Book Review: A Lesson in Murder by Matthew Costello & Neil Richards

Welcome to my review stop on the A Lesson in Murder blog tour organised by Brook Cottage Books. Please read on and do enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post 🙂

A Lesson in MurderWhat’s it about?

Nothing ever happens in the small Cotswold village of Cherringham, making it the perfect place to retire to – or so ex-NYPD Detective Jack Brennan thought. But before long, local web designer and single mother Sarah Edwards had convinced him to help her investigate a suspicious suicide. Since then, he and Sarah have solved mysterious deaths, unlikely accidents and perplexing robberies. “Peace and quiet” never really suited Jack anyway…

Cherringham is an ongoing “cosy crime” eBook series, that launched in December 2013 and features unlikely sleuthing duo Sarah and Jack. Released in monthly episodes, it is written by award-winning game and TV writers UK-based Neil Richards and US-based Matthew Costello in a transatlantic collaboration – which mirrors that of Jack and Sarah. The new series, released from March, launches with A Lesson in Murder, in which the two are asked to investigate the violent death of a popular teacher at Cherringham Girls School.

My thoughts

I was drawn to participating in this tour with the book being a murder mystery, one of my most fave genres. This is a short story of just 103 pages but don’t go thinking you get less of a story! It always surprises me how much an author can cram in to ensure a decent enough story and its no different here. What I wasn’t aware of is that it’s part of a series (poor research on my behalf!), however I felt this could be read as a standalone if you’re looking for a quick fix but to really get into the characters history more you’d most probably want to start at the beginning (this is no 13).

The story revolves around ex NYC cop Jack and web designer Sarah who are hired by a local private girl’s school headteacher to investigate some strange goings-on at the school. As expected they’re faced with tall tales and red herrings along the way.

I liked that Sarah was a strong lead character; not just left following Jack’s lead and that they worked together as real equal partnership.

The thing is with a short story and a murder mystery there’s a lot to pack in a short space of time. There’s no time for waffle and so forces the author to write succintly but with enough detail to still make the story and the characters interesting and engaging. This is achieved well in this short story. I didn’t feel like I was being short-changed.

Cosy crime is the perfect series title and this reminded me of TV programmes like Jonathan Creek and Murder, She Wrote (both of which I love!).

About the authors Matthew Costello & Neil Richards


© Wayne Matthews-Stroud

Co-authors Neil Richards and Matthew Costello are known for their script work on major computer games. The Cherringham crime series is their first fictional transatlantic collaboration. Matthew has written and designed dozens of bestselling games including the critically acclaimed The 7th Guest, Doom 3, Rage and Pirates of the Caribbean. He is also the author of a number of successful novels, including Vacation (2011) and Beneath Still Waters (1989), which was made into a movie. Neil has worked as a producer and writer in TV and film, creating scripts for BBC, Disney, and Channel 4, and earning numerous Bafta nominations along the way. He’s also written script and story for over 20 video games including The Da Vinci Code and Starship Titanic, co-written with Douglas Adams, and consults around the world on digital storytelling.




Bastei Entertainment


1st Prize – Winner written into a Cherringham episode plus an ecopy of the book

2nd Prize – ecopy of the book

Enter here

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Lesson in Murder by Matthew Costello & Neil Richards

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