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Member Reviews

I Really enjoyed the suspense in this book and kept me hooked all through

Invited to Greystone Manor Ursula Smart , her mother and their book club they soon are on edge as something just does not seem right, the phones are not working, the road is flooded and when a gunshot rings out they know that they are all sitting ducks
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The Club is new to me and I might have lost something in having no idea about the backgrounds of the characters. Three Smart women, but Smart in name only - mother Pandora, her sister Charlotte and daughter Ursula. They are invited to a "safari supper" by the new upstart owners of Greystoke Castle and this involves having a dinner course at each of several homes in the village. We have Lord and Lady Black, Elzevir is half way to being drunk at the start and there's lots of snide comments between him and his lady; they all move out and on to the homes of complete historical anoraks, witches/goths/druids, a magician and the local Reverend. The courses are bizarre and the locals even more so, and all are thoroughly unpleasant. I see no humour or wit in the book at all. Elzevir gets more and more drunk and the comments more and more nasty. The weather is horrendous and they seem to be prancing through a dark village in scarves and cardies with one torch between them. Pity they didn't all die of pneumonia. Elzevir is also a prankster so our introduction to him is finding him apparently dead in his castle. Needless to say, when his body turns up between the two portculli of his castle (for which the remote is lost!) no-one believes he's dead. And we mustn't forget that Ursula keeps seeing, and talking to, her dead father in the corner of her bedroom.  The only character I felt sorry for was the bald Sphinx cat being dragged around with his 'mommy'. The descriptions of a very wet West Country are good and that is the only reason I've given it two stars. Thanks to NetGalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This was my first encounter of this author and the series but the story stood as a standalone.  This was an enjoyable read to while away a few hours.  It is not my usual genre but I really did enjoy it and now will go back to read the others in the series. 

I was given an advance copy by the publishers and netgalley but the review is entirely my own.
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I was very excited to read this book because I love whodunnit mysteries, but sadly I couldn’t finish this book. It moved very slowly and the dialogue didn’t flow very well. Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this e-ARC.
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The Supper Club Murders by Victoria Dowd is a cozy mystery following the Smart women as they go to Greystone Castle for a supper safari. They encounter murder along the way and must figure out which of the villagers are the culprit. 

I usually love cozy mysteries, but unfortunately this one wasn't for me. I found the book took quite a long time to get to murder and plot. There was also a huge cast of villagers and I found it hard to keep them straight at times. I also found the dialog mostly bickering and that started to get a bit frustrating as the book progressed. I will say though that Victoria Dowd's narration at times in this book is beautiful and would have loved to see more of that! It does make me curious to try another book of hers in the future. 

Read an eARC courtesy of Netgalley, Joffe Books Publishing, and the author. Thank you for the opportunity!

Rating: 2 Stars
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An atmospheric who dunnit murder mystery, easy read, but not enough twists and turns for me.  I am assuming more books in the series so might be an idea to read the others first to get a feel for the characters.
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This is one of my favourite new(er) series. A tip of the hat to Agatha Christie and locked room murders, they are always dark and atmospheric, and very uncomfortable for the characters. This, the third one in the series, also plays a 'real life' game of Clue (Cluedo). It's very cleverly done.

There's humour, sniping, misery, a number of well-drawn and eccentric villagers, and the storey moved along quickly.

I don't think I'll ever tire of this series. The mysteries are complex and clever, and I find myself reading carefully and *still* missing clues. This mystery was especially well done, looping back on itself and making the reader triple guess the murderer. Someone else said that it would lend itself well to a TV adaptation, and I would definitely agree with that - I'd love to see the BBC get their hands on this! In the meantime, however, I'll have to wait for the next book in the series.
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Overall, this was a quick, quirky murder mystery.  It took me exactly 50% through the book to really start getting into it.  I had trouble keeping track of all the characters and who is who to be honest with you.  The lead up to the first murder was slightly drawn out, and I found myself asking, what is going on, a few times.  Once we got into the murders and the extremely creative causes of death, I was hooked!  This book definitely gave off Clue vibes which is a favorite of mine so that was the best part for me!
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Ursula Smart, her mother, Pandora, and members of their book club are gathering at Greystone Castle to attend a “supper safari”. It is truly a dark and dreary night.  The rain is relentless, roads are impassable due to flooding, and phones are inoperable.  As the night goes on, the murders begin and Ursula and Pandora are caught in the middle.

As I read The Supper Club Murders I could almost see this story play out in a BBC film. The atmosphere of the ancient castle, the quirky characters, the foul weather, and, of course, the inventive murders. The story begins a bit slowly but it picks up the pace and the end includes several twists that make it very enjoyable.  The characters are quirky, a bit over the top and, in a few cases, a little weird.  I found it to be mildly humorous but, mostly, I thought some of the characters were fairly unlikable, and the addition of Ursula’s issues with her father, who appears as a ghost, didn’t seem to fit in very well.  Nevertheless, since I wanted to know how it ended, I felt compelled to finish the book.  The last third moved quickly and the twists were worth the wait.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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This is the 3rd in the series but I hadn't read any of the previous books. I think if you wanted to go back it would have given away a lot of spoilers.

