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.

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23 thoughts on “Maggi Andersen: Murder in Devon (2009)

  1. Pingback: Maggi Andersen, Author of Murder in Devon: On Tour | Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

  2. This sounds intriguing and fun. I admit I do have a problem these days with situational cliches – more so than linguistic ones. To have Casey decide to investigate on her own, and then start an affair with the inspector is a set up I think I have read too many times (and I’ve never thought it plausible). But hey, sometimes a reader just wants a story to follow conventional guidelines and that’s comforting in its way.

    • I agree, I didn’t even mind that there could be an attraction but it was a bit sudden. I really didn’t mind reading it and since this seems her first mystery, there is potential.

  3. Book tour sounds fun but what happen when the book is boring and you can’t finish it? Quite a dilematic problem…well at least for someone like me ;)

    I have never read romance nor romance suspense. But, I read romance manga. I know how it feels when the romance felt like being forced to happen…it wasnt fun to read. The mystery sounds intriguing tho. But I am a bit confused, how come someone not waking up when a crime took place in the same house?

    • It happened fast and
      mini-spoiler
      they knew the murderer.
      I have no idea what you do when you cannot finish a book on a book tour. You would have to inform them early… This was a quick read. I was lucky.

  4. I’ve never taken part in a book tour but it sounds like something I would enjoy. Even with the typos and forced romance I think I would still like this novel. Sounds like a good one to dip into on a rainy day. I was going to say for a beach day, but I don’t think nice weather will ever return in London. Just rain.

    • I think you would enjoy a book tour. I could also have included a giveaway and an author interview.
      There are a few different tour organizers around. Natalie (Coffee and a Book Chick) reviewed Clair de Lune for a book tour. It’s another organizer and they have terrific books. I was contacted, I don’t know if you can contact them as well. But why not. I would like to sign up with the one Natalie reads for.
      You might like this book because of the historical element. The editing was bad and all the German sentences and words were misspelled.

      • I think I’ll have to wait until after this summer to look into book tours. They do sound fun! And I love to read a book with a group of people. I’ve made a note to look into Natalie’s blog.

        Too bad about the editing. I’m a little surprised that it was so bad. That always makes me cringe.

        • There were words and sentences missing. And a whole paragraph came twice after a few pages.
          There isn’t much interaction in a book tour though. (There could be but there isn’t as far as I saw).

  5. A virtual book tour–what an interesting concept.
    I love my Kindle, but the bad editing that comes with it is not so great. The publishers must be in such a hurry to get the books on Kindle, they don’t use copy editors. It sets my teeth on edge. :)

    • Is that why? I was wondering but on the other hand this book was published before as a paperback under another title.
      I think these bok tours are great for writers to make their work known.
      I’m always curious to try out things.

  6. a book tour sounds fascinating, I would love to take part some day. and I really liked your analysis of the book, very well balanced.

    Caroline, the URL to my feed has changed, so you probably wont be able to see it on your reader. could you please visit my site (linked to my name) and re-add to your reader feed?

    thank you!

    • Thanks, Amritoroupa. There are many book tours out there I think. Teddy’s is just one. It’s good to indicate what genres you like and don’t like in advance that saves you being sent the wrong books.
      You were right, your blog wasn’t in my reader anymore. This is trange, I’ve seen others move the blog and it did still work.. Yeah well… It’s working now.

  7. If this is a first novel in a series perhaps some of the relationship wrinkles will be worked out over time. I think it can be hard setting up a convincing mystery with a romantic element to it in a way that doesn’t seem forced. It seems like there were other things to like about the story, though. Did the setting play a role at all? I’ve been interested in Devon–that part of the UK.

    • No, it isn’t a series I think. Yes, there were other things to like, definitely. Maybe she has to let go of the romance parts for her crime novels?
      The setting isn’t very importnat, you dond’t get a feel for Devon. it could be anywhere. I found the few chpaters in Munich more typical.
      One reviewer was not happy that she, being an Australina author had to choose an American character living in the UK… I didn’t mind that. But it’s not a book to read if you are interested in the Devon-setting.

  8. Nice review, Caroline! Romantic suspense looks like an interesting new genre :) I liked your description of the novel – that it is not cozy-crime and it is not psychological but it is action-driven. It is sad that the romance part of the book looks quite artificial. Probably it was added to justify its inclusion in the romantic suspense genre. Glad to know that you enjoyed your first virtual book tour.

    • Thanks, Vishy. I wonder why she chose to write the romance like this. I’ve read romantic suspense which I liked a lot but here I had the feeling that she thought she had to include it as she is known as a romnace writer. I’m sure her romnaces is good but in this case it would have been better to go for pure crime.
      I might do another book tour in the future. There can be very interesting titles.

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