Saturday, February 11, 2023

Invitation to a Killer - Augusta Hawke #2

Invitation to a Killer is the second Augusta Hawke mystery by G.M. Malliet. Released 7th Feb 2023 by Severn House, it's 240 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats.

This is a quirky amateur sleuth mystery told in first person PoV featuring mystery writer Augusta in the starring role. It's set in modern day Washington DC and has a cast of well known socialites, philanthropists, and politicians in a sort of locked room murder setup, where the first murder occurs. 

The writing is competent and the plotting is well controlled and moves at a good clip. I found the *constant* unrelenting internal monologue on the part of the protagonist to be intrusive and a detraction to the flow of the read. It reminded me a bit of the full on snarkiness of the M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin books, and readers who love the Beaton books will find a lot to like here.

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 8 hours, 36 minutes and is competently narrated by Erin Dion. She has a husky and pleasant alto voice with a neutral American accent. She has a good grasp of timbre and inflection and, in a positive way, her voice doesn't take over the read. I found myself able to listen to the *book* without noticing her *voice* overmuch. She does an ok job differentiating the various characters without being confusing or repetitive. I listened at slightly increased speed and never found my interest wandering or losing my place.

Three and a half stars. Definitely worth a look for fans of tongue-in-cheek sarcastic amateur sleuth mysteries.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.  

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