15 May 2008


9 CDs with approx 10 hours, read by Judith Boyd. This #7 in the Mitchell & Markby series (now there are 15, last in 2004).

Meredith Mitchell and Alan Markby visit the Chelsea Flower Show where Meredith meets up with and old school friend (with husband in tow). The old school friend turns out to be Alan Markby's ex-wife. Just after Markby has taken a photo of Meredith and ex-wife Rachel together, the husband Alex collapses, and then dies. A bit predictably they become involved in the investigation into the death, and soon there is another, and another.

Having vague memories of the plot of a later book from the series didn't help. I kept thinking that if I wasn't listening to this on the CD player in short 20 minute gobbets as I drove to and from work, if indeed I was reading the book, then I may very well have skimmed through.

Judith Boyd's reading was OK although a bit limp/placid in places. Meredith Mitchell drove me nuts with her inability to do as she was told. It was a story where the reader really had little chance of solving the whydunnit part. I had worked out the whodunnit pretty early on, although some red herrings made me think twice. But the last hour was spent in revealing the why, and this is never a good ploy. There were few clues about why during the other 9 hours - or none that I picked up.

Nevertheless, not a bad read, and one that some will rate more highly than I did.

My rating: 4.1

Ann Granger is a pretty prolific writer and I am more familiar with her Fran Varady novels, although I haven't read any for a while.

Lists per Fantastic Fiction

Mitchell and Markby
1. Say It With Poison (1991)
2. A Season For Murder (1991)
3. Cold In The Earth (1992)
4. Murder Among Us (1992)
5. Where Old Bones Lie (1993)
6. A Fine Place For Death (1994)
7. Flowers For His Funeral (1994)
8. Candle For A Corpse (1995)
9. A Touch Of Mortality (1996)
10. A Word After Dying (1996)
11. Call The Dead Again (1998)
12. Beneath These Stones (1999)
13. Shades of Murder (2000)
14. A Restless Evil (2002)
15. That Way Murder Lies (2004)

Fran Varady
1. Asking For Trouble (1997)
2. Keeping Bad Company (1997)
3. Running Scared (1998)
4. Risking It All (2001)
5. Watching Out (2003)
6. Mixing with Murder (2005)
7. Rattling the Bones (2007)

Lizzie Martin
1. A Rare Interest in Corpses (2006)
aka The Companion
2. A Mortal Curiosity (2008)


Anonymous said...

I read the first ten of the M&M series at a sad time of my life - I quite liked them at the time but felt they became a bit formulaic. I think I bought all 10 (that were then published) and just ploughed through them all one after the other, which perhaps wasn't the best way (I did a similar trick with J D Robb's "Death" series: the formula there became rather obvious too, though they are pleasant enough books).

Like you, I preferred the Fran Varaday novels - at the time I was reading Ann Granger there were only a couple of these. For some reason, I haven't kept up with her. Just not cutting-edge enough, I suppose, though good, solid reads.

Kerrie said...

I think you are right Maxine - a good solid read - although perhaps recent ones may have a more "modern" feel.


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