A Beginner’s Guide to Murder

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Pub Date 22 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 23 Aug 2021

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Description

The brand new book from a powerful literary voice, author of The Stranger She Knew, shortlisted for the Paul Torday Prize.

‘Guaranteed to hook you . . . At times both touching and darkly funny, A Beginner's Guide To Murder explores the vital ways in which women can support one another through their darkest hours’ Anna Bailey, Sunday Times bestselling author of Tall Bones

‘A beguiling, beautifully crafted treat of a novel. It holds so much wisdom yet wears it so lightly. There are shades of Kate Atkinson in the way Rosalind balances dark themes with dry humour, a great plot, exquisitely realised characters, and more than a hint of feminist sensibility… truly everything I want in a novel’ Jessica Moor, bestselling author of Keeper

‘A quirky, witty thriller that reminds us not to underestimate the older generation’ Best

‘Darkly comic and gripping’ Woman’s Own

* * *

Grace, Meg and Daphne, all in their seventies, are minding their own business while enjoying a cup of tea in a café, when seventeen-year-old Nina stumbles in. She’s clearly distraught and running from someone, so the three women think nothing of hiding her when a suspicious-looking man starts asking if they’ve seen her.
 
Once alone, Nina tells the women a little of what she’s running from. The need to protect her is immediate, and Grace, Meg and Daphne vow to do just this. But how? They soon realise there really is only one answer: murder.
 
And so begins the tale of the three most unlikely murderers-in-the-making, and may hell protect anyone who underestimates them.

* * *

Readers LOVE Rosalind Stopps:

‘I was hooked from the start and finished it in little more than two days, because it was truly unputdownable. Beautifully written and really quite scary in places . . . A brilliant book. More from this excellent writer please!’ Amazon 5*

‘This is how fiction should be done! A fabulous, thrilling tale and I loved it!’ NetGalley 5*

‘An exceptionally powerful psychological thriller’ NetGalley 5*

The brand new book from a powerful literary voice, author of The Stranger She Knew, shortlisted for the Paul Torday Prize.

‘Guaranteed to hook you . . . At times both touching and darkly funny, A...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9780008302634
PRICE £5.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 70 members


Featured Reviews

Three elderly women, Meg, Grace and Daphne make the most unlikely band of people to be plotting murder you're ever likely to meet. After pilates one day, they are sitting in a cafe when a young woman Nina bursts in and asks for help. They don't hesitate and try to protect her from from the loathsome Toad, a people trafficker and pimp. But he soon grabs her back and so they decide he has to go. I loved the characters in this book. Meg, Grace and Daphne are all complex people each with much more to them than meets the eye. They all have their own demons to deal with which makes the course of action they take much more likely (although as usual in books of this sort you have to suspend disbelief. Nina too is a wonderful character, bright and resilient and determined to make the most of life although life, to be frank, has been pretty awful to her so far. The book deals with horrible subjects but avoids going into graphic detail. At times I wondered whether the tone of the book wasn't a little too light for the dark subject matter but it didn't detract from my appreciation of the novel. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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Complete Perfection.... Have the fates intervened to create the most unlikely group of murderers? Quite possibly. Engaging from start to finish with a supremely well crafted cast of characters and a wholly entertaining and engaging storyline that the reader won’t want to let go of. With a perfect balance of suspense and sheer dry wit this is simply complete perfection.

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Grace, Meg and Daphne, all in their seventies, are sitting quietly in a coffee shop planning a murder. They want to save young Nina from The Toad because they have taken her into their hearts. They discuss and hatch a daring plot which all three seem remarkably ill suited for but as the book points out so cleverly, appearances can be so deceptive. The story is told from the perspectives of all four women. I loved ‘Stranger she knew’ by the author so began to read this one with high expectations which are so not disappointed, in fact, I think this book is even better! The plot certainly has a very dark side to it and the narrative makes these points of shock and horror clear but without ever being unnecessarily graphic. You know what’s going on, you don’t need it spelling out but you hate the lack of humanity. The book is very well written, it has a darkly humorous vibe which works so well alongside the black themes. The characterisation is superb. Grace gets right to the heart of a situation and is clear minded, Meg is ‘said’ by her late husband Henry to be a ditherer, inept and incompetent but for me she’s more than rather wonderful. She may give off a ‘dumpy grandma vibe’ but she’s astute, caring and much braver than the odious Henry ever gave her credit for. Daphne is also wonderful and like all the women she carries a weighty ton of baggage. Their back stories emerge as we progress through and all their stories are sad. The three older women compliment each other, before Nina they knew each other vaguely through Pilates (strengthen those cores, dear hearts!) but their growing camaraderie and friendship aligned through Nina is heartwarming. They become like the Three Musketeers, ‘All for Nina and Nina for all’. Nina’s life story is sad but she’s an amazingly resilient young woman. I love that all four main characters are on the perceived periphery of society. The older ones are part of the invisible brigade written off because of beige, age, wrinkles or race that marginalises and pushes to the edge. I like it that more authors are making those at the upper end of the age spectrum central to the storytelling- lets break the mould! The book shines a light on those issues but also the power and beauty of friendship which leads to lighter or cast off burdens. There’s so much in the book you could mention, it has every element a good thriller should have and more. I loved it from start to finish. It’s compelling, wonderful, heartwarming, heart stopping, brave, funny and a simply great read with some fantastic characters to brighten your day. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HQ for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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Fun, witty, well written with excellent plotting and characterisation this is a thriller with a difference that entranced and enthralled me in equal doses. Rosalind Stopps is an author to be relished.

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What a clever premise this book has! It is a combination of a book club with vigilante justice. Loved it!

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