The Royal Baths Murder by J.R.Ellis

Midsommer Murders eat your heart out!

Damian Penrose is murdered at the annual Crime Writing Festival. It is like a crime writers dream come true. Many theories begin to circulate – how was Damian murdered? There was only one way into the baths and one way out. With a receptionist at the front who did not see anyone pass. What happened to Damian?

As police begin to investigate it is clear that this one is not going to be easy. Damian a high respected author was accused of plagiarism among other things. Many people had motive for him to die or was Damian dying and it was his way of going out with a bang?

But when other people in the festival are murdered. It is clear someone nearby is involved.

This book rather reminds me of Midsommer Murders. Although Harrogate is not a small village like the one in the TV series. They were people who knew each well and it felt like a well grouped community.

I loved the characters. Andy reminded me of Bough in the first film Johnny English. Always asking questions, do anything for his boss. Great investigative techniques. But his boss Oldroyd is not Johnny English. He has plenty of experience that he is keen to hand down.

As the character develop it is nice to see their background and how they progress. For example Oldroyd finds love again after his wife leaves him.

Deborah is a lovely woman. Oldroyd and her seem to have hit it off very well and enjoy each others company and banter.

However as the book went on. I started to suspect that there is more to her than meets the eye. For example she starts to call Oldroyd “fatty.” Which I do not think is very nice, even if she did mean it as a joke.

To say that to someone you have to be sure that you know them pretty well and she had only known him for a few days. This makes me wonder if there is a sequel on the horizon. Where we see the darker side of Deborah.

When I found out the identity of the killer, it did not shock me like some books do. Therefore I found that lacking in this novel. To me it did not make sense and I thought they would be a real twist.

Despite this I really enjoyed the book. and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery/thriller.

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