Today, I’m resharing my originally blog tour review of a first in series cosy murder mystery set in Wales AND written by Wales’ answer to Agatha, JS Strange. ‘Murder on the Rocks’ was published on the 1st of March and it was the first book that I was every quoted on, you better believe it has a special place in my heart. I’d like to thank Panther Publishing again, for having me on the tour, you stars!
J.S. Strange is an author from Wales, United Kingdom. He writes crime, mystery and horror. His first novels, published in 2016 and 2017, were set in an apocalyptic London.
Murder on the Rocks was written by Strange for many reasons. One of those reasons was a lack of representation within the crime genre, particularly with detectives and sleuths. Strange created Jordan Jenner, a private investigator, who lives and works in Cardiff. Murder on the Rocks was written with the intention of shining light on Cardiff, and bringing Cardiff, and furthermore, Wales, into the crime genre.
If you thought the cover was great, just check out this blurb!
“When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer…
James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention.
As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother’s death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again…
A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner’s toughest case yet.“
J.S Strange set out to create a cosy murder mystery that would get Wales noticed, and my gosh did he do a fantastic job! The novel begins with a crime scene in the Welsh capital of Cardiff; a murder has happened during an author type retreat – poisoned whiskey in the drawing room…. or maybe not (Port Talbot is also mention!)! Immediately, I felt that I had been sucked into a well thought out Agatha Christie novel, it felt quite ‘Then There Were None’ Who dun it with a noir private investigator twist. I enjoyed the classic feel of the narrative and penmanship.
The protagonist is Jordan Jenner, a private investigator who is brought in by the police force to help investigate the death after a grief sabbatical. This part of the book sucked my heart out, the death of a parent is never easier especially when someone else may have been involved. This is the point where JS begins to humanise Jordan; he’s not just a two – dimensional character, but the depression, unknowing grief I felt radiating from him gives him depth and develops him into a three dimensional literary character.
The suspense of Murder on the Rocks is built gradually with the ever developing narrative at an enjoyable pace, as he has to disentangle the web of lies and deceit around the death of the author – even having to look closer to home for some lurking answers. Will the case help with his conflicting feelings of his mother’s death; should he mourn the death of a person who abandoned him or is there something deeper? (You’ll have to read it and find out!)
I really enjoyed the first instalment of the Jordan Jenner series and look forward to the next book! Murder on the Rocks kept me on my toes up until the end, the narrative developed really well! The storyline flowed naturally without bits of random information to ‘flesh out’ the narrative. I also liked that J.S Strange thought about the story; not only did he want to represent Wales, which is completely under – represented in the crime / murder mystery genre, but also LGBTQ characters. The male protagonist that I have come to love and admire is a gay private investigator, ingenious! It’s about time someone frayed from the stereotypical crime / thriller setting / main character.
Overall, I hope Jack is proud of his newest book baby and I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to have Murder on the Rocks presale for this blog tour!
Another positive, there is Persian cat called Oscar! Enough said!
I’m not just saying it because all of those involved are Welsh, but Murder on the Rocks is such a read, you can imagine reading it with a hot tottie, under a chunky knitted blanket, next to a roaring fire (not to close though, you want to be cosy not on fire!) To keep up to date on all thing JS Strange and Panther Publishing, follow them on Twitter at @JackSamStrange and @PantherPubs
Have you read Murder on the Rocks? Let me know what you thought!