The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan

So, spoiler-free, right? Boy, this one’s going to be difficult to write without being too vague…

It starts off with a dinner party. What follows involves murder, kidnapping, body-snatching and enough twists and turns to make your head spin. But given that there’s a pretty major surprise at the end of chapter one, I can’t say much more than that.

Fidelis Morgan is a multi-talented individual. An actress, playwright and novelist, this is her foray into modern-day crime fiction – she has previous written four humorous historical mystery novels featuring Countess Ashby de la Zouche. I came across her because her PR agency asked me to review this book. As we’ve established previously, I rarely say no, and this one sounded intriguing. So, what can I say about it without blowing the twists?

To summarise, this narrative jumps from character to character with respect to the point of view, taking in most of the characters from the opening dinner party as suspicion over the behaviour over one of them grows and seeming coincidences start piling up. Soon an additional threat materialises and it becomes something of a race against time for the plot threads to dovetail together. As each chapter bounces from character to character, the ever-changing point of view keeps the story fresh and moving forwards.

This is written with a light touch but it is a totally engrossing read. While there are elements of humour here, Morgan never forgets that this is a crime thriller, and there is a genuine sense of danger for most of the characters, whether it be from an external source or of their own making.

As a mystery, the question is primarily “what is actually going on?” rather than “whodunnit”, but there is an element of that as well. Despite the unconventional format – well, unconventional for what I usually read – this works very well, and despite having to accept some massive coincidences – notably in the finale – is a complete success. The characters are convincing – one possible exception is the dim Lisa who seems a bit too dim at times – and this is an extremely enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Oh, and it’s currently only £1.25 on Kindle. Meanwhile, I’m off to have a look at Morgan’s historical mysteries.

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About Puzzle Doctor

I'm a mathematician by nature and as such have always been drawn to the logical side of things. Hence my two main hobbies being classic mysteries and logical puzzling. Oh, and cats. No logic there, I'm afraid.
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8 Responses to The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan

  1. Sounds great Steve, thanks for that ‘vague’ review – sounds like the sort of thing that would make for very good telly too. I only wish for us non-Kindle readers the paperback price were a tad lower,but it sounds very tempting …

    • The disparity in price is annoying, isn’t it? I think that’s quite common with a small press though. Not sure if that’s a permanent kindle price and also not sure I’d pay over eight quid for a copy of almost anything from an author that I wasn’t already hooked on, no matter how good the reviews were…

  2. TracyK says:

    Well, you have convinced me. I have a new tablet with the Kindle app and I purchased the Kindle version. Going on a trip to Alabama, need a wide variety of books to choose from while I am on that trip. Thanks for the review. I like books where you are figuring out what’s going on. I agree the paperback price is a bit steep.

  3. William Pinn says:

    Thanks for the excellent review!

  4. Pingback: Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie | In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

  5. Pingback: The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book of the Month – October 2012 | In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel

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