A Clock Stopped Dead

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 11 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2024


'Satisfyingly intriguing' Faith Martin

'J.M. Hall has mastered the warmth of a perfect modern cosy crime with all the twists and turns that go with it. I really enjoyed it!' Hannah Hendy

Retired schoolteachers and amateur sleuths Liz, Pat and Thelma are giving up their coffee morning for a brand-new mystery.

Retired teachers Pat, Liz and Thelma are happiest whiling away their hours over coffee, cake and chat at the Thirsk Garden Centre café.

But when their good friend tells them about an unsettling experience she had in a sinister-feeling charity shop, they simply can’t resist investigating…

Because the entire shop has vanished into thin air.

Before long, our trio of unlikely sleuths find themselves embroiled in a race against the clock to get to the bottom of this mystery – but who has a secret to hide and how far will they go to keep it concealed?

Only time will tell…

Praise for A Clock Stopped Dead:

'Satisfyingly intriguing' Faith Martin, author of the Travelling Cook Mysteries series

‘This book feels just like a visit to old friends! The relationship between Liz, Pat and Thelma is so warm, funny and relatable that you could be forgiven for thinking that the plot is almost a secondary concern, but no – there’s proper twists and turns, and a very satisfying conclusion. This series just goes from strength to strength’ Fiona Leitch, author of the Nosey Parker cosy mystery series

‘Hall writes with winning charm, wit and humour. This novel had me gripped and chuckling from the start, especially the warmth and tensions between the crime solving trio of former teachers. Three strong women, lots of hot tea, and a devlish clever plot. You’ll love it.’ Suk Pannu, author of Mrs Sidhu's Dead and Scone

Just what the doctor ordered, a perfect cosy mystery to snuggle up with. Highly entertaining and will have you laughing out loud, an absolute joy NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Liz, Pat and Thelma are my new favourite detective trio. I feel like I know all their quirky personalities. Get me in their gang!' NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I absolutely loved this cosy mystery… Keeps you turning the pages’ NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'So glad I picked this up! I really enjoyed reading about older protagonists' NetGalley review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Absolutely loved this book!! I really enjoyed the characters! I was up all night reading and couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend!!’ NetGalley review⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Charming… The plot is cozy and tricky, with just the right blend of Miss Marple, interesting and quirky characters, secrets, unexpected nuance, colourful cardigans, and of course, heaps of tea and warm companionship. I loved this book’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gripping and addictive’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh how brilliant was this book?! I just couldn't put it down…Had great comical moments throughout. A really good murder mystery book’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A great cozy mysteryWonderful’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is a joy, I really, really loved it…A five star read’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Satisfyingly intriguing' Faith Martin

'J.M. Hall has mastered the warmth of a perfect modern cosy crime with all the twists and turns that go with it...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008606954
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 109 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.

I enjoyed reading this cozy murder mystery,

The three main characters were lovely with different personalities, when they didn’t agree on something, they stopped communicating with each other.

The storyline was well written.

I recommend this book.

Was this review helpful?

A Clock Stopped Dead by JM Hall is a contemporary cosy mystery that follows the sleuthing adventures (and misadventures) of three retired teachers, Pat, Thelma and Liz.

There are many elements that made me chuckle, such as the Thirsk Garden Centre Cafe (Thirsk is about an hour down the A19 from me and is a very nice little town so it was easy to visualise a lot of locations in the book. But in the same vein, this also shows how well Hall describes the scenes, because they illustrate the area beautifully) So already plus points for the location!

The characters were likable and well defined with very distinct personalities and each brings a unique perspective to reflecting on the events and clues before them.

The plot is elegantly woven and interspersed well with the narrative of with these three very relatable lead characters.

An enjoyable quick read, very well written

Thank you to Netgalley, Avon Books UK and JM Hall for this delightful ARC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

Was this review helpful?

Another intriguing mystery from the Thirsk gang, this time with some amateur theatrical antics thrown in – which obviously I enjoyed! There’s a real Jonathan Creek air to this mystery and how it was pulled off – it had me guessing all the way through.

Was this review helpful?

Just what the doctor ordered, a perfect cosy mystery to snuggle up with. Which is highly entertaining and will have you laughing out loud, an absolute joy. This is the 3rd in J M Hall’s cozy Mystery book series and if you haven’t already read any of them, why not? You must, you won’t regret it. I always feel sad after reading one of the series knowing I have to wait another year for the next instalment but so excited as the countdown begins when the time is getting near

Was this review helpful?

first of all thank you to Avon books for asking me to review another amazing thrilling book by J M Hall .

i was so excited to read this as i loved the other two books , and i can say this is now my favourite .
we are back with the amazing Liz , Pat ,and Thelma my new favourite girl detective gang ,i felt like i was in the book with them on the great murder mystery adventure . The characters I think work so well together ,i feel like i know all their quirky personalities. get me in their gang they are amazing .

