EXCERPT: Judith’s cape was her most treasured possession. She’d tell anyone who asked, and many did, that it kept her warm in winter, served as a picnic blanket in the summer, and she could pull it over her head if ever she was caught in a spring shower.
Best of all, Judith believed it was a cloak of invisibility. Every evening, come rain or shine, she’d take off her clothes, wrap the cape around herself, and step out of her house feeling a delicious frisson of naughtiness. She would plunge her feet into a pair of ancient wellies and stride through the knee-high grass – swish, swish, swish! – to her boathouse. Like the rest of Judith’s house, it was pink-bricked, timber framed, and somewhat crumbling.
Judith entered the cobwebby darkness and kicked off her wellies. She hung her cape on an old hook, and, still hidden from the outside world by a pair of ancient boathouse doors, stepped down the stone slipway and into the Thames.
It was almost a religious experience for her, accepting the cold water onto her skin, and she exhaled with a whoosh as she leant forward into the embrace of the river. Suddenly she was weightless, supported by the water that felt like silk to her body.
She swam upstream, the evening sunshine flashing diamonds on the water all around. Judith smiled to herself. She always smiled to herself when she was out swimming. She couldn’t help it. After all, there might be dog walkers on the Thames path, and there were very definitely plenty of people in the near distance as she looked at the spire of the Marlow church and the span of the Victorian suspension bridge that linked the town to the neighbouring village of Bisham. None of these people were aware that there was a seventy-seven year old woman swimming nearby entirely in the nude.
ABOUT ‘THE MARLOW MURDER CLUB’: To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.
Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…
MY THOUGHTS: Judith is a character! How could anyone not love her? She is opinionated, brusque, and bossy.
The murder mystery is immensely enjoyable, and I had great fun trying to figure out whodunit – I was way off base, even having changed my mind half a dozen times. I figured out how it was done, but not the who.
My enjoyment was in no small part due to the characters. As well as Judith, there is Suzie, a dog-walker, and Bex, the timid wife of the local vicar. The police don’t have a chance against this lot, who continue to poke their collective nose into the police investigation. I felt quite sorry for DS Tanika Malik – she really was no match for the trio.
This is a warm, humorous read, and I am excited to see that there is a sequel in the pipeline.
Nicolette McKenzie is an excellent narrator. Her range of voices is amazing. I thought I was listening to several different narrators.
I: @robertthorogoodwriter @hqstories
#contemporaryfiction #crime #murdermystery
THE AUTHOR: Robert Thorogood is an English screenwriter. He is best known as the creator of the BBC 1 Murder Mystery Series, Death in Paradise.
DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Marlow Murder Club written by Robert Thorogood, narrated by Nicolette McKenzie and published by HQ Audio. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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