Death on Delivery begins with the murder of Jania Yewbanks, the gold-digging wife of up and coming businessman Ted Yewbanks. Readers are privy to the devious murder of Ted’s wife from the start, but local law enforcement doesn’t rule the death a homicide, so Ted resumes life as a bachelor, thinking he’s in the clear. Jania’s grieving sister knows better. She hires Brom’s detective agency to look into what she’s certain was murder.
Feisty chain-smoking granny Hannah Clare comes out of her recent retirement and she’s assigned the case. Posing as a housekeeper, Hannah secures a position in the Yewbanks household. Hannah quickly sets out looking into Jania’s death and soon discovers that Jania’s murder may be just one of many oddly suspicious deaths that can be traced back to a mysterious “gift-giving” service. Will Hannah become the next victim?
Ms. Edwards’s style of writing is intelligent, descriptive and highly engaging. She’s woven a compelling and suspenseful murder mystery to include a quirky dysfunctional cast of characters. As examples, Ted’s nosy and smitten neighbor Freda is a pathetic and lonely doormat of a woman who repeatedly sticks her nose in Ted’s business. Freda’s Aunt Lucy is a despicable and cruel woman and her cousin Clarence is a truly vile individual. Ted himself is a pompous, egotistical misogynist. In fact, I found many of the characters in Death on Delivery unlikable weirdos. However, since they were meant to be unlikable I’d definitely have to say that the author did an excellent job on character development.
I found the plot to be quite unique and creative. I’d have to say Ms. Edwards must be someone with a very active imagination – a skill that’s so critical in mystery writing. As a huge fan of Agatha Christie and similar styles, I certainly found Death on Delivery appealing. Yet, this is no Miss Marple mystery. Ms. Edwards has taken on a slightly harder, darker style than Christie’s, which takes things to a different level of suspense. This is no cozy mystery, nor is it meant to be. It’s a dark thriller with a new kind of female sleuth. I look forward to reading more Hannah Clare mysteries in the future!
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton