Cover Image: Death in Cornwall

Death in Cornwall

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Member Reviews

Having recently reviewed two mysteries set on the English coast in the past six months it seemed perfect timing to enjoy the audiobook edition of A Death in Cornwall. This is the fourth book in a series which the author has decided to revisit after quite a long pause. It was worth the wait.

DCI Arthur St. Just of the Cambridge police is on holiday in Cornwall with his fiancée Portia De’Ath a Cambridge scholar and well-known mystery writer. Amid the picturesque seaside cottages of Maidsell there is growing tension between newcomers who have snapped up property to let to outside vacationers and traditional Cornish fishermen and village folk. Shortly after arriving in the village the couple witness an angry meeting reflecting conflicting interests over building a new jetty for local fishermen. Lord Bodwally’s recent entry into the peerage and acquisition of a stately home has further shaken up affairs in the village. Lively dialogue and humorous, often tongue-in-cheek observations about the locals contrast with the author’s evocative descriptions of coastal Cornwall including its interesting rock formations and caves. All of this is layered within a challenging mystery investigation for the visiting sleuths. This latest installment is enjoyable without having read the first three books in the series yet prompts the reader to seek out more from the author. On the other hand, I really did take issue with the narrator's portrayal of St. Just who always seemed to speak with his voice raised in irritation. I am aware that earlier St. Just novels had a different narrator. In the end, it was not enough to keep me from listening to the full book which did have a very satisfying ending.
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I ended up enjoying this book despite finding it a little hard to get into at first. I'm familiar with the characters - the cop St Just and his partner, crime writer Portia - and it was nice to revisit them again.
In this novel, they are on holiday but inevitably get sucked into a murder investigation.
The book may be a bit slow to get going for some readers. Initially, I worried that I was just reading it to get it out of the way rather than because I was actually interested! But it does draw the reader in.
The descriptions of the characters and setting are well done, and once the mystery gets going it gets much more interesting.
There are a host of dubious and suspicious characters in the village where St Just and Portia are supposedly holidaying, with a huge row over a fishing issue going on and setting everyone at odds with each other. It makes for a very believable story, and is good at getting across what it's like to be stuck in a place with quite a small town mentality.
As St Just gets sucked into helping with the investigation, Portia is a little absent from the story, which I found a shame as I feel she's such a good character. 
But overall, I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it as a good bit of well written escapism.
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So happy that G.M. Malliet has come back with a fourth entry in the St. Just series.  DCI Arthur St. Just and his fiance Portia are in Cornwall for a holiday, but it turns out to be a busman's holiday when several murders in the village of Maidsfell  find St. Just helping local police to figure out the mystery. A great read.
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Gorgeous cover and fabulous storyline!  The characters were each unique; there was a lord, fishers, a Michelin starred restaurant, a Hawaiian shirt wearing curate...all such fun. The mystery was intriguing and the conclusion was satisfying. Additionally, our hero and heroine are such a lovely couple. Recommend 4 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I spent this frozen foggy evening reading this cozy mystery and enjoyed it! This is 4th in the series but it can be read out of order. I loved the coastal town in Cornwall setting, but it took me a bit to get all the characters straight and find my rhythm with this authors writing. I did enjoy the main characters and because this was more of a police procedural, I think it would make a great BBC series. 

Thank you Netgalley, Canongate Books, and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Endearing Protagonists…
The long awaited fourth in the St Just mysteries and as delightful as ever as a trip to Maidsfell finds villagers in uproar and potentially dirty dealings afoot. With endearing protagonists, red herrings aplenty and a colourful cast of supporting characters, not to mention a perfect backdrop, this is a dryly witty and quirky read and a fitting addition to the series.
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Death in Cornwall by G. M. Malliet is a great traditional mystery that is the newest book in the : A St. Just Mystery.

This is the first book I have read in this series, but I enjoyed it so much that I am going to pick up the previous two books. I was easily able to follow along and find out who was who and their backgrounds. 

I loved the setting: blustery, scenic, picturesque, yet imperfect Cornwall…wouldn't have it any other way. Yet, there is a darker layer beneath the wonderful location…a death of a local aristocrat. Arthur St. Just and his fiance, Portia had attempted to escape Cambridge and holiday in a wonderful seaside village…but a murder/mystery ensues and culprits have to be found and put to justice. 

I enjoyed the plot, murder/mystery elements, the character cast, and the dialogue/banter/wit. 

Easy to follow, read, and enjoy. I am looking forward to following this series. 

4/5 stars 

Thank you NG and Canongate Books/Severn House for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. 

