‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ by Isobel Blackthorn


When feature writer Ruth Finlay and her elderly neighbor Doris Cleaver visit an antique and collectibles market in the small town of Myrtle Bay, they get a lot more than they bargained for.

After Ruth’s old tennis coach is found dead, they discover that there’s no lack of people who harbor a grudge against the victim, and a tangled web of family ties and lies begins to unravel. But can Ruth and Doris find the killer in time to avert a second murder?

My Review

I have been a fan of Isobel’s work for a while now. I haven’t caught up with every book that she has written, which is something that I hope to rectify soon. I read the synopsis of ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’, which is the first book in the series featuring Ruth Finlay, and I thought that it sounded just like the cosy mystery sort of book that I have come to enjoy. I couldn’t wait to start reading and so I dived straight in. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ but more about that in a bit.

What can I say about Ruth Finlay and Doris Cleaver, who is an OAP and is also Ruth’s next door neighbour? Well firstly who needs Cagney and Lacey when we have Finlay and Cleaver! I absolutely adored this new accidental detective duo. They are not only next door neighbours but they are firm friends too. There is definitely a tight bond between them. Ruth is a feature writer for a publication and Doris is enjoying her retirement. Both decide to attend a local antiques fair because Doris has got it into her head that she has to buy a specific item. However there’s a murder and Ruth and Doris can’t help but become involved in the investigation to find the perpetrator. Can the feisty females solve the crime? Well for the answer to that question and so much more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you.

As soon as I stared reading ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’, I knew that I was in for a treat and that I wouldn’t be doing anything else other than reading for the rest of the day. It’s fair to say that I was spot on in both cases. To say that reading ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ became addictive is like saying that I like eating cake – in other words a huge understatement. I initially picked this book up only intending to read a couple of chapters but I became so wrapped up in the investigation and in the characters’ lives that I was still sat there reading a couple of hours later. I loved Ruth and Doris and I had to keep reading to see if they managed to solve the case and whether or not they were actually putting themselves in danger. The more of the book that I read, the more I wanted to read and the quicker the pages seemed to turn. I seemed to race through the story and I soon got to the end. I found ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ to be a gripping cosy mystery that certainly kept me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ is superbly written and then some. Isobel has one of those easy going writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. In fact reading this book felt more like a chat between friends rather than reading an actual book. I hope that makes sense. In Ruth and Doris, Isobel has created two adorable characters who are impossible to dislike. For me the story hit the ground running and maintained a steady pace throughout. This book had a bit of everything within its pages – yes there was drama and intrigue but there was also a fair bit of humour within the book. I found myself often having a little chuckle to myself as I was reading about Ruth and Doris’s shenanigans. I love the way in which Isobel makes the reader feel as though they are part of the story themselves and at the heart of the action. That’s how I felt anyway.

In short, I adored reading ‘Murder In Myrtle Bay’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I will certainly be reading more of Isobel’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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