For this Agatha Christie inspired mystery series debut, I found it only fitting to write this review in a prim and proper, though fun, manner. The book loving main heroine, Ellie Christie, may not descend from the Dame of Mysteries herself, but she certainly tries to bring her own set of detective skills to the table in this snowed-in chalet murder. As the book club commences, the actress-turned-media influencer, named Morghan Marin, discards Ms. Ridge’s schedule for an impromptu séance. During their “communication,” a strange man silently enters the Christies’ family bookshop with very little to say. Apparently in search of “someone special,” the man inadvertently leaves his bag on a table later in the day, only to be found that evening in a gondola, dead. Last Word is left in a snowstorm of lies and deceit as the investigation not only leads to a break-in at the Book Chalet, but also unearths a can of worms reaching into many of the suspects’ pasts. Ellie, along with her relatives Meg, Rosie and Gram, take up the search to locate a missing friend while the police have their hands full with the murder of an ex-con. Will Agatha, their shop’s famous cat, and the Christies find Ms. Ridge before she is charged for murder, or will they possibly discover that the killer has been right under their noses this entire time?
This “Marpling” family of Christies are a delightful cast of characters who tend dutifully to their shop and discover clues to the mystery along the way. I do find that the storyline occurs at a slow pace, and would be best suited for readers not looking for a lot of action scenes, as I found it consisted mostly of talking and walking around from place to place. For those of you who look for the murder to occur in the beginning, I am pleased to report that the dastardly deed happens on page 29.
And even though I do not find the front cover of this book to be of my aesthetics, it does accurately portray elements from within the story line and capture the winter setting through its chilly color scheme. The chapter names are fun and add to the whole dramatic flair of it all, attesting to the theatrical display that Morghan uses at will. So, I guess dear fellow readers, the only thing left shrouded in a puddle of darkness would be, is this the next book for you?
For more on the author of this book, Ann Claire, you can check out her author page on the publisher's website here.
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