An oldie but a goodie, this is the very first book written in the Murder, She Wrote series by Jessica Fletcher’s real life writer Donald Bain. An interesting bit of trivia I read, was that it was first published in 1989, but there were references to Jessica driving, which didn’t flow with the storyline the TV show established, so in 2000 it was reprinted. I did still find one small reference on the very first page where she was talking about going on a trip to Bangor, “I’d offered to drive, but the station insisted upon flying me in.” I guess they didn’t catch that one. Later, toward the end of the book, she did state to someone that she didn’t drive, not in England or the US. Maybe by “offering to drive” she simply meant she offered to catch a ride to the station. Not that important, but just fun finding it.
Picture disclaimer: I Googled using “labeled for reuse” and the one I used came up, however credit belongs to Dave Bleasdale. Wapping Wall was the area where Jimmy Biggers’ PI office building was located.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I recently read the very latest in this series (mainly because it was a brand new book in my library and I just couldn’t resist lol), but I wanted to start at the very beginning to see how writing styles, times, etc. have changed.
Jessica’s first adventure took her to London, England where a mystery conference was taking place. Her old friend, a world-famous author named Marjorie Ainsworth was killed in her home while Jessica was staying with her, and of course the very inept local inspector immediately pegged Jessica as the suspect, since her necklace was found in the woman’s room. When Scotland Yard stepped in, Jessica was relieved, and chief inspector Sutherland took her on a few small dates as they discussed the case. Jess used a local PI whose reputation was not the shiniest, but Jessica was one to walk to her own drummer and form her own opinion, so she decided to work with the man.
I had guessed one of the twists toward the end, but I hadn’t guessed the killer. This was in true Murder, She Wrote and Agatha Christie fashion, since the suspects were all gathered at the end while Jessica gave her thoughts and accusations. I loved that the once-despised PI got to have a little moment of fame, since without his help, the case may have not been solved as quickly.
I always loved the TV show and wonder why I didn’t get into these books sooner.