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Book Review: The Oxford Murder- A Golden Age Mystery- Book 1

The Oxford Murder- A Golden Age Mystery- Book 1 was written by GG Vandagriff and published by Orson Whitney Press in 2019. You may purchase it at Visit the author on Facebook or at Amazon.

After Miss Catherine Tregowyn, poet, and Dr. Harry Bascombe, her bête noire, discover a body in the Somerville College chapel, they are declared suspects in a murder inquiry. How can they prove their innocence? The pair decide they must launch their own investigation into the strangling of Oxford don, Agatha Chenowith. But working as a team will not be easy. Their relations are anything but cordial. It is not long before they uncover motives aplenty. Apparently, Dr. Chenowith was not at all what she seemed. As the surprises about the victim’s secret life multiply, they are awash in a sea of suspects.

It’s a nightmare scenario that none of us ever want to experience; while searching for a missing colleague or friend you finally end up finding them dead. This is a tale told in the noir genre style and the 1930’s murder is served up as a mystery to be solved. The cast of characters, and suspects, are interesting, likable and intriguingly amusing. The English dialogue was also delightfully colorful, humorous and highly entertaining. An example: “She practically jingled with gold bangles and chains around her neck.”, and the act of being intimate with another was termed as “canoodling”. The humor was well placed but it never overshadowed the seriousness of the crime, of which Catherine and Harry were suspected of committing.

It’s a challenge to create a character and plot lines that are intended to continue into a series of books but this seasoned author has no problem in generating interest. Catherine Tregowyn is determined in her pursuit of solving a crime but she is also a romantic who struggles with an ongoing childhood love relationship. Another character plays for her affections in the course of the story and this creates yet another interesting conflict, which forces Catherine into making a decision. This amorous sub plot, near the end of the book, increased my rating of this story and boosted my curiosity in continuing on to the next two books in the series.

GG Vandagriff continues to entertain. If you’re a fan of noir crime mysteries, you’ll love this one!

GG Vandagriff is scheduled as a guest on The Writers Lounge Podcast. (2-6-21)

I give The Oxford Murder- A Golden Age Mystery- Book 1- 5 out of 5 stars.

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