Cover Image: Murder On Mustique

Murder On Mustique

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Member Reviews

After thoroughly enjoying Anne Glenconner's autobiography Lady in Waiting, was excited to read this. After learning about Mustique in her previous book, it was thoroughly enjoyable to read this murder mystery set on the island. In places it felt a little like an Agatha Christie whodunnit, which added to it's charm. It kept me gripped right to the end .
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Lord & Lady Blake are making plans for goddaughter, Lily Calders, 21st birthday on their private island. The rich and famous who live in the fabulous villas will be flying in to help them celebrate, if the weather doesn’t stop them.  Then one of Lily’s best friends goes missing. From a wealthy family, Amanda is used to getting her own way, and had just broken up her boyfriend, Tommy, who didn’t take the break up well. A body is found, and lone police officer Solomon Nile needs to find the murderer fast before more bodies mount up. Not easy when you are on your own, even if he does have the help of Lady Vee Blake.. This is also a race against time, as a storm is on its way.

 Set on Mustique, a privately owned island, bought by a wealthy, titled family, this mixes fact and fiction quite nicely. It is well written, in an almost autobiographical style but is a decent who dunnit.  There were a lot of references to Princess Margaret, which didn’t add a lot to the story for me,  The story is told from the points of view of Lady Veronica Blake and Dectective Solomon Nile, who was born in the island. The description of the island is well written, and obviously by someone who knows the real place extremely well. There are nice twists and I didn’t guess the murderer,  which is always good. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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What an amazing read.Right from the very first page you are drawn in when Amanda disappears and her best friend Lily raises the alarm.
What follows is a fast paced mystery and murder on the beautiful island of Mustique.
You can’t turn the pages fast enough and nothing prepares for the shock at the end.
Five stars all the way.
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At first I found this a difficult book, with the line between fact and fiction blurred.  Once I had done a little research on the author it became an easier read and as the story progressed it became quite intriguing.  The plot is well written and I could not guess the culprit before the revelation near the end.  Therefore well done to Anne Glennconnor for a crime mystery that is definitely different.
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Murder on Mustique is a unique mix of fact and fiction but quite how much you can attribute to each is up for debate. Lord and Lady Veronica ”Vee” Blake own the island and just as they are making plans for their goddaughter Lily Calder’s 21st birthday celebrations a tragedy happens. Lily is a conservationist who has been tending to a project involving the island’s vast coral reefs when one of her best friends, New York socialite Amanda Fortini, vanishes from the island without a trace. In a place where everyone is familiar with everyone else, this sends Lady Vee into overdrive and a race against the weather and incoming storm ensues. The islanders aren't used to having an issue such as this but people can't help but liken it to the disappearance of Lily’s mother, Emily, many years prior. Resident Solomon Nile is the only detective present on the island and is, in fact, Lady Vee’s protege. He strongly recognises the time-sensitive nature of locating Amanda before the storm hits and makes it an impossible job. Can he find her and address the reason for her disappearance in ample time?

Written by Lady Glenconner who once owned the island of Mustique in the Caribbean with her husband, it feels as though quite a lot of the book, through the use of thinly-veiled names, may be based in fact but the author didn't want to risk the chance of a lawsuit. The stunning, sun-drenched Mustique is one of the islands which make up St Vincent and the Grenadines archipelago and is the luxurious location for this wonderfully indulgent mystery-thriller. It felt heavenly to escape into its pages for a few hours, to forget stark reality for a while and to read all of the gossip on the inhabitants. The descriptions were so rich and luscious that I was transported to Mustique easily. The mystery is compelling and the island setting coupled with the impending storm gave me Agatha Christie locked-room vibe, which added to the tense atmosphere as no one could leave its shores, and were effectively trapped, until the weather improved. A real opulent and hedonistic treat. Highly recommend. Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC.
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A touch of Death in Paradise with lots of mentions of well known celebrities and royalty. This book was written by royalty connections so has lots of inside information. Who done it and why? Be prepared to be amazed.
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Probably the only way most of us will get to 'visit' MUSTIQUE

This is our one and only (so far) novel set on Mustique, a private island, well known for its association with the rich and famous. So this novel was a must-read for TripFiction.

Mustique is a bastardisation of the French word mosquito, so the island does have its down sides. Princess Margaret often spent time there and Mick Jagger owns a house or two. Bryan Ferry is a keen visitor, Daphne Guinness was a regular. It is small, merely 2.2 square miles and has a regular population of around 500 people. Apart from fabulous villas, there is the Cotton House which gets a good mention in the novel and legendary Basil’s Bar, a landmark destination for cocktails. The setting is ripe for a grisly murder or two.

