Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Date with Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source:  Publisher

  Babs and Hal Wirth are hosting their annual Labor Day barbecue in Cabot Cove when suddenly the host is found dead from an apparent heart attack.

Shortly after Jessica discovers that the Wirth marriage is not what it seemed and there were severe cracks in the perfect fa├žade.  Soon Babs and Jessica learn that Hal had bankrupted not just his company but the family itself.  In order to help her friends Jessica jumps into an investigation and discovers a world of secrets, conspiracy and online dating.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I've been a fan of the show and Angela Lansbury in general since I was a kid but I'd never tried any of the books.  I liked the premise - especially since Harry McGraw (played on TV by Jerry Orbach) was making an appearance.

My Impression:
  I must admit that one of the reasons I enjoy the TV show Murder, She Wrote is because my paternal grandmother was a big fan and Jessica Fletcher reminds me a bit of my maternal grandmother so it's like all kinds of nostalgia wrapped up in one 45 minute package.  However, I'd always been a bit dismissive of the books - or really any books that are spinoffs of TV shows.  I thought they would be poorly written or just redos of plots already done with the show.

I was beyond pleasantly surprised with this mystery.  Right from the beginning I was drawn into the book and the world of Cabot Cove.  I enjoyed spending time with my favorite characters from the show - especially Jessica and Seth - but I also just really enjoyed the mystery. I really wanted to know just what had happened to Hal's money and even more importantly what had to Hal himself.  I can understand Jessica's motivation to help her friends as their entire financial situation is really quite desperate.  I enjoyed her teaming up with the boyfriend of Bab's daughter.  Jessica's first impression of him isn't particularly favorable but as the book and the investigation progress they become friends which was pretty cute.

I could easily visualize the setting and all the characters and the feel of the characters was very true though the tone of the book itself was a bit younger and more modern than I've found with the show.  I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately but I devoured this book in essentially one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This may be my new slump busting series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy cozy mysteries or Murder She Wrote this was a very fun read.  I had no problem jumping in here though I have watched quite a few episodes of the TV show.  


  1. I am so glad you have begun reviewing these, as I too feared these would be meh at best.

  2. I haven't read anything in this series, but I'll keep it in mind for a rainy day so to speak.

  3. I am also a longtime fan of Murder She Wrote! I remember watching this show as a child, and I still love it today. I've never read any of the books, so I'm so happy to hear that they are actually good - or at least this one. I am drawn to this one because I love Harry McGraw too. And the Cabot Cove setting is always my favorite!

  4. Glad this was good! I tend to be skeptical of books related to shows too, but sometimes they're a pleasant surprise!

  5. I remember watching Murder She Wrote but I would have never picked this one up before reading your review for the very same reasons you mentioned. Sounds like I need to take a closer look at these.

  6. Oh that's good to hear. I watched these with my grandparents, too. lol I might have to snag a book next time I see them :)

  7. I LOVE the show. I'm still watching it actually LOL. I never imagined that the books would be good but I'm glad that they are. :)

  8. Yay! I am glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did, Katherine. I used to love watching the show. :-)

  9. Since this is my first effort succeeding Don Bain as the author of the MURDER, SHE WROTE I'm both ecstatic and humbled by this wonderful review and all the equally great comments above. This series remains incredibly popular and well-known today and I'm always especially gratified to hear of how reading A DATE WITH MURDER makes people think of their own parents' and granparents' love of the show and, perhaps, even watching it with them. I'm going to try and respond to each of the comments above individually over the coming days. For now, to all of you, thanks for making my day. Jon