Book Review: A Murder to Die For by Stevyn Colgan

When hordes of people descend on the picturesque village of Nasely for the annual celebration of its most famous resident, murder mystery writer Agnes Crabbe, events take a dark turn as the festival opens with a shocking death.

Each year the residents are outnumbered by crowds dressed as Crabbe’s best-known character, the lady detective Millicent Cutter. The weekend is never a mild-mannered affair as fan club rivalries bubble below the surface, but tensions reach new heights when a second Crabbe devotee is found murdered. Though the police are quick to arrive on the scene, the facts are tricky to ascertain as the witnesses, suspects and victim are all dressed as Miss Cutter. And they all want to solve that crime too…

What I Thought:
Browsing Unbound is a dangerous thing – fantastic books just waiting to be supported, written and enjoyed. One such was A Murder to Die For by Stevyn Colgan. I already follow Stevyn on Twitter, so it wasn’t a stretch to back a book which I knew already would be funny but, alongside this, it is also a well-plotted an affectionate nod to Agatha Christie and her ilk.

Starting out with a literal bang, any readers who have ever been to a convention will recognise some of the characters in this book – from those who have a passing interest in the subject, right through to the die-hard fans and having an army of cosplayers, any of whom could be the killer is an interesting device.

This book is clever in that it pokes fun at the Agatha Christie-type books, while also being one and having a solid mystery plot. Alongside this, it’s actually very, very funny, playing with the cosy mystery stereotype and – despite mentions of mobile phones etc – you could well imagine the setting to be timeless, especially with an army of 1920s flappers storming around Nasely trying to solve a murder.

As with all of the Unbound books I have backed, it is brilliantly produced with, as above, beautiful cover art and as a benefit to those of us who backed it, our edition is on heavier paper stock and has foiled lettering – and you know how I love foil…

I enjoyed A Murder to Die For so much that I have already backed the second book in this series, The Diabolical Club, and I would urge you to do so too.

A Murder to Die For is published by Unbound. To find out more about Stevyn Colgan, you can check out his blog, or you can connect with him on Twitter.

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