In the opening pages, Amanda Fortini, heiress to a coffee dynasty, is swimming in the clear waters when it seems she is mown down by a speedboat. She disappears and her friend Lily is beside herself. Lily’s godmother Lady Veronica (Lady Vee to friends, staff and neighbours) is due to arrive on the island from London anyway because a surprise party for Lily is on the horizon and needs her final touches. (When Lily’s mother died, Lady Vee took over the parenting and thus the two have a strong bond).

It is mooted that Lily’s jilted boyfriend, Tommy Rothmore (only a few letters removed from Rothermere or Rothschild, I note) might be in the frame – he is similarly a young man of considerable wealth. As more bodies turn up, Lady Vee, the self styled “tropical Miss Marple“, is in her element alongside DS Solomon Nile. ‘Calling cards’ of coral are left at the various scenes, etched with Obeah symbols (Obeah is a system of spiritual healing and justice-making practices developed among enslaved West Africans in the West Indies). Lily is working to preserve the coral, so there MUST be a link.

The book is set in September 2002. Princess Margaret was buried earlier in the year and Lady Vee, just like the author, was her actual Lady-in-Waiting. Here’s the thing: the author has imbued parts of her character with herself, and consequently the author doesn’t give herself the luxury of licence and distance to create a character who is unique and separate from herself. This makes her character’s persona feel at times stilted, unsure of who she is meant to be. There are several mentions of Princess Margaret in the text which just didn’t really add anything apart from acting as a reminder that this is an island of glamour and famous names (in fact the author’s husband owns/owned the island).

I first came across the author on The Graham Norton Show and it is worth watching the video clip! She explains how her husband – on her honeymoon in Paris – didn’t have the words to initiate her into marital relations, so he did the ‘obvious’ thing (really?) and, rather than take her out to dinner at The Ritz, took her to a brothel where a couple demonstrated the intricacies for her, inviting her to join in. The author is clearly a woman of pluck, fortitude, resilience (you would need that, I imagine, if you were married to old Etonian Colin Tennant) and humour, and these attributes just didn’t really translate into the book. The responses to scary and traumatic events are rather measured (emotionally stunted might be another way of putting it) – for example, a house is on fire and Vee and the policeman rush up: “My sister could be in there” mutters Wesley. Mutters? MUTTERS? Where’s screaming? Shouting? Exclaiming, even! Multiple ghastly events just don’t seem to have normal human reactions in the book, it all feels quite reigned in. There is a mixture of first person and third person narrative and the transitions between the two can be a little unclear.

As the book comes to its conclusion and the perpetrator is – or perpetrators are – revealed, the pathos is revved up by the arrival of Storm Cristobel and there is a crashing crescendo of waves and wind to serenade the denouement.

I think overall this is a novel that somehow needs tightening, as it can ramble and repeat. It does, of course, have a wonderful setting and it is probably the nearest most of will get to experience the playground of the elite.
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I hadn’t realised who the author was before I started reading this book. I found the constant name dropping about Princess Margaret very irritating and I saw little relevance to the actual storyline itself other than to self promote the author.  Indeed as soon as I saw the name Princess I just skipped that paragraph and those celebrity names that were also littered in the story.  The mystery itself was very reminiscent of Death in Paradise with lots of red herrings to keep you guessing.  I felt the reveal of the killer hadn’t been properly planned and their motive and opportunity was hastily cobbled together at the end.  
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read a preview copy of this book.
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Rather a "Death in Paradise" feel to it as it is set on Mustique, a private island in the Caribbean.  A storm is brewing and on its way and most people have left the island apart from a few who are partying.  A young heiress goes missing and Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile, the island's only policeman, has to investigate. 
The island is owned by Jasper Blake and his wife Lady Veronica, who is flying out to Mustique to hold a 21st birthday party for her god-daughter, Lily.  She is drawn into investigating the murder with Solomon and as more murders are committed it is a race against time to find out who is responsible and why.

The book is written by Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret's lady in waiting so the references to the Princess in the book are good.  It is a factual setting as Anne's husband did buy Mustique and created the cabins there.  I did a little bit of research about the island and it did help me to enjoy the book more.

Overall a good murder mystery thriller!
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Lady Veronica Blake and her husband, Lord Jasper Blake, purchased Mustique years before the setting of this story, and spent years developing it into a luxurious retreat for some of the richest families in the world. A gorgeous bolt hole, there is no real crime on the island... until now. The heiress of one of the richest families in America has disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and the only proper police officer on the island must throw himself into the investigation, as more people start dying.

Murder in Mustique is written by Lady Anne Glenconner, who is known for being a Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, and was the original owner of Mustique along with her husband. Lady Blake is based heavily on Lady Glenconner, with lots of mentions and name dropping of the Queen and Princess Margaret and their visits to Mustique, which can get a bit heavy handed at times. Aside from that, this is actually quite a decent story - essentially a closed mystery, with no one able to get on or off the island due to an impending storm, which limits the suspect pool. There are plenty of valid suspects and I found that the mystery rattled along at a decent pace. This could be the starting point for a series, as I found the characters interesting, but it probably wouldn’t run for long as it’s a fairly limited setting. A good light read!

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I read this ARC in exchange for an honest review
All thoughts and opinions are mine

I was drawn in as I had read the author's memoirs and thoroughly enjoyed them

I did enjoy this - although found some elements a light self indulgent.  A whodunnit that was in some places a little predictable 

Liked the twist at the end
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Anne Glenconner published the amazing ‘Lady In Waiting’ about her lifetime with Princess Margaret in June,one of my favourite books this year so was keen to read this fiction book based on the island where she spent so much of her life, in fact it was her hubby who created this secret getaway for the rich and famous....
It’s not all a disaster of a book by any means but it’s almost a P.S. to her autobiography with the lead lady 100% based on herself and people from her past like Princess Margaret, Bowie and Jagger mentioned throughout, it’s a strange mix of reality and fiction tbh
The story itself is a whodunit and is quickly solvable and parts of the plot are so unbelievable they almost become believable ( does that make any sense? ) 
The writing is obviously enjoyable and indulgent for the author as she gets to relive her wonderful ( and it was mostly ) life and to me as a reader it was bemusing but also kinda enjoyable in a ‘hey its 2020 this is light relief’ kind of way
If you want a book that you can relax and let your mind wander to and see and hear the sights and sounds of the Caribbean with a decadent storyline then this is for you, if not it’s not

6/10
3 Stars
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I found it hard to get involved in this novel, but I’m glad I did. Set in the Caribbean, on a little island where most of the population were known to each other. A beautiful, gripping read trying to find out where Amanda was and what was happening on a normally peaceful island.
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Murder on Mustique by Anne Glenconner is a lighthearted whodunnit. Lots of name-dropping and Anne (aka Lady Vee in the book) indulges herself in describing island living and some of her famous friends/acquaintances. She dispenses insight and largesse to all, apparently the popular “queen” of the island and solves the mystery. Decent story with enough red herrings to make it interesting, this gives an escape from the dark days of winter. Three stars
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; yes, I know it's stated to be a work of fiction, but the descriptions of the island, the magnificent houses of the rich and famous, and thinly disguised names of owners must only come from Lady Glenconner's personal experience of owning the island with her husband.  This is a really well-plotted detective story with Lady Vee Blake assuming the mantle of Miss Marple.  

Lady Vee's goddaughter Lily Calder is working a conservation project on the island's coral reef; her friend, socialite Amanda Fortini goes for an early morning swim in the bay - but doesn't return.  Not only is Lily concerned that Amanda hadn't met her as planned, Lily herself thinks she heard someone following her one night.
Crime on Mustique is virtually non-existent and 28yr-old DS Soloman Nile is the only trained policeman on the island, having returned to his home 3 months previously.  Now, as the island's transport is grounded as they await a tropical storm, he's searching for Amanda.  Her ex-boyfriend seems to have disappeared.  Lady Vee's gardener Jose is acting very strangely and then one of the magnificent homes catches fire - what has he let himself in for?
No need to worry, Lady Vee is determined to get to the bottom of this conundrum! - but is she putting herself in danger?

There are twists and surprises along the way in this good detective story.  A good read.
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I was attracted to this title imagining a cozy crime piece of fiction with a laid back vibe featuring the idyllic location of Mustique, the island a favourite holiday destination amongst the rich and famous.  Think hedonistic lifestyles and a constant party atmosphere, where in the past the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie have rubbed shoulders with royalty, such as the likes of Princess Margaret. The thought of spending long relaxing days sipping cocktails laying on white sandy beaches, residing in a luxurious villa, your every whim attended to and swimming in cerulean coloured waters, exploring the coral reef seems worlds away from my life and my idea of absolute heaven. In this novel the author has drawn on her own personal experiences to transport the reader to this Caribbean island and although I’ve never watched the TV series, in my mind I had visions of a death in paradise type storyline, Mustique a fantastic setting for a murder mystery given the lack of any real crime that purportedly takes place here.

Lord and Lady Blake are privileged and wealthy enough to own a home on this island, and it is in preparation for their goddaughter Lily Calder’s 21st birthday celebrations, with tropical storm Cristobal approaching that this murder mystery takes place. Only the rich and famous have homes here, from former Hollywood actors to ageing rock stars and American socialites and it is one New York socialite, Amanda Fortini and her sudden disappearance from the island that is when this storyline really begins. Best friends with Lily and well known to Lady Veronica  (or Vee as she is referred to throughout), Amanda’s disappearance is an unusual scenario that the islanders are facing. Nothing bad normally happens here so naturally there is cause for alarm especially as her disappearance bears resemblance to that of Lily’s mother Emily years before. With only one policeman/detective Solomon Nile resident on the island it’s imperative the young lady is located ahead of the incoming storm and Lily’s planned celebrations. If a crime has been committed then it’s up to Solomon to bring the culprit to justice. Is he the man for the job?

The storyline is one that encompasses not only a missing person but also has a heavy emphasis on the work Lily is diligently undertaking to ensure the future of the coral reefs. Why does she sense she’s being watched and/or followed and why can’t she shrug off the thought something terrible has befallen her friend? Do the answers lie with Amanda’s ex boyfriend Tommy Rothmore?  If Amanda isn’t found alive and well there’s a danger someone on the island is up to no good; maybe  a killer is on the loose and this will turn into a murder investigation. Given some strange behaviour displayed by more than one resident in this tropical paradise plus the  touch of voodoo magic known as obeah hanging in the air, you have the makings of what should prove to be an enjoyable and entertaining read.

There are some colourful characters living on the island including Lady Vee herself. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise Lady Vee is clearly modelled on the author. She makes the most unlikely woman to aid Solomon in his search for the missing girl, given her age and standing so I couldn’t help feeling there is a comical, farcical nature to the proceedings that I’m sure is not the author’s intentions. Lady Vee’s lifestyle is the kind most of us can only dream of with butler Wesley a much valued member of her household. I suppose she’s a figure most of us would find impossible to relate to since she inhabits another world which is full of glamour and famous friends and acquaintances. Her good friend actor Philip Everard, ex guitarist and playboy Keith Belmont, mute gardener Jose Gomez and artist Madame Toulaine are just some of the islanders you become acquainted with over the course of this novel. Each have their roles to play as Solomon endeavours to solve this mystery. 

Unfortunately this is where my positive thoughts end and my negative ones take over. I felt the plot line descends quickly into the realms of the unbelievable with dialogue at times sounding comical. I just wasn’t convinced by the writing that also feels old fashioned and had me laughing aloud in places where perhaps I shouldn’t have been! Whilst it’s a valiant attempt, for me it doesn’t work and I found the character of Detective Solomon Nile faintly ridiculous. In terms of creating a vivid atmosphere this is an area where the author did win me over and overall this is a quick read that is only mildly entertaining, the narrative failing to captivate me,hence my low rating of two stars. At the end there is an extract from Lady Glenconner’s memoir Lady in Waiting, detailing her life and relationship with Princess Margaret which appeals to my love of social history and in hindsight is a book I’d probably enjoy more and would definitely read. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Murder on Mustique is a deliciously satisfying exotic read for whodunnit fans. I love crime, but (sorry folks) can't bear those set in gritty inner cities or dour environments. The backdrop of the island of Mustique is perfectly painted by a woman who knows it best. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this but it bypassed any preconceived notions I had about it being a light fluffy padded out read. Glenconner is a surprisingly deft and funny crime writer. In the opening pages a young entitled socialite goes missing, I did think oh here we go...but as the story unfolds into why she is missing and her work with a friend on saving the coral reefs around the island (bear with it - it's fascinating!) I was hooked. When another socialite is murdered and strange voodoo etchings on bits of coral  are found close to those who had been killed the plot flies. Glenconner paints a fabulous cast of characters from the local police to the island's eccentric home owners, to the supporting islanders many of whom are staff and are rather fond of the millionaires who live on the private island - and the fondness is returned. This is a riveting escapist read which I adored. I really hope Lady Vee returns to help solve more crimes.
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Mustique is a beautiful island in the middle of nowhere, paradise to celebrities and millionaires. A storm's brewing and bodies are turning up. People you thought you knew and loved are all suspects but nothing adds up. Stand in soloman Nile's shoes as mustique's detective in this dramatic thriller. You won't be able to put it down!
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Enjoyable mystery novel - felt a bit like a combination of ‘Death in Paradise’, and a country house mystery. The different lives of the islanders, and their places in its society, added extra interest.
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A fresh tropical spin on a cosy crime. Set on mustique you get the island setting, sunshine on every page and the black  cloud, not just in the form of a storm but a murder that sets to cause even more damage.

I thought it was interesting to have the royal connections merged in with the story but as I was reading it, it was a little obvious that the author really wanted you to know about her royal connections incase you'd forgotten.

A nice little mystery but less name dropping next time please.
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