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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
The Poison Pen is the exciting sequel to Ladies of Class by Marjorie Owen. When a department store manager is murdered in a most unlikely manner, DCI Richard Hayward must pull himself away from his beloved expecting wife, Kate, and join his partner, DS Jim Fendon, to solve the strange case. Uncovering the motive seems to be a problem, however, when they discover that although the store manager was widely disliked, he wasn't disliked enough to be killed. Or was he? What terrible secrets does one solitary department store manager hold? How many people can hate one man without contacts outside his job as a manager? When an attempted murder hits closer to home, Richard is ready to take on the hundred or so suspicious employees, just to close the case. Only, is it an employee that is murdering or is it another more sinister skeleton from the murder victim's well-hidden past? DCI Hayward and DI Fendon must solve the strange case before there is another murder. Only they have too many suspects and not enough time.
An engaging cozy mystery with romantic undertones, The Poison Pen by Marjorie Owen was a delight to read. The characters were well developed and the plot was well thought out. It was hard to put the book down, as the author kept me guessing to the end! This book is a perfect light read. It had enough of a romantic subplot to break up the gruesomeness of murder and the rather drawn out task of finding the motive and killer. I felt that DI Fendon's romance added the perfect amount of humor to an otherwise dark story. DCI Richard Hayward may have been a bit overly doting to his wife, but DI Jim Fendon's new relationship with Richard's beautiful young sister-in-law added quite a bit of humor to the story. The author did a wonderful job of creating memorable characters to which the reader could easily relate. If you like English or cozy murder mysteries, then you will undoubtedly like this book! The last few chapters had me hoping there is a third book in the making!