
★★★☆☆
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
★★★★☆

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is a unanimously loved series. I did enjoy the first two, and I’m glad The Bullet That Missed lived up to the others. This series is the modern definition of comfort read. I adore the characters here, and while I loved Elizabeth in the earlier books, Joyce is sneaking up on me as my current favourite.

The classic definition of comfort read is of course, Miss Marple, which brings us to Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories. Amazing. Perfect. Fascinating. Wonderful. All the good words. I am aware I am biased when I rate this five stars, but Agatha Christie holds a very special place in my heart (except for those spy thrillers she wrote that I just can’t seem to get behind). I’ve watched most of the shows and movies that have come out, no matter how good or bad they are (I’m looking at you, Death on the Nile (2022)). And my favourite Doctor Who episode is The Unicorn and the Wasp

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie
★★★★★
A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood
★★★★☆

Robert Thorogood, the creator of the brilliant show Death in Paradise, has written four spin-off novels with Richard Poole as the Detective Inspector. The show is on its fourth DI right now, Neville Parker, who has been getting on my nerves quite a bit, so it was fun to get back to Richard. A Meditation on Murder is highly entertaining, though a tad too long. 

The moment I finished The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, I was filled with a sense of exhilaration, that high of a resolution after a particularly tense and complicated few hours. Definitely a book you can lose yourself in. However, not even ten minutes later, the fog cleared and I realised how extremely typical it was. If you’ve watched any of those dark murder mystery shows on Netflix, the ones with a single word title and a gloomy promo picture, this is the book-version of that. A missing teenager. A cold case that turns out to have been mishandled. Several creepy adults. The usual. Plus, the paedophilia is rampant in this one. Pass.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
★★★☆☆

The lesson learned from this month is that I am done with dark, twisted murder mysteries that highlight humanity’s worst. Cosy vibes only.

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