Invitation to a Killer
by G.M. Malliet
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Pub Date 07 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2023
Crime writer turned sleuth, Augusta Hawke finds herself drawn into her second mystery when a celebrity doctor is found dead at a party she is attending!
Callie Moore is no ordinary aspiring writer. Notorious wife of a Washington lobbyist, Callie believes no publicity is bad publicity and that publishing her scandalous memoirs will help her achieve her heart's desire: a diplomatic posting. She just needs crime novelist Augusta Hawke to be her ghostwriter.
It's hard to say no to Callie, but Augusta does agree to attend her dinner party. The guest list is impressive, and it's Augusta's chance to meet celebrity doctor Doc Burke. But before Augusta really gets a chance to chat with the famous humanitarian, the evening ends in his untimely death.
Signs point to a heart attack, but Augusta isn't convinced. Especially when his niece tells Augusta about the mystery woman who claimed the doctor's remains.
Augusta decides to host a writers' retreat and invite all the suspects, most of whom are connected in some way with writing. Isn't that what Agatha Christie would do? But the remote lodge soon becomes snowed in and the group starts to crack when it becomes clear the killer may not be finished killing. Can Augusta flush out the culprit before anyone else gets hurt?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 17 members
The second book in the Augusta Hawke series by G.M.Malliet does not disappoint. The storyline and characters are intriguing and keeps you interested right till the end. This is turning out to be an excellent series and leaves you excited for the next book.
I didn't realise this was part of a series so I read it as a standalone and was perfectly able to do that without feeling liike I was missing anything major.
It was well written with a gripping story and well developed characters. I really enjoyed it.
Since prolific mystery novelist Augusta Hawke's first adventure as an amateur sleuth, she has decided to take the private investigator certification course and passed with flying colors. So although she has 19 successful novels to her credit (still working on the 20th, to her editor's disappointment), she can't help getting involved when a well-known plastic surgeon and philanthropist dies in a suspicious manner at a dinner party. Doc Burke and Augusta are among the dinner guests of Callie, a DC socialite and lobbyist's wife who wants Augusta to ghost-write her memoir in the hope that it will lead to an overseas ambassadorship. The other attendees, including a one-name stylist, a CIA employee, a prominent literary agent, a nearly-disgraced politician, and a couple of wives, have their own agendas, and serving them are the requisite (possibly suspicious) butler and housekeeper/chef couple.
The Augusta Hawke mysteries are not gritty or violent--they are clearly meant to be fun reads, and quite a bit of suspension of disbelief is required. In her self-professed investigator role, with very little contact with law enforcement (in this book), Augusta somehow plows through a quite convoluted plot, a tangle of clues and twists, and many suspects, culminating in an Agatha Christie-type "let's get all the suspects in the same room and reveal the killer" event. I enjoyed going along for the ride and look forward to future adventures.
My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
Midway through Invitation to a Killer, the second installment of G.M. Malliet's Augusta Hawke series, a character expresses a desire to conduct an investigation of this book's central crime in the style of an Agatha Christie novel; in fact, Christie's influence is felt all the way through this book, but most especially in the denouement. Unfortunately that style of reveal ends up feeling clunky and overpacked here, and the post-denouement ending feels a bit unsatisfying. However, character development is good, and I'd enjoy spending more time with some of them. Main character Augusta Hawke, a prolific crime novelist from Maine turned amateur sleuth, bears a strong resemblance to Jessica Fletcher of "Murder, She Wrote" fame, although a bit more prickly and snarky than Mrs. Fletcher ever was. Although this is the second book in a series (with an ending that promises more books to come); it's easily read as a standalone novel. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review "Invitation To A Killer" by G.M. Maillet.
Augusta Hawke is back! The mystery writer who was instrumental (at least in her own mind) in solving "The Case of The Missing Neighbors" suddenly becomes embroiled in another mystery - this time a murder.
At a book signing, Augusta Hawke meets Calypso 'Callie' Moore, the wife of a DC lobbyist who wants to become an ambassador, and has decided that one of the best ways to accomplish this is to have Ms. Hawke (whose books she doesn't actually read, preferring 'bodice rippers') ghost-write her memoirs.
So, Augusta ends up being invited to a dinner party where she meets who are to become the cast of characters for this mystery. Among them are a husband and wife spy team (CIA?), a sketchy politician and his 'stand by your man' wife, a famous stylist (one-named, of course) and a publisher of renown (not Augusta's, but one to cultivate) who the hostess seems to think is 'her' publisher for her 'memoirs' (she even promises some juicy gossip regarding a relative and a high-ranking British royal), as well as a renowned surgeon - 'Doc' Burke - who spends all of his rich clients' fees on helping third-world children who could not otherwise afford life-changing surgeries. Add to this the butler and maid-cum-chef who may or may not be illegal immigrants and you have a classic, Agatha Christie-type whodunit. With Augusta Hawke as Miss Marple (and Detective Narduzzi, making a return appearance as a possible Poirot).
No one knows why Doc Burke died at the party, but things start to add up wrong when his 'wife' steps in and has him cremated and takes off with the remains (for possible burial at sea); but was she actually his wife? And why all the secrecy.
Of course, it soon turns out that the good doctor may not have actually died of natural causes, and Augusta is hot on the trail of his possible killer.
This one has all the classic elements of a Christie whodunit, including gathering all of the suspects together in a remote hotel, a secret identity and the surprise unmasking at the end.
This one is a great follow up to the first Augusta Hawke mystery, and I for one look forward to the next.
The second of the Augusta Hawke mystery series finds the crime writer turned amateur sleuth in a sticky situation when a death occurs at a party she happens to be attending. The suspicious death of the celebrity doctor stuns her, as well as the impressive selection of guests. To satisfy her curiosity, Augusta decides to hold a writer’s retreat and invite every single suspect. When snow descends the situation turns treacherous but can Augusta find the killer before they strike again and is she, herself, in danger? Wholly enjoyable murder mystery with a traditional premise and a well defined and credible cast of characters as well as an atmospheric setting.
#InvitationtoaKiller #NetGalley A great little surprise! Pick this one up and you won't put it down. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel. I encourage you to check this one out!
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