Manuela’s ARC of “An Artful Murder” by Judi Daykin

By: Manuela Soares

Thanks to NetGalley and Joffe Books for this ARC.

A revenge killer hiding in plain sight, whose signature is to leave a toy llama at every kill.

A police force working against the clock to find the killer before another body drops.

Four friends are at the center of it all.

Who will live to tell the truth?

This was a solid 3.5-star read for me. It’s the first book by this author that I’ve read, though it’s the fourth book in the DS Sara Hirst Series. This was a decent read for me. The story unfolded well for the most part, and while I did enjoy reading it, there was no shocking who-done-it and why like what I had been expecting. While marketed as a mystery, there’s no real mystery to it. Daykin introduces the killer very early, along with their motive, so readers know the who and why by the end of the book’s first third. Despite this, I found that knowing the who and why didn’t fully detract from the storyline. One thing I liked was reading about how the investigation evolved and seeing the interactions between the team members. Though I think it was a bit strange that things were revealed so early in the story, the way that Daykin weaves it made it turn out well. She’s a hell of a storyteller.

This is a very character-heavy book, as in there are a lot of them, but it’s not difficult to follow. Despite being the fourth in a series, this can definitely be read on its own without having to read the first three books. The significant bits about the characters are mentioned, so readers won’t get lost in knowing who everyone is.

One thing I found hilarious is that at the very end of the book, Daykin included a glossary of English terms for US readers. For those who are not familiar with England English terminology, this can be helpful if there are terms that you may not know. For those who are, it may bring a smile to you and maybe a little giggle.

In the end, this was a good read; Daykin weaves the storylines throughout this one very well and doesn’t leave any plot holes or loose ends. There are a couple of things that will likely be brought up again in future books, but nothing that ties back to the murder investigation in this one. Based on this book, I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of the DS Sara Hirst series.

This review will also be posted on NetGalley, Fathoms Amidst the Lines, and Goodreads

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