Tuesday 16 August 2022

Death Visits January : A Gloriously Gruesome and Utterly Unique Whodunnit by Fiona Sherlock (2022) Poolbeg Press


When a local farmer announces on social media that he has discovered a ‘bog body’ in Ardee, experts are keen to explore the secrets of the life and grisly death of the victim.

Antique journalist January Quail is fighting to keep her newspaper job and gets involved. But she uncovers far more than she bargained for. The ‘bog body’ turns out to be a recent murder, and January uses her nose for the truth to investigate the County Louth town. From shopkeeper to publican, everyone is a suspect but, when the gardaí can’t find the killer, can she?

Once she sets down her liqueur glass, January gains the confidence of the lead Garda investigator. Within days, the case unravels into a much more dangerous situation with a killer on the loose.

Despite the risk, January is electrified, as this newest discovery has come at the perfect time to inject some colour into her flailing career. She relinquishes her old ways to fight for survival, abandoning her antiques column and vintage corsets to solve a cryptic crime that has the experts puzzled.


‘I loved it – a marvellously morbid, gloriously gruesome and utterly unique whodunnit. The rakish January Quail is the most vivid and charismatic female lead I've read in a long time.’ SOPHIE WHITE

‘A compelling, thrilling debut. One to watch. Read it.’ PAUL WILLIAMS

I absolutely loved everything about this book.
January is an old-fashioned and very quirky character who doesn't care one iota about what people think of her. Any grown woman who goes into a sweet shop to buy penny sweets is my type of person. 
Some of her other quirks that I found very amusing were her penchant for wearing corsets and other victorian styled clothing, she's a bit snobby and brings her own napkins and accoutrements with her when she eats out, she likes Assam tea, and is fond of alcohol, especially Crème De Menthe.
January is very old school when it comes to working as a journalist. She is more inclined to handwrite her notes rather than type them up on a computer. She doesn't use social media or keep up with technology. 
I found the reference to bog bodies in this mystery to be absolutely fascinating but completely horrifying at the same time. It made for a very disturbing and gruesome end for our murder victim. 
The village is full of strange characters and eccentric men, any of whom could be the killer. Indeed it is incredibly difficult to pinpoint who it is exactly and the author does an incredible job of keeping the reader in the dark until the pivotal moment.
I liked Detective Cooney and how he allowed January access to the investigation. There was good chemistry between them and he proved to be intelligent and someone to be counted upon when in a tight spot. Their friendship was a nice light touch and they made a good team.
The last section of the book was thrilling and had me on tenterhooks. I couldn't put it down and I was left wanting more adventures with January and Cooney and wishing that the next book was already out!

Death Visits January is out now Amazon

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