Friday 25 November 2022

BLOG TOUR: A Murder at the Castle - Chris McGeorge

King Eric is dead. And when the motive is succession, murder is a family affair...


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During a violent snowstorm, the Royal Family gather at the Castle for a traditional Christmas together. Amid rumours that he plans to name a new successor, King Eric stands to make his traditional after-dinner speech. He sips from a glass of his favourite whisky - and drops dead.

The king has been poisoned, and only one of the royals could have done the deed. Trapped by the raging blizzard, it is up to Eric's beloved head chef, Jonathan Alleyne, to play detective and get to the bottom of this heinous crime.

Jon is determined to expose the truth, even if it puts him in grave danger, and threatens to shake the entire monarchy to its core...

What did I think?

A Murder at the Castle is great fun; it's very entertaining with a colourful cast of privileged characters who would kill to get their hands on the crown.  

Set in Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, it's very atmospheric with snow falling heavily on Christmas Day.  Chris McGeorge's writing is so vivid that I found it very easy to visualise the grounds and interior of the castle.

The cast of characters is brilliant and I loved the chef, Jon.  Jon has a lot on his hands on the biggest day of the year as King Eric has given Christmas Day off to all of his staff except his chef and head of security.  Jon has prepared King Eric's final meal as the King drops down dead after drinking his after dinner whisky.  As they are completely isolated due to the snowstorm, the royal family turn to Jon to investigate.

It's very reminiscent of Agatha Christie with every character having a motive: the King was about to name his successor.  I suspected all of them, as I was meant to, but I was still surprised as the full story was revealed.  I liked the idea that the characters are supposed to be the descendants of Edward VIII, in an alternative history where Edward VIII was never forced to abdicate, but I didn't really feel this came through in the story and I quickly forgot about it.

A Murder at the Castle is an entertaining cosy mystery and a great book to read during winter as the snow falls and Christmas lights twinkle.  I enjoyed it and could totally imagine it being made into a festive film in the future.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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