Is it reasonable to apologize to a book? If so, I have to say I’m sorry to A Will to Murder by Hilary Thomson. I’m sorry I almost put you down halfway through, but how was I to know that the second half was going to be so much better than the first? I’m sorry I said you were boring and that I just didn’t care about any of the characters, when after the will reading, it all picked up so quickly, from the dead bodies piling up to the humorous bits making me laugh out loud.
A Will to Murder started off rather uniquely. James Boyle is an eccentric, wealthy man, who dies, whether from embarassment or a heart attack when rap music blasts from his antique car during a drive through town. Is it a prank gone awry or truly murder? The whole family gathers at Rollingwood estate for the will reading, from close relatives, to his estranged daughter, to some folks none of the immediate family had ever met. Wow. First it’s a large cast of characters and second, they are all nuts. I honestly don’t think I liked any of them at first. The first half of the book- meeting all the family, setting up all the relationships- was slow, especially when I didn’t really connect to any of them and no one seemed particularly upset that the man was killed.
After the will was read, with it’s exclusions and trusts, was read, the book definitely picked up. Several more deaths occurred, due to natural causes according to the coroner, but quite obviously murders from our viewpoint. And one of the guests, a friend of one of the heirs, just happens to be a journalist and he takes it upon himself to do some investigating.
It turned out to be quite a clever, funny mystery, once you get through the first half. I will say though, it’s a long haul getting the to good part.
So, I’m sorry, but next time, please can the whole book be as good as the second part of this one?
2½ out of 5 stars (Overall. The first half would have been a DNF if I hadn’t just kept pushing on. The second half would have probably been a 4 on its own.)
Published Nov 14, 2011
March Mystery Madness is hosted by Christina at Reading Thru the Night.
Book source: For review