I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
In The Postscript Murders, Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur is approached by a caretaker who insists that the death of Peggy, her ninety-year-old client, is suspicious. The more Harbinder looks into Peggy’s life, the more she thinks that perhaps there is truth to Natalka’s opinion. Then, when mystery writers—who all thank Peggy for her advice on their books—start turning up dead. Harbinder ends up investigating with a ragtag bunch of assistants, trying to find out just how Peggy knew how to write such believable murders.
This book is not the first to feature Harbinder, but I haven’t read the previous one, and it’s not necessary to understand this one. However, I don’t think I’m going to read any more in this series. It was just… okay.
If nothing else, this book made me realize that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a Sikh character, much less when that character is the protagonist. And Harbinder is a strong one, intelligent and capable without being superhuman or boring.
The other characters—especially Natalka, Benedict, and Edwin—were fun. They had an enjoyable rapport, and the scenes where they interacted were the best ones, whether it was about the crimes or not.
As for the plot, though, I have to say I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be. The murders, clues, and investigation as a whole didn’t really interest me. Although the idea of murder mystery writers being murdered in a book is a fun one, I feel like it was just as an excuse to reference other mystery writers. The crimes in this book weren’t, in themselves, too compelling for me. There were also quite a few characters involved in the investigation, but I had trouble sometimes remembering who was who.
In the end, this was a passable murder mystery. The crime didn’t intrigue me as much as it was supposed to, but the references to the genre as a whole were fun. I also liked the parts that explored the idea of mystery writing, and the core characters were a great group. Still, overall, I’ve read better books in this same genre. That said, if you’re looking for some light mystery, this is a good choice.
Overall rating: 7.5/10
The Postscript Murders will be published on March 2nd, 2021!