The book wasn't quite what I was imagining - the protagonist seeing her dad as  a ghost for one. 

The characters didn't quite click for me and the lead up to the murder could have been cut. It was 45% of the way in before the murder happened and so it felt quite rushed at the end as to who had done it and I thought it was all rather obvious.

Thank you for the advanced ready copy.
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The third in the series of the Smart ladies murders, I thoroughly enjoyed this locked room romp through the villages, its unsavoury residents and historically inspired deaths.  The characters are hilarious and their cutting wit and dark humour is skillfully used.  Particularly enjoyed the denouement, good use of Chekov's  smoking gun and Ursula showing her workings out. Clues and double bluffs are everywhere...
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The Supper Club Murders is book 3 in Victoria Dowd's Smart Women's Mystery series.

Lord and Lady Black are living in Greystone Castle, having bought their titles and have invited Ursula Smart, her mother, Pandora, and Aunt Charlotte to the supper safari they are hosting. It'll be a break for Pandora from her true crime blog, called Death Smarts. Lord Black is also known as Lord Elzevir and he married Lady Black who was Marsha Mould, meeting her through their book club. The guests go on a tour around in the inclement weather, stopping to eat at different places and then the bodies start piling up...

Set in a picturesque Dartmoor village in southwest England, the author gives the reader a great atmosphere of bleakness and isolation in a beautiful locale. The mystery was very well done with lots of simmering resentment ready to boil over. A compelling, creepy and multilayered tale enriched with sarcasm and humour.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Joffe Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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It wasn't a bad little book. I liked the idea of it and the way they solved the mysteries together. I also thought it had elements of tounge in cheek comedy which breaks up all the murdery bits. The pacing was a bit slow at times.  

However I didn't realize that this was part of a series. There were things that I didn't understand and didn't realize they were references to the other books until I looked it up. That's my fault and really recommend reading the others first, but it wasn't terrible on its own.
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Victoria Dowd has done it again. I can't imagine I shall ever tire of reading about these ladies, I think it would actually be perfect for a TV adaptation. I enjoyed the thoroughly diverse murders, certainly not things you read about everyday; I also liked the little nod to Cluedo. I was absolutely shocked at the last death which goes to show no-one is safe and the last few sentences have me so excited to read the next installment.

*Thanks to NetGalley, Joffe Books and Victoria Dowd for the copy of this book. All views are my own.*
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Ursula Smart gets an invitation for a supper safari at a fancy castle, together with her old book club friends. What could possibly go wrong at this creepy remote location? 🤔

I got this book as soon as I read the synopsis. I was so intrigued. 
Only afterwards did I realize it was the third book in a series. 😅
The story was clear enough, I did not need the background information of the previous two.

That said, let's talk. 😬
I was really feeling a good whodunnit. But it took a loooong time to get there. 
The first dead body drops fairly deep into the story, and that was quite disappointing. 😔

The characters: I just could not keep them apart. In the conversation I practically never knew who was talking. Also the aunt was a strange character. 😒

The solving of the murder could have gone smoother. All of that meandering and not getting to the point, goodness me. 🙄
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Ursula Smart and her mother, Pandora, are invited to a supper safari at Greystone Castle, with their ever-adventurous book club. Their hosts are Lord and Lady Black, who bought their titles and have taken up residence in the castle at the edge of a picturesque Dartmoor village. But the quaint, idyllic façade soon fades as festering resentments begin to surface. Ursula and Pandora sense all is not well at Greystone. And when the Midnight Gun fires, their suspicions are proved right. Death is all around them in this ancient castle — in the priest hole, the murder hole, on the ducking stool. The Smart women race to solve a seemingly impossible murder, even as the body count rises. This book is a fun, classic, locked-room mystery with fabulous quirky characters and lots od red herrings. I am looking forward to further adventures with this great mother-daughter team on the case! Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
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Oh heck what is not to love. Murder mystery locked rooms, who do you trust, what does that mean. It throws every single thing I love into one book. Did I add isolation and menace. Just blooming great!
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I greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish this book. I just couldn't get into it. I really tried but didn't even make it half way through. I always try to push through and I will try and pick this up again in a little bit. At this time I will not be leaving a review on my Instagram or blog as I would really like to try and give it another go. I will definitely change my review if I'm able to get through it after a second chance.
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A wonderful whodunnit packed full of twists and turns. This book leads you up many wrong alleyways of predictions and assumptions. The characters are fun and fanciful. There is an underlying serious theme of murder but this does not get in the way of lots of laugh out loud moments. The author has got the balance of language just right. Not too flowery but with some magnificent nuggets of prose that capture the reader’s imagination. This book kept me guessing right up till the end. The only regret I have is that I realised too late, that this is the third book in the series and whilst it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book, I think I would have benefited by reading the previous two beforehand to better understand the references made to them. A dark comedy, with a twist, if you loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, then this is surely the grown up version for those who enjoy clean and wholesome suspense.
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I wasn't a fan of The Smart Woman's Guide to Murder but I thoroughly enjoyed this one as it's intriguing, fast paced and full of twists.
I liked the humour and the character development. The solid mystery kept me guessing
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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