A Date With Murder

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Donald Bain and Jon Land’s A Date with Murder gently coaxes Jessica Fletcher toward modern technology with yet another cozy murder mystery brimming with suspense and heart.

The 47th entry in the Murder, She Wrote series finds the iconic mystery-author-turned-crime-solver once again helping a friend. When Hal Wirth suffers a fatal heart attack and suspicious characters begin sniffing about, Jessica suspects foul play. She investigates Hal and discerns an unusual pattern linking several sudden deaths to an online dating site. Refusing to stand down, Jessica puts herself in the crosshairs with the help of a young hacker, her longtime allies, and her own sparkling intelligence. A series of potential dates later, the mystery deepens with a surprising connection back to Jessica’s beloved Cabot Cove.

The long-running book series originally penned by Donald Bain receives a breath of new life from seasoned thriller writer Jon Land. Despite the inclusion of dating sites, hackers, and other modern inventions, this book retains its trademark heart. Jessica Fletcher is still relentless about solving crimes and seeking justice. The small town of Cabot Cove has new residents and new stores but still retains its idyllic small-town charm.

Fans of the show will appreciate the tone and characterization, as the novel feels like a fleshed-out screenplay for an episode. Land deftly captures not only the show’s essence, but Bain’s style from the previous books. It’s filled with strong pacing, snappy banter, and fantastic scene-setting. Jessica remains as doggedly curious as ever, her detective friend brings the snarky one-liners, and the colorful cast of Cabot Cove remains as eccentric and friendly as ever.

The plot itself might be off-putting for those unfamiliar with the technology used. However, Land expertly lays the groundwork and details without hampering the flow. He explains the various concepts in just enough context to allow for the story to unfold somewhat realistically. As with most murder mysteries, he also sows seeds early on to point eagle-eyed readers to the reveal.

Overall, the book feels like the show. It’s a comforting place to spend a few hours watching an iconic character save the day with her trademark style and humor. The book will appeal to fans of the show, fans of the book series, and anyone in search of a light-hearted read with a satisfying ending. Land takes over the wheel of the series and seems to be setting a path for smooth sailing.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Berkley
Publish Date 2018-May-01
ISBN 9780451489272
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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