Death of A Cozy Writer

Death of A Cozy Writer

A St. Just Mystery

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Winner of the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow--a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet...who was once suspected of murdering her husband.

Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset--least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk--an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?

Death of a Cozy Writerwas chosen by Kirkus Reviewsas a Best Book of 2008, nominated for a Left Coast Crime award (the Hawaii Five-O for best police procedural), short-listed for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel.


"Fans of English detective work will welcome Malliet's droll debut, the first in a new series."--Publishers Weekly

"Malliet's debut combines devices from Christie and Clue to keep you guessing until the dramatic denouement."--Kirkus Reviews

"Malliet's skillful debut demonstrates the sophistication one would expect of a much more established writer. I'm looking forward to her next genre-bender, Death and the Lit Chick."--Mystery Scene

"Almost every sentence is a polished, malicious gem, reminiscent of Robert Barnard...the book is perfect for the lover of the classical detective story or the fan of great sentences."--Deadly Pleasures

"In her series debut, Malliet, who won a Malice Domestic Grant to write this novel, lays the foundation for an Agatha Christie--like murder mystery."--Library Journal

"An affectionate homage to the Golden Age of British crime fiction by a skilled writer rapidly attracting attention."--The Sherbrook Record

"This tale cleverly adds modern touches to an Agatha Christie style classic house mystery."--Mystery Women Magazine

"Wicked, witty and full of treats!"--Peter Lovesey, recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Crime Writer's Association and Malice Domestic

"The traditional British cozy is alive and well. Delicious. I was hooked from the first paragraph."--Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of Her Royal Spyness

"Death of a Cozy Writeris a romp, a classic tale of family dysfunction in a moody and often humourous English country house setting."--Louise Penny, author of the award-winning Armand Gamache series of murder mysteries

"The connections made by St. Just are nothing short of Sherlock Holmes at his most coherent. A most excellent first mystery!"--Midwest Book Review

Publisher: Woodbury, MN : Midnight Ink : 2008
ISBN: 9780738712482
Branch Call Number: MYS Mall
Characteristics: 297p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 23, 2020

An appropriate set-up to a book with this title--gathering at the huge manor house at the behest of the the patriarch. It does have a "Christie" vibe so scratches that itch, though the ending was a little over the top. Also more sexism than I'd expect from a book written in 2008 but not enough to get in the way of an enjoyable read to pass the time.

FPL_ElizabethC May 01, 2020

Detective Chief Inspector St. Just joins the rolls of dedicated, delightful detectives in this pastiche of golden-era mysteries. The un-lamented victim is a cozy mystery writer himself, and he leaves behind a manor house full of familial suspects. The book skillfully includes almost every cliché of the genre, but does so with great affection and warm humor. Highly recommended for those who love cozy mysteries and have a sense of humor about them.

Feb 25, 2016

I started with the first book in her newer series (handsome vicar who is ex-MI5/6). Found that one OK and was willing to try another mystery by her, ending up with Death of a Cozy Writer. In this book her witticisms seemed spot on and I did not guess who the culprit was. The clues were not buried so deep that I was left with the feeling I had not been given enough information.

Sep 27, 2013

Wow, this was nominated for a lot of awards. I found it enjoyable but I resented very much that there really weren't any clues as to who the killer was. In the back the book club questions ask if it made sense. No, it didn't. Never mind - it was fun to read, full of all kinds of mystery genre cliches and some pithy comments as well. I plan to read the next St Just and see if Malliet can keep it up....

Oct 19, 2012

A good mystery. The plot was extremely interesting and all the characters had great personalities that were unique and intricate. It was really hard to figure out who the murderer was, they all had motives. The ending was very surprising. Overall, a good mystery book.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Find it at NWPL

To Top