So, today I’m reviewing An Excuse For Murder by Vanessa Westermann, she did contact me asking if I would read and review her book which was published on the 20th March this year, so here is my honest review (as always).
I’m really excited to share this with you guys so let’s just get started…
As a former bodyguard, it should be easy for Gary Fenris to kill, especially when the motive is revenge. But Gary has made two mistakes in his life. The first was letting the woman he loved die on his watch. The second was thinking vengeance could bring him peace.
Local bookstore owner and amateur lock pick Kate Rowan loves nothing more than a good mystery. Her curiosity soon leads her down a trail of blackmail, obsession and death. Despite the risk – or maybe because of it – Gary finds himself drawn to Kate. When danger strikes, Gary is forced to face the fact that he used love as an excuse for murder. And he’s got one last score to settle.
I really enjoyed this! There was a very magical feel to this book as it was set in a bookstore, which let’s be honest is one of the most magical places you can be! Add that to the fact that Kate is living with her great-aunt (who the locals refer to as ‘The Eternal Wife’) in the victorian house with it’s fairy-tale tower and you have a very atmospheric novel.
Death in the morning, affairs of the heart in the afternoon.
I became fully invested in Kate and Gary as characters, Kate wasn’t your average damsel in distress which is usually the case in crime books. She was able to defend herself which she did without having to rely on Gary coming to rescue her. In saying this, Gary is definitely more of an anti-hero who I didn’t expect to feel connected to, he was definitely an interesting character who I wanted to find out more about.
I also loved Tim and Will the 8 year old boys obsessed with mysteries who see themselves as amateur sleuths, they reminded me of how I felt when I first fell in love with crime and mystery books.
The mystery wasn’t as intricate as I like however I loved where it was going and the reasoning behind it all, I just wish that there was more about this as it was such an interesting concept.
I really enjoyed An Excuse For Murder and the writing made it so addictive I just couldn’t stop reading. It’s getting 4 and a half cups of coffee out of 5.
Who is Vanessa Westermann?
Vanessa Westermann is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing, at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Vanessa’s book review column entitled “Vanessa’s Picks” was published in Sleuth of Baker Street Mystery Bookstore’s monthly newsletter from 2012 to 2016. The column was developed into a blog, featuring literary reviews and author interviews.
While living in Germany, she attained an M.A. in English Literature and went on to teach creative writing.
She currently lives in Canada and is working on her next novel, while drinking copious amounts of tea.
See you in the next one…