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/4/22.
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I first want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my eARC in exchange for my honest review.  Years ago l happened upon G. M. Malliet’s Max Tudor mystery novels.  I devoured each and was drawn by their quint essential english mystery styling.  I somehow never did get around to reading the St.Just series, but after enjoying this edition l will now read the series.  As l have read in another review l think these would make excellent novels to be adapted to a British TV series.
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It was supposed to be a week of rest and recreation for DCI Arthur St. Just and his fiancée Portia, a professor of criminology and author.  The cottage is in the village of Maidsfell, where there is a major dispute between the local fishermen who need to improve the port’s access and the villagers opposed to any alteration of the seafront that might affect tourism.  One member of the opposition is Lord Bodwally.  A few days after witnessing a heated town meeting, Lord Bodwally is found murdered and St. Just’s vacation becomes a busman’s holiday.

While St. Just is from Cambridge, his old partner is in charge of the investigation and welcomes St. Just’s help.  The coroner found poison in the victim’s system that came from a fish that is rarely found  in the area but it was a stabbing that ended his life.  The poison indicates that one of the fishermen may be involved, but suspicion also falls on Morwenna, owner of a local restaurant, as well as another restaurateur who was a partner with the victim.  Bodwally also had a reputation with the women and his relationships did not often end well.  When an explosion destroys the boat of a suspect who is also found murdered, St. Just must take another look at the suspects and motives.

G.M. mallet brings Maidsfell to life.  It is a village full of secrets that barely survived the Plague Times, a reference to COVID.  They depend on the income from the tourists who come to see the Fourteen Maidens, a circle of stones that stand on the nearby cliffs.  The Maidens are tended by Sybil Gosling, a follower of Wiccan ways, who is dismissed by the villagers, but who observes more than they know.  A romance novelist, a popular reality TV star, a gallery owner and the widowed curate of the local church all have. Ties to Bodwally and secrets that slowly come to light.  With beautiful descriptions of Cornwall, entertaining characters and some unexpected twists, Death in Cornwall is an absolute delight.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Severn House Publishers for providing this book for my review.
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Death in Cornwall by G. M. Malliet.
St Just mystery Book 4.
To celebrate their engagement, DCI Arthur St. Just and Portia De’Ath visit the quiet village of Maidsfell in Cornwall. Upon arriving they find the villagers in an uproar over plans to redevelop the local seafront.
A really enjoyable read.  Great story and plot. I liked Portia. She was my favourite.  4*.
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When Detective Chief Inspector Arthur  St Just and his fiancée Portia, a Cambridge academic, take a break in Cornwall, they hope for nothing more than relaxation and good food. What awaits them is a village at war. Those making a living need to see changes, but the incomers want to keep its picturesque charm. When one of their number dies in violent circumstances St Just is dragged in to help. Is the death linked to the fight between the fisherman and the new villagers? Or is there more to the story? Portia and Arthur must find out quickly before it’s too late.

‘Death In Cornwall’ has the feeling of a classic mystery but with a modern day twist.  Set as it is in a small village,  it also has the closed set feel of a country house mystery. I found the two main characters, St Just and Portia, engaging, intelligent and relatable. The writing was wonderfully descriptive, and I was transported to the Cornish coast for a delightful few hours. 
I really enjoyed it. 

I was given this ARC to review.
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Death in Cornwall takes DCI St. Just of the Cambridge Constabulary, and his fiancee Portia to a small coastal village in Cornwall to celebrate their engagement.  Murder happens, and St. Just is (almost without hesitation)  involved in the investigation.  Portia plays her part of nosy side-kick, and almost pays a heavy price.

The setting is interesting, and the role that the Covid pandemic plays in the plot was novel.  (The author’s treatment of the pandemic as a past event was a little ironic, reading the book in the midst of the current surge, though.)

I enjoyed the books and went back and picked up the previous novels in the series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A cozy Murder mystery set in Cornwall, what’s not to love? The writing is purely stunning and as I was reading this I constantly had waves crashing in my head and the sounds of the coast. Great read, highly recommend
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G. M. Malliet is one of my favorite authors. I love her Max Tudor series, but it had been several years since I had read the St. Just series. In this book, St. Just, who is a DCI in Cambridge, and his fiancee Portia are vacationing in a village in Cornwall. Death in Cornwall is one of the first books I have read that really had Covid and the pandemic as a major point of the plot. As in other places, during the pandemic, wealthy Londoners bought second homes in Cornwall, which has increased the cost of living and caused tension between the village natives and the new folk. Specifically, the fishermen want to built a new jetty and the tourists are against anything that will disrupt the view. One of the most vocal opponents is Lord Bodwally, who is murdered. 

There is a whole cast of characters, from the reality TV star and a pagan who tends the area stone circle , to the owner of the gastropub to the church vicar. Malliet is wonderful as fleshing out characters and location. I laughed at the opening when a flock of sheep block the road (so true). What decreased my score from a four star to a three store was the ending. I didn't think the reader had enough information to determine the villain, let alone the motive. But Death in Cornwall is a quick, entertaining read. Definitely give it a try.
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I'm a huge fan of GM Malliet, but hadn't come across this series before. Although it's not the first book, it stands alone just fine - but I will definitely be going back to the beginning to start the series and find out how the delightful Portia De'ath and DI St Just met.

