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Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg

Published December 29th 2020 by Park Row, Harlequin Audio

About the Book (Goodreads): The letter was short. A name, a time, a place.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder plunges readers into the heart of London, to the secret tunnels that exist far beneath the city streets. There, a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries use their cunning and gadgets to solve crimes that have stumped Scotland Yard.

Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant for Miss Brickett’s named Michelle White receives a letter warning her that a heinous act is about to occur. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see—her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.

Almost unwillingly, Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself being drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and mentor is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII. Masterful, clever and deliciously suspenseful, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a fresh take on the Agatha Christie—style locked-room mystery with an exciting new heroine detective at the helm. 

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder

3.5 stars:

It’s 1958, and 23 year old Marion has just begun a new job at what everyone thinks is a book store. It is actually a front for a group called the Inquirers, mysterious detectives who operate beneath the city of London. Shortly after starting this job, she finds out that her grandmother has sold her home and is moving to the U.S. Marion does not want to leave London, so fortunately is able to move into a small apartment/room in the building where she works. It is at that time that her friend and mentor is placed on house arrest for killing a co-worker. Marian is privy to some information that she is not supposed to have, but it leads her on a quest to find the true murderer and free her mentor.

This story led into some very unexpected directions. There was some James Bond type pieces of equipment to use, as well as some serious spying and evil. I was not as engrossed in this story as I would have liked to be. There were several characters that blended together for me as well as a rather convoluted plot with some meandering chapters that did not add to my interest. When the story was about halfway through, it did get more interesting and I was able to enjoy the ending of the story. Marion is a great character. She is extremely smart and is able to put clues together and figure things out. I am not sure if the introduction of the series caused it to have some slower periods or if this is the way the series will go. I will definitely try the next book in the series to find out as I did enjoy the premise of secret societies, alternate history, amateur sleuthing and the James Bond vibe. The audiobook was narrated by Karen Cass. This is the first book I have listened to with this narrator and I very much enjoyed it. Her expression and tone added much to this story. I was gifted a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.