Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Gentle Art of Murder - Review

The Gentle Art of Murder by Jeanne M. Dams
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: NetGalley

Description:  One late-summer evening, before the beginning of the new term, Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired police detective Alan Nesbitt, are guests at Sherebury University art department's drinks party to introduce new teacher's assistant, sculptress Gillian Roberts.  However, tragedy strikes on a tour of the sculpture department when the lift breaks down and a corpse is discovered at the bottom of the lift shaft.  Dorothy and Alan become involved in the ensuing investigation, putting their local knowledge and sleuthing skills to good use once again.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: I read this series very early on and always enjoyed it.  I was curious to see how it was 15+ years later.

My Impression:  The last time I read a book by Jeanne M. Dams was probably 15 years ago or so and while I remember enjoying the series I don't remember much about it.  I have no idea why I stopped reading it.  I was getting almost all my books from a used book store at the time so it may have been just simple lack of availability.  I thought I remembered this being on the cute and fluffy end of the cozy spectrum so I was curious especially since the cover of this one doesn't fit with the usual cute and fluffy cover.  Now I don't know if my memory is faulty, my tastes have changed or if the series has evolved but I definitely wouldn't deem this one as cute or fluffy.  While it definitely is a cozy - amateur-ish detective, most of the violence occurs off-page, and the victim was incredibly unlikable I found this more like a classic mystery in terms of style.  The mystery itself is very solid and kept me guessing.  This definitely wasn't one of those books where you have no suspects.  Every person in the book had a pretty valid reason to take out the victim and the only thing that was surprising was that no one had done it earlier.
It made since that Dorothy was involved in the investigation as her husband was a very much respected detective and they have a long history working as a team.  Also, while I sometimes find books involving the British education system confusing, it was no issue here.  The mystery was clear, clean, well-plotted, and thoroughly enjoyable.  I can't wait to read more of the series.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I have a lot of books to catch up on!

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes, I think mystery readers that enjoy classic mysteries would enjoy this one.

Challenges Met?

16 comments:

  1. Sometimes, our tastes evolve over the years so I'm glad you still enjoyed this series. I'd never heard of this author, the title is very good and I like what you said about it, so I'm adding the first book of the series to my list, thanks :)

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    1. If I remember correctly the first book is much more of a cozy. I'm looking forward to a reread to see if that's still the case.

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  2. I used to read the Dorothy Martin books too. Can't remember where I left off, but I read several of them. And I am way behind in the series. I think I noticed a while back that she was still publishing them. Nice to know that this one works well and I'll have to do a little research to see where I got to in the series. One interesting detail - the sculptress' name, Gillian Roberts, is the same as another mystery writer that I read back in the same time period. Gillian Roberts wrote a series about a teacher, Amanda Pepper, that I liked. Did you ever read those? Wonder if Jeanne Dams knows Gillian Roberts or if it's just a coincidence? Thanks for the reminder about this series!

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    1. I knew the name Gillian Roberts sounded familiar ! There's also a link to another cozy series by Elizabeth Duncan because her main character appears in this one and Dorothy appears in her books. I'm not sure where I left off either and would like to figure it out. My really enjoyed this one!

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  3. I'm not familiar with this author or series, but it definitely sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for introducing me!

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    1. This is one I'm really looking forward to catching up on. It was a really enjoyable read and definitely good for a lighter read.

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  4. This sounds like a good series. And my library carries some of the books! I think I'll try one of the later ones first. It's always nice to have a classic kind of mystery to read.

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    1. I would definitely go with a later one at first as I remember the earlier books as being a little fluffier. I hope you enjoy them!

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  5. I haven't heard of this series, but it sounds like a book I'd enjoy.

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    1. I really think you would enjoy this one!

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  6. I like how this involves a wife and husband duo. Haven't read that before.

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    1. I really like how well they work together as a team. It's a nice read.

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  7. Well if it's been 15 years since you last picked up a book in this series I'm guessing you have a billion books to catch up on? Lol.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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  8. I am not familiar with this author or her books. Sometimes I wonder how that happens. But then I remember just how many books there are out there. I'll never get to all the ones I want to read. :-( You've got me curious about this series though. It's one I will have to look for.

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