I loved the plot of this story ,it had my spine tingling with excitement , and the plot twist was brilliant i never would have guessed jaw dropping . i love the setting i felt like i was right there with all the characters .

J M Hall writing is fantastic as always , very well paced ,perfection .

If you love a good cosy mystery then this is for you .

im giving the book 5 cosy ,thrilling , stars

Was this review helpful?

J.M. Hall writes a great mystery overall, it had a fun idea for a mystery. The idea that a entire shop went missing is a scary concept and the characters worked in this universe. I’m glad I got to read this and look forward to more.

Was this review helpful?

This book was an interesting read. I enjoyed that the main characters were older. The way the mystery unwound was engaging. So glad I picked it up.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars

A Clock Stopped Dead is the third instalment of the adventures of retired teachers and part-time sleuths Liz, Pat and Thelma. These stories are perfect for readers looking for cosy mysteries filled with small town drama and scandal, with sometimes a little murder thrown in. I have thoroughly enjoyed J. M. Hall's story telling, of which this instalment is no exception. The characters are so ordinary and real I feel like I could bump into them in my local garden centre and there is something so charming about that.

While this is not my favourite of the three, this was a fun story with a unique twisty plot. It was more predictable than the previous books, but the stakes did feel higher and it was entertaining nonetheless.

This is a series that needs to be read in order due to learning about the lives of our amateur sleuths and references to previous books so keep that in mind!

Thank you to NetGalley and the author for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

This third book in the series doesn’t disappoint, it was like meeting up with old friends! (Though it could also be read a s a stand alone book). As I retired teacher myself, I really identify with Pat, Liz and Thelma. I love how they compare current situations and conversations with past classroom scenarios. I also empathise with their concerns about children and grandchildren. The story is well paced and takes some unexpected twists and turns along the way. I heartily recommend this book and am eagerly awaiting the next volume in the series.

Was this review helpful?

A charity shop that disappeared overnight, a fatal car crash just round the corner. Coincidence or connected and, if so, how and why? Marguerite, the scatty friend of Liz, Pat, and Thelma, tells them she’s had a psychic experience in which, while lost in a fog, she entered a strange Charity Shop, which had disappeared completely when she went back the following day. Sceptical, but knowing her propensity for getting the wrong end of the stick, the three retired teachers go to check on this mysterious shop, but are impeded by the aftermath of a car crash in which a woman had driven at speed from the lane (it’s basically a track behind some houses containing some derelict outbuildings) where the shop was reportedly situated. Confirming that there is no shop in the lane, the trio wonder what Marguerite actually saw and whether or not it is connected to the crash. The dead woman, wealthy after being recently widowed, was known for being a safe and careful driver, not known for speeding under any circumstance. The state of the track and the absence of any obvious reason also raises the question of why the woman was there in the first place. Sitting around their favourite table in the Garden Centre, the three friends start puzzling it out. I say “puzzling” because investigating is too organised a term. In truth they mostly continue with their normal activities. Gradually they accrue scraps of information which build a picture of a crime, although it is not clear what type of crime nor how many of their suspects are actually involved. Meanwhile, domestic issues like husband problems, grown up children problems, get in the way, not to mention Marguerite’s increasing interest in her ‘psychic’ powers which threatens to drag Pat into what the more rational Thelma and Liz consider to be nonsense.
This is the third in a series but works as a standalone. The stories feature Liz, Pat, and Thelma, all around the sixty mark, retired teachers with a unique view on human fallibility. That view is mainly that adults display the same psychological features as children and their motivation can be deduced from this – a quite sensible idea. I reviewed the earlier books and can see that my opinions then are still apposite now. “The three women are all very different and extremely well drawn characters, with detailed family backgrounds that clearly show why they act, individually and collectively, in the way they do when sleuthing. The plot is carefully assembled, rather like a patchwork quilt, with each element placed just so. As a mystery story it is not particularly complicated, but the writing is so good that you find yourself invested in these women and their progress.” If cosy crime is your preferred form (or even if it isn’t) then you must read this book, and its predecessors. If you like well plotted and literate stories then read this book, even if crime isn’t your usual genre.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

Was this review helpful?

Retired teachers Liz, Pat, and Thelma are at it again. They love a good mystery.

So when their scatty friend Marguerite is bothered by a vanishing charity shop, they can't leave it alone

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely love these woman and am desperate to join their friendship group. I loved the book which I believe is third in a series so far. Well written and a really good read - loved it!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: