I needed a short one this week; I am recovering (hopefully) from bronchitis and spent most of the weekend sleeping. Capable of Murder by Brian Kavanagh was just the thing---just barely novel-length, and a fairly inoffensive cozy that made for a quick and easy read.
The story involves a young woman who inherits an old cottage near Bath, England from her aunt and goes to live there. She meets several sinister characters who all seem to have an interest in the cottage and grounds, and as the body count climbs, she wonders what secrets her aunt---and the old cottage---contain...
The story was entertaining, and the setting well-realized---Mr. Kavanagh's author bio says that his day job has been work in the Australian film industry, so this is definitely evident in the writing. The characters, however, were less well-realized. We got little sense of the heroine as a person other than that she used to live in London and has inherited a cottage. And the villains were cartoon-ish and not terribly subtle. This was a plot-driven story, not a character-driven one. Unfortunately, I can't help but feel, as I have with other books from this publisher, that the story would have benefited from one more pass by an editor to flesh things out a little.
There appear to be two more novels in the series. My gut tells me they are better than this one, but they are a bit over-priced for an indie read so I probably won't get past the sample. That said, this was not a bad story and made for a reasonably entertaining Sunday read. I give this one a 3/5.
I am currently not considering unsolicited ebooks. Sorry! I have a huge backlog to get through, and limited reading time. I keep an eye on the book blogs, so if I am interested in your title, you may hear from me. Keep checking this space for submission updates. I may open things up again once my backlog settles down a little.