This book finds them at the engagement point in their relationship, taking a well-deserved break to the beautiful county of Cornwall. As in any cosy, death follows them and they are drawn into helping resolve the mystery surrounding the murder. Smugglers caves, a down-at-the-heels Lord of the Manor, quirky and eccentric villagers, and the seaside beauty of Cornwall amongst others all combine to throw up distractions and clues for the DI and his patient fiancee. He's drawn in despite himself, and the tricky investigation is satisfactorily resolved.

Highly recommended for both a light and enjoyable read, as well as a clever and satisfying resolution to a well-done mystery.
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Poor Arthur St Just. All he wants is a lovely holiday in Cornwall with his fiancee Portia. The village is rife with hard feelings. The fishermen want a car park and a dock to pull in to. The weekenders don't want their views "ruined." The businesses that depend on the tourist dollar are pulled both ways. St Just is happy to stay out of it all. He is still finding it hard to believe that Portia has agreed to marry him, and feels a bit insecure when a younger, buff actor is also on holiday in town. To make matters worse, he's actually a very nice guy.  St Just has to help out when a murder is committed and the local police need his help. It is a delight to watch him seesaw between thoughtful, cool professional and worried fiance'
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Development, no matter where is is, arouses passions but murder?  Arthur St. Just and his fiancé Portia D'eath thought they would have a peaceful escape to a small Cornwall village but no, they've landed in the middle of a controversy and then a murder.  Lord Bodwally wasn't well liked in Maidsfell, especially after he opposed a plan that will help the local fishing fleet- but that wasn't the only reason someone wanted him gone.  Just finds himself investigating (and sharing with Portia). While the underlying plot is a familiar one for cozy fans, it's enlivened by the setting in Cornwall and the characters (oh the characters!) Just meets.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. It's a good read- even if you like me0 have not read the earlier books.
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I am so glad I picked this book up. It is the fourth in a series but it did no matter that I had not read the previous ones. I quickly got to know DCI Arthur St. Just and his fiancee, Portia De'Ath (what great names!) and enjoyed them enormously.

In Death in Cornwall the pair are on holiday from their home in Cambridge. Of course, as in any good cosy, death follows them wherever they go and they are quickly embroiled in investigating the murder of the local lord. I enjoyed St. Just's calm, organised approach to solving the crime and also the way De'Ath acted as a sounding board for his theories but also made herself scarce when he was busy investigating.

In fact I enjoyed it so much I am definitely going to read books 1-3.
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This is a good, cozy police procedural featuring Arthur St. Just and Portia De'Arcy. It is the fourth in the series and takes place in a picturesque coastal town in Cornwall. St. Just is the kind of policeman you hope solves any case involving you. He is dedicated to truth, fairness, and getting to the bottom of things. Portia is his fiance and while she is a criminologist as well as an author of mystery novels, she is not a major part of the investigation. Rather, she is travelling with St. Just for a week's vacation and takes on the role of listener as he explains what he has learned.

There are numerous quirky characters as well who add color and depth to the story and range from Sybil, the wiccan-like woman who is the self-appointed guardian of the stone circle called the Fourteen Maidens, to Morween who is a gourmet chef and owner of a local high end pub. All these side characters are fully developed and add to the overall atmosphere of the book.

The book's emphasis is on the intellectual solving of the crime rather than physical confrontation. The town of Maidswell provides a charming background and an opportunity to "see" and enjoy some of Cornwall.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes cozy mysteries. I received an advanced copy of this book for review from Poisoned Pen Press.
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This is a well-written engaging mystery in the classic English style that works so very well. 
DCI Arthur St. Just and his fiancé Portia De’Ath are taking a well-deserved holiday In Cornwall they check into a cottage with idyllic views and venture out to a restaurant run by Morwenna who suggests that they go to the town meeting about a contentious issue in town and they do go and thus it begins. Both factors are well represented and tempers flare emotions rage between the opposing factors and at the center of it all is Lord Bodwally who is, it would seem, universally hated. He invites Arthur and Portia to his mansion and wants her to help him with the book he’s writing they go the next day and while there and they arrange to meet with him again the following day so he and Portia can discuss his book but when they arrive, instead of an effusive Lord they find a body he’s been murdered but, by whom? 
DCI Just is asked by the local DCI with whom he was worked before to assist with the case. Together they work to solve a difficult case there is a fascinating cast of characters many of whom apparently have motives and the web of suspects becomes larger and more tangled will the two DCIs solve it? Is it the romance author? One of the restaurant owners? The embittered fisherman? The reality TV star? Someone seeking revenge on Lord Bodwally for money lost when he canceled all rentals for weddings and other events. Methodically step by step, frame by frame, clue by clue they work together to find the murderer. There are enough twists and turns clues, smoke screens, distractions, and miscues to keep the reader guessing until the very end. And what an ending it is. 
This is one of those books that you wish wouldn’t end as you really don’t want to leave the village or the characters.
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