Blog Tour: THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Victoria Dowd #crimefiction #bookreview #bookstagram @joffebooks

Today I am thrilled to share my review of A SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Victoria Dowd as part of the Blog Tour.  This is a twisty turny murder mystery with a hint of humour that I really enjoyed reading.

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder

– Victoria Dowd
Format: Kindle
Publisher – JOFFE BOOKS crime thrillers and mysteries
Publication Date – 6th May 2020
Genre – Crime Fiction

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A faded country house in the middle of nowhere.

The guests are snowed in.

The murders begin.

Ursula Smart (not her real name) gate-crashes her mother’s book club at an isolated country house for a long weekend retreat. Joining them are Mother’s best friend, Mirabelle, Aunts Charlotte and Less, and Bridget with her dog Mr Bojangles. It doesn’t matter that they’ve read Gone Girl three times this year already. But someone has other ideas.

A body is found in the grounds.

Is a lone killer hunting them? Or has one of their own group embarked on a killing spree?

What they need is a guide to survive.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz, Liane Moriarty, Faith Martin, Frances Lloyd and Stuart Turton.

My Review

Ursula was there when her Dad died and is left traumatised.  She lives with her domineering mother, Pandora.  They set off to a Book Club retreat at a mansion house in the middle of nowhere along with Joy (nicknamed Less),  Mirabelle, Charlotte (Pandora’s sister), Bridget and her dog named Mr Bojangles.  They arrive to be met by Mr and Mrs Angel an elderly couple who are employed by the missing owner.

The 6 women don’t really like each other which brings humour to the story.  Bridget is expecting the book club retreat to involve discussion of the book but the women don’t seem to want to do that.  The first evening’s entertainment is a fortune teller which doesn’t go down too well with some.  As the snow begins to fall the women realise they are stranded in a house in the middle of nowhere with very strange hosts and no way of communicating with the outside world – then they find the dead body of the fortune teller who is revealed to be someone Pandora and Ursula know from their past.

In a twisty turny journey the women try to work out who killed the fortune teller.  It has to be one of them or the Angels.  Then there is another tragedy.

This is not a fast paced book but it is intriguing.  I had each of the women tagged as guilty several times before changing my mind and choosing a different one only to find that was wrong too.  Very unique characters some I didn’t like some I found plain annoying but they all worked to make this a gripping read and I found myself turning page after page.

Victoria Dowd author bio

After graduating from Cambridge, Victoria was a criminal law barrister on the London circuit for many years, where many of her cases were much stranger than fiction.

Victoria is now an award winning writer, having won the Go Gothic Short Story Award for 2019. She has had short fiction published in places such as Aesthetica: A Review of Contemporary Artists and was chosen as the runner up in The New Writer’s writer of the year award. Her work was Highly Commended by The Writers’ Forum and long-listed for The Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition. She has had short stories published in the BTS Literary and Arts Annual, Dream Catcher arts journal and Gold Dust Literary Magazine.

Victoria lives with her husband and two children. She writes full time, splitting her time between London and Devon, where she can indulge her passion for all things Agatha Christie.




Author Website:

Twitter:  @victoria_dowd
Instagram: @dowdvictoria

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