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The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

Expected publication: March 9th 2021 by HarperAudio, William Morrow

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was a very different mystery story. The Windsor Knot is the first instalment in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties. It was a bit of a cozy mystery, with the Queen involved in solving the mystery, but her trusted secretary is also involved and she is ex-military, so definitely not amateur. The story opens with a guest in Windsor Castle being found dead in his room. It initially looks like a suicide, but it turns out he was murdered. When her loyal servants are being investigated and suspected of the crime, she begins her own investigation, because she knows they would not have killed anyone. It seems that the Queen has been living a double life since her coronation and no one can find out. She depends on Roz, her secretary, to follow her clues and directions in order to keep her secret.

This is an enjoyable and unique murder mystery which grabbed me from start and kept me there until the end. I loved the idea that the proper Queen Elizabeth II was solving crimes. She was kind, smart, had a keen sense of observation and deduction. I loved Roz, in fact I think I liked her the best in the story. She was the one with boots on the ground and she was amazing. The plot was well-written and the characters well-developed. This story is a wonderful and clever read that I definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a mystery with a twist. The audiobook was narrated by Jane Copland. I think she gave a perfect performance of this book. Her accent and pacing accentuated what is an entertaining story. I loved the voice she gave the queen with that haughty tone yet friendly when that was called for. A wonderful overall performance. I was gifted a copy of this book upon request. The rating and ideas shared are my own.

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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Lesley Manville (Narrator)

Published September 22nd 2020 by Penguin Audio, Pamela Dorman Books

3.5 stars:

This was another book about mature characters which I seem to be reading a lot of this year, and enjoying as well. This story is about a group of characters, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, who live in a retirement village. They get together every Thursday and try to solve old cold cases. When an actual murder occurs in their village, they take the opportunity to try and solve this present day case. Elizabeth is the organizer of the group, she has a background in crime solving. It is her friend Penny, an ex-detective, whose cases they are trying to solve each week. She has some contacts that she is able to tap into to assist in their investigations as well. Ibrahim is a retired psychiatrist, Ron is a retired union boss and Joyce is a retired nurse. Joyce is the narrator of the story.

This was a difficult review to write. Most people have loved this book and I had some issues with it. First, I listened to the audiobook. Now, don’t get me wrong, the narrator was wonderful, but for me, this was not a good book to listen to. There were a lot of characters and a lot of information at the beginning of this story. I had to keep rewinding it because I had missed an important detail. Once I got to know who was who and where they fit in to the story, I became more invested. As the story progresses, there is another murder to solve and as they investigate, they find some tie ins to some older, cold cases. How does all this fit together? I found this to be a rather complicated plot with a lot happening and I had to check back often to verify things. There were a lot of suspects and several clues and read herrings. It was interesting to see how things fit together as the story progressed. This was a good story, with some enjoyable characters, but I felt the plot was just a bit too convoluted for me to listen too. If I continue with this series, I will read it, not listen to it.