Murder In Little Shendon – A. H. Richardson

I received a free signed first edition copy of this book from the author and publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this edition.

A murder takes place in the small little village of Shendon. There is something that you should know about his murder that will make solving this crime just that little bit harder for the police trying to solve this murder; nobody liked the victim. This leave practically everyone in “Little Shendon” has a suspect, including the two tourists who are only visiting the town.

It was this concept that I loved when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book. I love murder mysteries. The joy of trying to solve and uncover the killer before they’re revealed. The adrenaline. I love it, and the fact that this book had so many possible killers with so many possible motives, giving more back stories as we were going along, just added to it all. The way that the plot was brought together, all lined up perfectly and I didn’t see it coming. I love it when a book takes me completely by surprise and I haven’t been able to guess the ending, the killer and so on. Then, when looking back on hindsight, you kick yourself not seeing how you didn’t see it coming.

My copy was only 248 pages long and for a book that wasn’t that long, there were a little too many characters introduced into this book. They weren’t all able to stay with me and I wasn’t able to remember each of them specifically, which was disappointing because I felt like I wasn’t giving them each their due respect. I know that this is meant to represent a small village, but some of the characters, including the main ones, just got lost for me possibly because of the vast amount of other characters. But, if you were to take out and reduce some of the characters, or spend some extra time building up and introducing the main characters, possibly making this book about 50 pages longer minimum, there would have been time for there to have been some great character development.

There were some editing mistakes in the copy that I received, that were present in the entirety of the book. Simple things like missing speak bubbles, simple spelling mistakes and other things, that over time did start to annoy me. There is one in particular spelling mistake that does stick out for me as it was then emphasised further by being put into italics. But when an author is so close with their work, things like these are often missed and it is understandable.

Each chapter has their own title name, which gives you a little hint at to what each chapter is going to be about. This could be a little temptation if you were going to end on that chapter, or, if you want to have a little flip through and see what Chapter the killer is going to be revealed in. Not that you would read that Chapter before it’s time, of course, but it’s still nice knowing how long you have left until all is revealed. I will admit though that this story did drag a little bit for me and I was tempted to skip to that chapter entitled “And the killer is…” Maybe it was because I was nowhere near guessing who the killer was and wanted to know who it the murder was.

So, I did enjoy the story, but it could have done with being longer to have developed more of the characters. I defiantly like the idea and the concept behind it and would have loved a whole Murder on the Orient Express ending, that’s here my head was going when I was reading the book. I loved that idea. How it was all brought together in the end was so good and clever and I’m gutted I that I missed it. I wish I could’ve rated it higher, but I’m defiantly giving it a strong 3 stars out of 5!

3 Stars

Book Review: To Die For – Alice Clark-Platts

To Die ForIn an empty car park, Ryan James sits in his car contemplating death. He has set up a hose pipe that is pouring carbon monoxide into the car, and his deciding whether or not to close the last window and end it all. Finally, he gets a text and decides to end his life.

Detective Inspector Martin is called to the scene the next. At first she is convinced it is a simple suicide but as she looks deeper into the boy’s life and his relationships she begins to wonder if someone else was involved.”

I selected this audiobook to download and listen to for two reasons, it is a short little story, just over a hour long and because it was a free download. FREE!

This was a quick and easy listen, which was exactly what I was looking for, to listen to while I was working out in the gym, instead of listening to music. This audio book did exactly what I wanted it to do, especially for such a short story, listening to the whole story in one listen!

The story reminded me of something that has actually happened and just kept me thinking throughout the whole duration of the story. So I had no problem believing this story one bit. There were some extra twists and turns in this book that I wasn’t expecting and it did keep me hooked throughout its entirety, although that isn’t hard to do as it’s only roughly 1hr and 9mins long. For a book that is only this amount of time you wouldn’t expect to be able to enjoy it as much, but maybe because this is so similar to something I read in the news it was easier and quicker to get into the story.

One thing that I didn’t like was the poor character development, which is expected with such a short story with the short amount of time. The development was at its minimal, topped then with its sudden change in how the reader/listener is suppose to suddenly change their feeling and emotions from hatred to sympathy towards one particular character. That just took me by surprise and frankly this was impossible for me to do.

But overall I did enjoyed this little short story. It was easy to listen to, to follow, to keep myself hooked while busy doing other things surrounded by other people. A nice quick little read/listen and it was FREE and didn’t use any credits or anything.

3.5 Stars