Thanks to NetGalley and Kobo Books for a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
I’m currently trying to fight the Sunday scaries by reading and taking care of my book-related to-do list. Hence, this post. I wish I could say I was excited to return to work tomorrow, but unfortunately, I’m not. My only solace is that I just have to make it through three more weeks until winter break…that, and the fact that I start reading a play version of The Christmas Carol with my students tomorrow and I have high hopes that we will have fun.
Anyway! Time to chat about a book that I found super fun: Alexis Hall’s Murder Most Actual.
From the author of Boyfriend Material and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake comes a cozy mystery that revisits the Golden Age of detective fiction, starring a heroine who’s more podcaster than private eye and topped with a lethal dose of parody — perfect for fans of Clue, Knives Out, and Only Murders in the Building!
When up-and-coming true crime podcaster Liza and her corporate financier wife Hanna head to a luxurious hotel in the Scottish Highlands, they’re hoping for a chance to rekindle their marriage – not to find themselves trapped in the middle of an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery with no way home. But who better to take on the case than someone whose entire profession relies on an obsession with all things mysterious and macabre? Though some of her fellow guests may consider her an interfering new media hack, Liza knows a thing or two about crime and – despite Hanna’s preference for waiting out the chaos behind a locked door – might be the only one capable of discovering the killer. As the bodies rack up and the stakes rise, can they save their marriage — and their lives?
If it hasn’t been made obvious, I am a huge fan of murder mysteries. Murder Most Actual is particularly fun because it combines two of my favorite things: throwbacks to the “Golden Age” of mysteries (parody-like) and true crime podcasts. Add in main characters Liza and Hanna who are in a really rough patch with their marriage and trying to work through it and I was HOOKED. Those of you who have read Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers will definite appreciate the nods to two particular characters of theirs…and there were probably more allusions that I missed. 🙂 All of the talk regarding Liza’s true crime podcast reminded me 100% of Luminol Podcast–my favorite true crime podcast run by some dear friends of mine!
I really liked that the focus in this book was not only about the mystery, but also on the struggling marriage between Liza and Hanna. The fact that they are trying to salvage their marriage while simultaneously trying to not get murdered brought some needed depth to the story, and I really liked both of their characters! They have flaws but are so cool and sweet and I want to be friends with both of them…but honestly, especially Liza. Bear in mind, this book purposely parodies some aspects of the classic murder mystery. While some happenings in this book border on the ridiculous, they didn’t really bother me because I knew it was meant to be that way. There were many funny moments!
I highly recommend this book to those who love murder mysteries and and lgbtq+ protagonists. I have no idea if this was meant to be a standalone novel or not, but honestly, I really hope there are more books with these characters because I would love to read more! Murder Most Actual is a Kobo Original–click the link under the image to get it! 🙂