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A Beginner’s Guide to Murder by Rosalind Stopps

Genre: Cozy Crime

Publisher: HQ

Pub Date: 22nd July 2021

Review Date: 12th July 2021


Grace, Meg and Daphne, all in their seventies, are minding their own business while enjoying a cup of tea in a café, when seventeen-year-old Nina stumbles in. She’s clearly distraught and running from someone, so the three women think nothing of hiding her when a suspicious-looking man starts asking if they’ve seen her. Once alone, Nina tells the women a little of what she’s running from. The need to protect her is immediate, and Grace, Meg and Daphne vow to do just this. But how? They soon realise there really is only one answer: murder. And so begins the tale of the three most unlikely murderers-in-the-making, and may hell protect anyone who underestimates them.

My Review

Seventy-something Grace, Meg, and Daphne might first appear to be an unlikely trio of amateur sleuths, but as the alternating first-person chapters dig a little deeper into each character, their colourful backgrounds begin to emerge. As well as this, Nina’s first-person chapters start with a flashback style narrative that reveals how Nina and the three elderly women have ended up in the position they are in.

There is quite a lot of internal thought for each of the characters, where each character not only reveals things about themselves but also their thoughts on the other characters, which adds to a sense of dramatic irony.

The narrative is well-written and the satirical voice portrays a wonderfully dry sense of humour, which had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions.

I recommend this book for fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club, and Kelly Mason’s Branden Bay Series.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book.

About the Author

Rosalind Stopps lives in Margate and south east London with various humans and dogs. Her short stories have been published in five anthologies and read at live literature events in London, Leeds, Hong Kong and New York. The Stranger She Knew is her debut novel and was shortlisted for the Paul Torday Memorial Prize 2020.


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