Monday, December 04, 2023

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Death Writes by Andrea Carter

Death Writes is the sixth book in the Inishowen series by Andrea Carter, scheduled for release by Oceanview on 5 December, 2023. While part of a series, I had no trouble following the thread of the main characters reading this book as a stand-alone.

The story opens with solicitor Benedicta O’Keeffe and her sometime boyfriend Tom Molloy racing to Dublin to check on her parents. Ben was alarmed to learn from her parents’ neighbor that several strangers had moved into their home. The landline in the house and the cell phones of her parents all roll over to voicemail. Ben is panic-stricken. Upon arrival, they find her parents are fine but they have taken in a boarder who makes both Ben and Molloy uneasy. The boarder seems worried when he learns Molloy is with the police and disappears overnight to Ben’s relief and her parents’ distress. She coaxes them to stay with her for a week or so, using the upcoming literary festival in her town of Glendara in County Donegal as enticement. Her mother is especially interested, considering her favorite writer, the reclusive author Gavin Featherstone, will be appearing.

Featherstone has been living in a mansion on the Inishowen Peninsula for years but doesn’t mingle with the townfolk. His assistant manages the house for him while Featherstone writes. Rumors of a memoir have renewed interest in the youngest ever Booker Prize winner, and the regional festival is now getting mentioned in the major media outlets.

The event tent is packed and the interview with Featherstone has gone well. Featherstone pulls a few pages from his pocket to read from his upcoming book and he suddenly begins to falter and then collapses on the stage. He’s taken to the local hospital where he dies. His death does not look natural and the police are called in from the start.

Then Ben’s secretary finds a will for Featherstone drafted by the solicitor for whom Ben took over, leaving everything to his estranged wife and children. She is beginning probate when Featherstone’s assistant produces a will leaving the entire estate to him. Two conflicting wills, a questionable death, a secretary about to go on maternity leave, and ongoing worry about the safety of her parents keep Ben O’Keeffe full occupied.

A well-written mystery with an interesting main character, consistent momentum, nicely ambiguous back stories for the suspect pool, and a credible last-minute surprise. For fans of traditional mysteries, mysteries set in Ireland, and women sleuths.


·         Publisher: Oceanview Publishing (December 5, 2023)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 320 pages

·         ISBN-10: 1608095665

·         ISBN-13: 978-1608095667



Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2023

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night. 

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