Maggi Andersen: Murder in Devon (2009)

I have never participated in a book tour before and thought it would be something new to try. When I was asked if I would like to read Australian writer Maggi Andersen’s Murder in Devon I accepted gladly. I like mysteries. I was aware that she is rather known for her Romance novels and that this crime novel belongs to the sub-category of Romantic Suspense. Although I’m really not a Romance reader, I have read Romantic Suspense in the past and liked it.

Casey wakes up, one morning in the cottage of her friends, in Devon. To her horror, someone has broken into the house, killed Don, her friend, and badly wounded his wife Tessa who is lying on the floor unconscious. Maybe due to a few glasses too many or exhaustion, Casey didn’t hear a thing. Don and Tessa are her oldest and closest friends. There are not many other people in her life as she isn’t good at relationships and has no family left. All this together makes the murder all the more painful.

Casey is the deputy editor of a woman’s magazine, while Don was a famous investigative reporter. Her friend Tessa is a psychologist working with abuse victims. Both Tessa and Don have had intense conflicts with people related to their work. Needless to say that there are many suspects.

While Chief Inspector Carlisle, who is responsible for the case  seems capable, Casey cannot let it be and has to actively investigate on her own. She isn’t even aware at first that she is a suspect. Carlisle isn’t amused that she is interfering with his investigation and when the two realize that they are drawn to each other and begin an affair, even less. Not only does he not want her to interfere but he knows she puts herself in great danger.

When Casey searches Don’s things and finds a list of paintings that are known to have been stolen by the Nazis – most of them are still missing – the discovery triggers a hunt that leads her from London to Germany and back.

I’m not an expert when it comes to romance novels but I can easily see that this part of the book did not work. The attraction came out of the blue and didn’t feel realistic. It somehow even felt like it was glued on the rest of the story which could have done very well without it. Despite the fact that the book is in serious need of editing (sentences were missing, many typos…) the crime part was gripping and I really wanted to finish and know who did it. I didn’t think it was too predictable at all.

If you like an entertaining crime novel which isn’t too gruesome but not exactly cozy crime with some history thrown in and if you prefer your crime to be action-driven and not psychological, then you’re in good hands here. It wasn’t really my thing but at least I was not bored.

One tiny thing I’d like to add is that Maggi Andersen supports the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals). There are always animals featuring in her books. In this one it’s a cat called Socrates. Here is her website.

I received a copy from the author and reviewed it as part of a Virtual Author Book Tour If you’d like to read the impressions of other participants, click on the link.