Monday, November 26, 2018

Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Jessica Fletcher has had plenty to worry about over her storied career, both as a bestselling novelist and amateur sleuth. But she never had any reason to worry about her longtime publisher, Lane Barfield, who also happens to be a trusted friend. When mounting evidence of financial malfeasance leads to an FBI investigation of Lane, Jessica can't believe what she's reading.

So when Barfield turns up dead, Jessica takes on the task of proving Barfield's innocence--she can't fathom someone she's known and trusted for so long cheating her. Sure enough, Jessica's lone wolf investigation turns up several oddities and inconsistencies in Barfield's murder. Jessica knows something is being covered up, but what exactly? The trail she takes to answer that question reveals something far more nefarious afoot, involving shadowy characters from the heights of power in Washington. At the heart of Jessica's investigation lies a manuscript Barfield had intended to bring out after all other publishers had turned it down. The problem is that manuscript has disappeared, all traces of its submission and very existence having been wiped off the books.

With her own life now in jeopardy, Jessica refuses to back off and sets her sights on learning the contents of that manuscript and what about it may have led to several murders. Every step she takes brings her closer to the truth of what lies in the pages, as well as the person who penned them.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book so I was excited to get a chance to read this one!

My Impression:
  One of my happiest bookish discoveries this year was the previous book in the series (find my review here).  I've never been sold on books that are based on TV shows or movies so my expectations were a bit low.  It was such a pleasant surprise when I discovered that not only does this series gives me a Jessica Fletcher that feels so accurate I can easily picture Angela Lansbury in the middle of the book but a well done and entertaining mystery.

I really loved the premise of this one.  Not only is there research into fraud but Jessica, PI Harry McGraw (played by the amazing Jerry Orbach if you're a fan of the show), and NYPD lieutenant Artie Gelber are tracking down the true author of a manuscript AND are busy solving murders.   It was such a fun mystery and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  I couldn't wait for Jessica, Harry and Artie to figure everything out.  It did get much more intrigue-y than I expected and while I don’t expect Murder, She Wrote to be completely believable this one strained it a bit farther than I really liked.  However, it was still an enjoyable read and one that kept me hooked from beginning to end.  

This does have a slightly more modern feel to it than the original TV show but not in a way that is jarring and the characters are so true to the original that it feels like spending time with old friends.  Like the show you can jump in anywhere in the series without any problem.  This is a very entertaining read and I'm so glad that I've finally discovered just how enjoyable this series is!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm hoping to go back and read some of the 46 books I've missed and will be picking up all the new ones.  I've really enjoyed Jon Land's interpretation of this beloved series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy mysteries or have enjoyed an episode of Murder, She Wrote don't hesitate to pick this one up!  You won't regret it.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I really enjoyed the TV show (when I was allowed infrequently to watch it!) as a kid. I had heard somewhere that there was a book series but haven't seen them. I will definitely add one to my TBR pile. Do you recommend starting at the beginning with #1 or does it not matter since we all already "know" Jessica? :)

  2. I loved the TV show and have such fond memories of watching them.

  3. I want to read this series. It's been years since I saw the TV show.

  4. I do remember this show and probably wouldn't have given the book a second thought. It does sound like this one is worth picking up.