Friday, 13 February 2015

Death on the Aegean Queen by Maria Hudgins

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit & Crimson Shore (

What we thought: Dotsy Lamb is a lovable crime fighter in the style of Miss Marple or Agatha Raisin – but with a sharp eye and a Tennessee drawl that leaves her compatriots in the shade. This was the first novel I’d read by this author, and have to say I found it a pleasant experience.

There are no high emotions in this genre, but there are a satisfying amount of twists and turns by a bunch of interesting, in-depth characters that kept me gripped until the final chapters. The death of car salesman, George Gaskill, who disappears leaving only a pool of blood and a cryptic note, is the start of Dotsy Lamb's adventures. As a personal bonus for me, the descriptions of the stunning locations added another layer of interest to the writing, and I particularly loved the scenes set on the island of Santorini.

Cruise liner, the Aegean Queen is the setting for a double murder, or so it seems. A cast of slightly dodgy characters with more skeletons in their closets than a medieval churchyard, the story weaves around missing antiquities and revenge for past sins.

I found the ending really worked, and every box was ticked to give a satisfactory conclusion. This book is probably not for you if you like high-action and gore, or dark and complex, and although I shudder at the over-used term of ‘cosy crime’ there is a comfortable feel here that carried me though the novel in the author’s capable hands.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Agatha Christie, MC Beaton and Greek isles.

Avoid if you don’t like: Whodunnit-style mysteries and razor-sharp female amateur detectives.

Ideal accompaniments: Feta cheese salad, with olives and balsamic vinegar, followed by a couple of glasses of ouzo.

Genre: Crime Fiction.

Available from Amazon.

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